The Washington Post

As health-care law turns one year old, some lawmakers keep quiet

Democrats and Republicans marked the occasion of the national health-care overhaul’s one-year anniversary with a bombardment of press releases, conference calls and events defending or critiquing the law.

But as we took stock of our inbox Thursday morning, we noticed one group had been noticeably silent: the 13 House Democrats, mostly members of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, who voted against the health-care law and survived re-election battles in November.

Of those 13 – Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), Dan Boren (Okla.), John Barrow (Ga.), Ben Chandler (Ky.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Dan Lipinski (Ill.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.) – none issued a press release or even a tweet to mark the law’s one-year anniversary on Wednesday.

Three of them – Boren, McIntyre and Ross -- joined Republicans earlier this year in voting to repeal the entire law. Even so, none of the trio issued a statement Wednesday.

Contrast that with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for instance, who held a day-long “health care tweet-a-thon” Wednesday in which she tweeted a benefit of the health-care law every hour for 24 hours, or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who co-authored an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer in which they charged that Democrats broke promises on health care. Scores of rank-and-file members of both parties also joined in on touting or blasting the law.

That the 13 lawmakers who bucked their party on a key legislative agenda item would hold off on joining leaders in trumpeting its one-year anniversary makes sense from a political standpoint; what’s perhaps more interesting is that the 13 Democrats also held off on joining Republicans Wednesday in denouncing the law.


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