Local Politics

Split N.C. delegation votes 8-5 against health care bill

Posted November 8, 2009

— Eight of North Carolina's 13 representatives, including three Democrats, voted against the health care overhaul bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday.

According to the House's online records, Democratic Reps. Larry Kissel, District 8; Mike McIntyre, District 7; and Health Shuler, District 11, opposed the bill, along with Republican Reps. Howard Coble, District 6; Virginia Foxx, District 5; Walter B. Jones, District 3; Patrick T. McHenry, District 10; and Sue Myrick, District 9.

Voting for the bill were Democratic Reps. G.K. Butterfield, District 1; Bob Etheridge, District 2; Brad Miller, District 13; David Price, District 4; and Mel Watt, District 12.

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The 1,990-page, $1.2 trillion bill passed the house 220-215, with 219 Democrats and one Republican voting "yes" and 39 Democrats joining 176 Republicans to vote "no."

McIntyre said he opposed the bill because it cost too much, could harm small businesses and jobs, and didn't address long-term health care. Instead, he urged overhauling health care in "fiscally responsible," targeted steps.

"During these tough economic times, I could not support this bill, because it was flawed," McIntyre said in a statement Saturday. "The need for health care reform is clear, but the focus should be on lowering the skyrocketing costs of health care, bringing down the cost of premiums and ensuring access and affordability of health care for all."

North Carolina Democrats who voted for the bill said they did it for the economy and for duty.

"The bill will dramatically improve our nation's health insurance system," said Etheridge, who is the only North Carolina member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "The bill provides coverage you can count on that can't be taken away."

"Allowing a broken health system to bankrupt families, businesses and hospitals and deny coverage to tens of millions is a failure of duty," Butterfield said.

North Carolina Republican representatives have not commented to WRAL on the health care vote, but most talked about the bill before its passage.

Foxx called it a "trillion dollar bill that raises taxes on small business and working families while at the same time making health care more expensive."

Jones said "it includes more than $700 billion in tax increases on small businesses and others" and "nearly $400 billion in Medicare cuts."

The legislation would require most Americans to carry insurance and provide federal subsidies to those who can't afford it. Most businesses would have to offer coverage. Both consumers and companies would be fined for not complying.

The measure would create a federally regulated marketplace in which consumers could shop for coverage and the government would sell insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that government plans will be more expensive.

Denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions would be banned, as would charging higher premiums based on sex or medical history. Insurers would no longer be exempt from federal antitrust restrictions on price fixing and market allocation.

The bill's cost, which is estimated over a decade, would be met by cutting Medicare spending by more than $400 billion. The measure creates a tax surcharge of 5.4 percent on income over $500,000 in the case of individuals and $1 million for families.


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  • livinggood2 Nov 9, 2009

    Folks I do know who will be running against Rep Butterfield in 2010.Please support this guy in anyway you can.Ashley Woolard will be in Goldsboro Nov 23 as a guest speaker for the GOP starting at 6:30pm.It will be held at Wayne GOP HQ 147 S Center St. Goldsboro

  • kellyaustin96 Nov 9, 2009

    Well I see Larry, Moe and Curly voted predictably: Miller, Ethridge and Price. Excpet the producers are the only ones getting poked in the eye.

  • MakoII Nov 9, 2009


    What is all this name-taking talk like there's a death squad parsing future orders?

    All names and votes are public. And those voting know more than anyone posting here what their votes mean publicly.

    Public is their LIFE.

  • MSN93 Nov 9, 2009

    Hope everyone is taking note of these names....

  • djofraleigh Nov 9, 2009

    Look at it this way, without two of these votes by
    Democratic Reps. G.K. Butterfield, Bob Etheridge, Brad Miller, David Price, Mel Watt, The bill would NOT have passed.

    My representative passed the bill in my book b/c he is one of them. I was not for this bill.

  • seaturtlesrule Nov 9, 2009

    "tarheelslikeEdwards", "MahiMahi" and "originalindictment": Sigh! You just don't get it, do you?! Nasty-boy, "I'm smarter than youuuu!" comments. Are you'all out of your teens yet? ...

    Of course there was no gov't healthcare in Jesus' time. Duh! But He did heal the sick and raise the dead, because His heart was full of mercy. Didn't charge a dime, either. Most of those healed were poor, downtrodden, prostitutes - people that no one else cared about....He was trying to teach us all a lesson. Remember how hard it will be for a rich man to enter Heaven? That means those who have "CheneyCare"! Or NC BlueCross aka "SatanCare". Try not to take words so literally.

    Also, James Madison wasn't too smart, was he? Didn't he get killed in a stupid duel? Or was that James Hamilton? Doesn't matter... it sounds like he'd jerk Medicare and Medicaid and Veterans' benefits right out of old folks' hands! THAT would be a REAL duel....!

    Peace, dudes ~~~

  • me2you Nov 9, 2009

    "During these tough economic times, I could not support this bill, because it was flawed," McIntyre said in a statement Saturday. "The need for health care reform is clear, but the focus should be on lowering the skyrocketing costs of health care, bringing down the cost of premiums and ensuring access and affordability of health care for all."

    I'm glad to hear at least one politician making some sense.

  • saturn5 Nov 9, 2009

    Anyone who voted for Obamacare does not get my vote ever again. I will campaign for whoever is running against them.

  • josephlawrence43 Nov 9, 2009

    The liberal socialists won Saturday ( in the dark of night no less) by 2 votes. Messers Butterfield, Etheridge, Miller, Price and Watt would do well to carefully weigh the value of the promises made to them by BO and Pelosi, and compare that to the cost and consequence of their action. The electorates sword of accountability is sharp, and it will bite deep in 2010. Unlike the promises of BO and Pelosi, this is one promise that will, in fact, be kept.

  • original intent Nov 9, 2009

    seaturtle---James Madison stated:"The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.".......ALSO:"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."....