Blue Dogs Show Their True Colors: Vote For HCR Repeal Despite Its Deficit Increases

Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn is reporting that four Democrats who voted against health care in March, also voted in favor of the rules package to repeal the Affordable Care Act, suggesting that the GOP’s push to undermine reform will have a bipartisan flavor. Three of the members — Reps. Dan Boren (OK), Mike Ross (AR), and Mike McIntyre (NC) — are all part of the hyper-deficit-sensitive Blue Dog Caucus, who voted against the law in March because they were concerned about spending levels. The fourth, Larry Kissell (NC), objected to the Medicare cuts in the law.

For the Blue Dog members, the repeal vote is peculiar since it suggests that their concerns about the deficit bear an inverse relationship to the conclusions of the Congressional Budget Office. That is, when the CBO found that health reform would reduce the deficit by $143 billion over 10 years, they registered their complaints about potential deficit increases. When it reported that repeal would increase the deficit $230 billion, they signaled their support for eliminating the law. Here is how they described their opposition to reform in March of 2010:

– MIKE ROSS: “Therefore, one of my concerns throughout this entire debate has been the impact this legislation will have on future deficits. After careful review and thoughtful analysis, I am unconvinced this bill will adequately address the long-term trend of rising health care costs that burden our government and every Arkansas family.” [Press Statement, 3/21/2010]

– MIKE McINTYRE: “We simply cannot afford to create a new federal bureaucracy that costs nearly $1 trillion when our national debt is $12 trillion and there is no plan in place to address it. I will not vote for it.” [Press Statement, 3/19/2010]


– DAN BOREN: “For the last 18 months I have said repeatedly that the focus of Congress should be on job creation and getting our economy moving again; not on creating a brand new entitlement program that we simply cannot afford.” [Press Statement, 3/22/2010]

I’ve called and emailed the offices of the po-repeal Democrats to ask why they’re voting for repeal in light of the CBO’s deficit projections. I will update the post as their responses come in.


Ross spoke with CNN and explained that he just doesn’t agree with the CBO: