DeFazio flips from Yes to No

posted at 2:05 pm on March 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Say what you will about the ObamaCare debate, but it has had at least one effect — we’ve learned the names of a lot more Congressmen than in the past.  After Ohio’s John Boccieri flipped from a no to a yes this morning, Peter DeFazio of Oregon flipped the other way this afternoon, putting Nancy Pelosi another vote farther from getting 216 on Sunday:

Just when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to be one vote shy of the 216 she needs for health care reform to pass, a Democrat who voted for the bill last year says he’s switching his vote to no.

The opposition from Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., dials back the number of House members leaning toward voting yes to 214, and the number leaning toward voting no to 217.

Good news?  Well, maybe.  DeFazio made the announcement but doesn’t exactly sound firm in his opposition.  While some are criticizing either insurers or abortion, DeFazio’s opposition comes down to a commitment to Medicare in rural communities:

DeFazio, who voted for the bill last year, complicated things for Democratic leaders. But he indicated he could still change his mind again.

“I’m a no unless they fix this,” he said, referring to what he sees as insufficient Medicare spending in rural areas.

As Republican as Boccieri’s district was, that’s how Democratic DeFazio’s is.  They haven’t sent a Republican to Congress since 1975.  Voters supported Barack Obama in 2008 by double digits, 54/43.  In DeFazio’s last election, he got over 80% of the vote.

That last part cuts both ways, of course.  Nancy Pelosi probably can’t threaten him if he balks at voting for ObamaCare.  It’s almost certainly too late for anyone to mount a serious primary bid against DeFazio.  If he holds out for a public option, his constituents will probably cheer rather than boo.

Still, I wouldn’t count DeFazio in the No column until he casts his vote.  That statement sounds more like an application to play “The Price is Right” than a principled stand against the bill.


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Mark Garnett on March 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I dunno. Carrying guns? Do people have licenses to do this? I don’t think that’s a wise move. You’re going to have people really incensed by it, and sway their opinions on gun control.

capejasmine on March 19, 2010 at 2:40 PM

The “doc fix” on Drudge and explained by Rush just now is why DeFazio turned to a NO. I suspect he knew what was going on all along.

If they were six short of passing it, once this “fix” gets more attention, they’ll be much shorter than that.

Freakin’ liars.

ConservativeTony on March 19, 2010 at 2:41 PM

CNN reporting:

CAO is BACK ON THE FENCE!!

Awesome.

LordMaximus on March 19, 2010 at 2:31 PM

He’s not on the fence. Smoke and mirrors, MSM is in overdrive to help the Dems. Keep fighting.

El_Terrible on March 19, 2010 at 2:42 PM

joejm65 on March 19, 2010 at 2:36 PM
I would guess Pelosi will be #216 if they get to 215 votes without her.
WashJeff on March 19, 2010 at 2:37 PM

A follow-up to my previous post. The Corner at NRO has some words from Paul Ryan regarding the current count. He claims that the Dims are about 4 or 5 votes away. He also said that they are trying to get more than just 216 votes, because if this vote passes with just 216 votes, then EVERYONE who voted ‘yes’ will be seen as the tie-breaker. Every Republican running for office against a yes-voting Dim can claim that Dim was the tie-breaking vote for Nobamacare. Interesting.

joejm65 on March 19, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Mark Garnett on March 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I would be very careful.

upinak on March 19, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Tie-breaking lunatics

ConservativeTony on March 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM

The fools are us.

An anonymous comment found appending an article on Reuters:

The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency.

It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM

don’t know the order, but like I said, it will be interesting to see if #216 is a fencesitter, flipper or outright supporter of this boondoggle

cmsinaz on March 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM

There has to be some sort of internal strategy. Given that human nature is what it is, there will be a large enough group of undecided fence sitters.

I keep falling back on my personal experience ‘Used Car Salesman’ metaphor. Just bang away at the customer until he either buys the car or says “fuck you” and walks off the lot.

We shall see.

percysunshine on March 19, 2010 at 2:46 PM

RT @stephenfhayes: Rep. Joseph Cao is NOT wavering, as some have reported. He told GOP leadership and several NOLA radio stations that h …

as of 22 minutes ago.

Someone is trying to demoralize us. Don’t fall for it!

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Someone is trying to demoralize us. Don’t fall for it!

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Axelrod’s astroturf machinery is working in high gear.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on March 19, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Can anyone get Drudge? I just get a blank page!

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Still, I wouldn’t count DeFazio in the No column until he casts his vote. That statement sounds more like an application to play “The Price is Right” than a principled stand against the bill.

no, really?

Jed_Eckert on March 19, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Melissa Bean (IL-8) could be flipped if enough pressure and phone calls were made. This used to be a reliable Republican seat in Lake County, IL held by Phil Crane for over 20 years. Bean runs as a moderate but votes like the lefty liberal Dem that she truly is.

Old Fritz on March 19, 2010 at 2:51 PM

I have a bad feeling that we are missing something important. Glenn was right all along , its the hand you don`t see that is doing the most damage. They want us focused on this. So whats really going on behind the scenes?

LSUMama on March 19, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Someone is trying to demoralize us. Don’t fall for it!

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Hmmm, since the Democrats are the demoral(e) party, I’ll take wild guess–its them!

ConservativeTony on March 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Intrade is at 81 for passage.

Dale on March 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Defazio is actually my Congressman. He is actually pretty intellectually honest. The problem is he is a true believer type liberal. But when he gets onto a pet peeve issue like this, he could potentially vote No. However, I expect he will settle for a promise to fix it in the future.

By the way, our district is only the 3rd or 4th most liberal (of 5) in Oregon. There are 3 other districts that touch the Portland area and are typically more liberal than ours. But we have Eugene in our district which drowns out all the rural votes.

I think the issue is valid: if we are going to set rates for Medicare reimbursement, then it should be fairly distributed. Why should areas that keep medical inflation down better get penalized with lower reimbursement rates for Medicare, and those that don’t get rewarded with more Medicare dollars. I don’t think he is asking for something special for Oregon, but in the rural vs. urban formula nationwide. Of course, my solution would be to voucherize Medicare and let the free market set the rate.

Here’s a letter a friend who wrote Defazio got back last week. Note that Medicare payment distribution is the second thing he mentions (after repealing insurance companies anti-trust exemption). (I apologize if this is way too long)

Thank you for contacting me about health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you.

To date the final language of the health care reform package remains unknown. I have made it clear to Speaker Pelosi that I will not vote for any bill unless I have time to read it. It must also include reforms that save money and increase access to quality care. I outline some of those provisions below.

Despite the many differences on how to proceed on health care reform one thing is certain: the cost of health care in this country is rapidly spinning out of control. Premiums have more than doubled in less than 10 years and are predicted to nearly double again by 2020. Last year 2.7 million Americans were dropped by their private health insurance while at the same time the health insurance companies made over $12.2 billion in profits, up 56 percent from the year before. In Oregon the average premiums for individuals and small businesses have climbed by more than 140 percent in seven years. We simply cannot continue like this.

We need to focus on the aspects of reform that everyone can agree on. In my 15 town hall meetings last summer, I heard many concerns, but one reform received support from a broad swath of folks. The health insurance industry currently enjoys an exemption from federal antitrust laws. With this exemption, insurance companies can, and do, collude to drive up prices and exclude people from coverage. They decide amongst themselves what they will cover and what they won’t, and how much they will pay. I repeatedly challenged House leadership to allow a vote to outlaw this abuse. The bill was two pages in length, easy to understand and passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. In fact, 153 Republicans voted for this measure. This simple fix, if passed into law, would save consumers billions of dollars in premiums.

We also need to fix the broken Medicare reimbursement formula. The current formula is broken and discriminates against Oregon and 16 other states. Many Oregon doctors and other providers refuse to take new Medicare patients because reimbursements are too low. Low Medicare reimbursement rates means more costs are shifted to the rest of us in the forms of higher private insurance rates. If this formula is fixed, not only will Oregon’s seniors have better access to care but it will lower the cost of care for all Oregonians. The increased reimbursements in Oregon and 16 other states would be paid for by lowering excessive payments in states like Florida, New York, Massachusetts and other “high cost” states.

Medicare should also be able to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors. The Veterans Administration negotiates prices and pays up to 80% less than Medicare for the identical, non-generic versions of most popular drugs. We also need to eliminate the dreaded “donut-hole” created by the Bush Administration that leaves seniors with outsized prescription drug bills.

We need to stop insurance companies from denying people coverage for pre-existing conditions, or canceling or no renewing their policies when they get sick. No more annual or lifetime caps and coverage exclusions hidden in the small print. These reforms would put an end to families losing their homes when they lose their job or get sick.

I have said from the beginning that I do not support a government take-over of health care. In fact, the reforms pending before Congress today continue to rely on private health care insurance and private doctors. We should build on what works in the system we have and focus on reforms that people understand and support.

We must rein in the escalating health care costs and insure access to quality health care for all Oregonians, but above all else I will oppose any reform that adds to our deficit.

Thanks again for contacting me. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Fourth District, OREGON

willamettevalley on March 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

They want us focused on this. So whats really going on behind the scenes?

LSUMama on March 19, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Maybe the “Dodd” financial grab?

NTWR on March 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Also didn`t they have a large sum of money allocated to health care, in one of the stimulus pkgs? Why is no one mentioning that?

LSUMama on March 19, 2010 at 3:00 PM

DeFazio’s gift is not that he may vote no. He could end up voting yes.

But concerns will the strengthen the case for voting no, especially members in much more conservative districts.

It is also a time consuming issue. They still havea lot of work to do to get this ready for Sunday. If they cant addresses all these little issues, momentum wil fade if they dont meet their deadline.

It also prevent Dems who want to vote yes, but dont want to say so if the bill is going to fail, from coming out and publicly supporting the bill, which creates its own no-mentum.

swamp_yankee on March 19, 2010 at 3:01 PM

That little nasty slam was necessary, wasn’t it? She is on my list, as well.

TXMomof3 on March 19, 2010 at 2:39 PM

So unnecessary. Especially since she’s praising Baier for being the gold standard… then she dives straight into the sewer.

John the Libertarian on March 19, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Pelosi, Boccieri, DeFazio… All these Italians… and I can’t find one to be proud of.

mankai on March 19, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Also didn`t they have a large sum of money allocated to health care, in one of the stimulus pkgs? Why is no one mentioning that?

LSUMama on March 19, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Yesterday, Rush asked us to remember…they said the money spent on the war in Iraq would go toward health care as well. Well? The war is ended but for a few troops leftover, of a few years. So where is that money going?

capejasmine on March 19, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Pelosi, Boccieri, DeFazio… All these Italians… and I can’t find one to be proud of.

Scalia and Alito.

swamp_yankee on March 19, 2010 at 3:13 PM

DeFazio [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
His office says he is undecided. Statement to come, I’m told.

03/19 03:00 PM

NRO

Wethal on March 19, 2010 at 3:29 PM

http://www.redstate.com/dan_perrin/2010/03/19/the-red-queen-does-not-have-the-votes/

Dan Perrin at RedState is confident.

KSgop on March 19, 2010 at 3:30 PM

DeFazio, who voted for the bill last year, complicated things for Democratic leaders. But he indicated he could still change his mind again.

“I’m a no unless they fix this,” he said, referring to what he sees as insufficient Medicare spending in rural areas.

All these people act as if the Senate bill is a work in progress, it is not. They are either vote for it or they don’t, they can not count on any fixes.

Terrye on March 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

I realize that Hot Air is working off of the FNC votes numbers but here is the latest vote numbers from FireDogLake, a left-wing blogging site:

196-208

Shogun144 on March 19, 2010 at 3:43 PM

NOTE:

I just realized that the FDL numbers may not reflect DeFazio flipping, so adjust accordingly.

Shogun144 on March 19, 2010 at 3:44 PM

That statement sounds more like an application to play “The Price is Right” than a principled stand against the bill.

Sounds more like? You mean it IS. A simple threat to vote no is enough to get the vote buyers to throw all kinds of money their way.

ncconservative on March 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM

That statement sounds more like an application to play “The Price is Right” than a principled stand against the bill.

Exactly.

JDPerren on March 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM

“Oregon Donor”

anuts on March 19, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Whoever wrote that comment has clearly been borrowing my material. And welcome to it!

JDPerren on March 19, 2010 at 4:24 PM

New update the with latest round of vote flying:

197-208 excluding the leaners. 205-211 with the leaners included.

Shogun144 on March 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

DeFazio is a far left Dem true-believer who would outlaw oil and every other form of “carbon production” if he could.

There is exactly 1 Republican from Oregon – Greg Walden, and he represents – geographically, the majority of the State (South and Central Oregon). The Willamette Valley in Oregon controls the entire state and this is why there has been a consistent effort (albiet, mostly tongue in cheek) to create an additional State with Southern Oregon joining far North California in the State of Jefferson

Fatal on March 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Hey, if someone posts here and totally plagiarizes an entire article without giving kudos to the real author, is that kosher??

Ris4victory on March 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM

He is from one of Oregon’s most liberal areas (Eugene, Roseburg, Corvallis). However, he does seem to have an “independent streak”, and I seem to recall his calling the “Stimulus” bill a lot of wasted money.

That’s right. I live in Oregon, but not his district. I probably wouldn’t vote for him if I were in his district, but he actually has more integrity than many in Congress. I believe he’s serious about this, not just playing the game.

RClark on March 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Tried to call him to encourage him to stand firm on the “No vote — got nothing but busy on all his numbers. You guys make me proud! (sniffle…)

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Hey, if someone posts here and totally plagiarizes an entire article without giving kudos to the real author, is that kosher??

Ris4victory on March 19, 2010 at 4:56 PM

It’s frowned upon, but sometimes it happens in the heat of posting. Usual procedure is to ask the poster for a link.

Mary in LA on March 19, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Mark Garnett on March 19, 2010 at 2:17 PM

This LONG post is a verbatim copy of an article I read today at WA POST. Just saying. Seems to me this needed a link – seemed weird that nobody caught it.

Ris4victory on March 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

This is the most disgusting thing I have ever witnessed. Not one of these people care one wit about America and the Americans who live here.

tarpon on March 19, 2010 at 7:42 PM

I live in DeFazio’s district (District 4 – OR)

He is and has always been a far left liberal. Past chairman of the “Progressive Caucus” in Congress and heavily involved with the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) until that became known in his district.

DeFazio likes to play at being a “Maverick”. But if you examine his votes you will notice that he only votes against his party when the vote will not make any difference.

He’s just seeing the rest of the pigs line up at the trough and wants to get his snout in there.

The leadership will probably roll for him. They’re rolling for everyone else, so why not?

But even in the unlikely event that they don’t, don’t look for Petey to cast the deciding vote. He’s much too sly for that.

schmuck281 on March 20, 2010 at 1:47 AM

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