Many people predicted that an optimistic CBO score, even if preliminary, would result in Democrats flipping on ObamaCare. Few would have predicted that the first two flips went the other way. After Michael Arcuri started spreading the news that Pelosi couldn’t count on his New York vote, Stephen Lynch gives another no from Massachusetts:
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) is a firm “no” on health care reform — in large measure because he opposes the idea of any kind of excise tax on Cadillac plans, even one that’s delayed for years and years.
That’s put Lynch a former ironworkers union official in Boston at odds with many union biggies, who are swallowing hard and accepting a proposed House-Senate compromise.
Lynch — who voted for the tax-less House bill last year — has become a serious target of his union buddies, enduring pickets at his district office, an AFL-CIO robocall blitz and at least one recent drop-in visit from a very influential old friend — Joseph J. Hunt, president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
The irony of this is just too delicious. Lynch is taking a position that protects union workers from getting slammed by the new excise tax. Do union bosses cheer Lynch for his stand? No — they’re threatening him instead. Who do the union bosses really represent these days?
Democrats had hoped to hold Lynch to a yes. Apparently, though, Lynch has seen enough, both on Capitol Hill and at home. After all, this is the same state that sent Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy specifically to stop ObamaCare from becoming law. On Capitol Hill, Lynch blasted the Slaughter strategy as “disingenuous”:
Even one of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s floor whips, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, says a proposed parliamentary move to pass health-care reform would be “disingenuous” and harm the credibility of Congress.
In a sign of how tough it’s been for Pelosi to round up votes for the massive bill, Lynch – a South Boston Democrat who supported a House reform package last year – said he’ll probably vote against a key Senate version of the legislation, unless unexpected major changes are made soon.
Lynch, who serves as one of Pelosi’s key vote counters, said he also can’t support a proposed “deem and pass” procedure that would allow Democrats to vote to strip out controversial portions of the Senate bill and then “deem” that the entire package has passed without a second, direct vote.
“It’s disingenuous,” said Lynch, who considers unfair a Senate provision to tack a surcharge on higher-end health plans. “It would really call into question the credibility of the House.”
If Pelosi can’t even hold onto her floor whips, she’s in serious trouble. She got her momentum, all right — in the wrong direction.