In 2009, 34 House Democrats voted against the Affordable Care Act. Many came from red or purple states—Texas, Tennessee, Ohio—and identified themselves as part of the moderate-to-conservative “Blue Dog” coalition. (No Senate Dems voted against the bill.) Politico writes today that, despite voting against the most prominently liberal legislation of the past decade, few of them have been able to hang on to their seats in the ensuing Republican wave:
Thirty-four House Democrats bucked their party to vote against Obamacare when it passed in 2010. Today, only four of those lawmakers are still in office and running for reelection this fall.
The dramatic downsize underscores not only how consequential the health care law vote was but how quickly moderate Democrats have been eliminated on Capitol Hill. Even those who opposed the law had trouble surviving the highly partisan atmosphere it helped to create.
Three of the anti-ACA Dems left have taken flak from opponents for not doing enough to repeal the bill:
Rick Allen, the well-funded Republican hoping to unseat Barrow, has repeatedly blasted him for supporting the law, including a Facebook post that faulted him for voting “27 times against repealing, defunding or delaying Obamacare.” Peterson’s and Lipinski’s opponents have lobbed similar criticisms.
Massachusetts’ Stephen Lynch also voted against the bill and remains in Congress—but he says he voted against it because it wasn’t progressive enough. Massachusetts!