Reid Loses More Senators On Latest Medicare Amendment Vote
Maybe Harry Reid will get the idea that working through the weekend isn’t such a good idea after all… his latest effort not only lost him the support of even more Democrats, it also made it very clear that Democrats once again favor cutting Medicare benefits, this time for home health care, which allows patients to remain at home while receiving care for certain conditions.
Joining Democratic Senators Ben Nelson (NE) and Jim Webb (VA) in voting against the cuts were Evan Bayh (IN) and Blanche Lincoln (AR). That means Reid has probably lost two more of his moderate Democrat votes. In addition, Democrats Robert Byrd (WV) and Patrick Leahy (VT) did not vote, along with self-described Socialist Bernie Sanders (VT). It’s unclear whether or not any of those three can be considered solid nays for future votes, but apparently they didn’t think enough of Reid’s work schedule to be there and cast a vote on a Saturday, which still isn’t exactly good news for the Senate Majority Leader.
Blanche Lincon’s decision is worth further study (because of the way the amendment was worded, a “Nay” vote is a vote to maintain the cuts that the original bill made, a “Yea” vote is a vote to remove the cuts):
Underscoring the pressures on the moderates, Lincoln, who faces a difficult re-election next year, initially cast a “no” vote with the Democratic majority but switched to “yes” in the course of the 15-minute vote. Republicans accused her of flip-flopping, but Lincoln said later that she changed her vote after considering how important home health care is to Arkansas.
I’d not be surprised if the idea of all the campaign ads her opponent could make with a vote to cut home health care benefits crossed Lincoln’s mind, and I’d also not be surprised if some Republican had wandered over during that 15 minutes and murmured something along those lines into her ear.
The moral of the story is that Senators are more concerned with reelection than with ObamaCare… if We The People keep the pressure on them, we can peel away even more of Reid’s votes and this thing will die.