Nye To Vote Nay On Health Care Bill

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    Glenn Nye’s statement (see after the “flip”) that he will vote “no” on health care reform is not surprising, but it’s extremely disappointing nonetheless. I strongly disagree with Glenn Nye on the merits of his decision as well as on the politics.

    On the merits, or lack thereof, I simply don’t buy the arguments Nye is making here. For instance, does Nye really think that Jim Webb would have voted for this bill if it endangered Tricare?  Nope, didn’t think so. As far as the “cost of the bill” is concerned, the CBO has already settled that issue – the Senate bill “will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first ten years and possibly $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.”  Finally, on the last point (children’s hospitals), I discussed that here:

    …Nye claims the House healthcare bill would cut “funding” for children’s hospitals, yet the fact is that most of the cuts for hospitals are from a reduction in federal reimbursements for emergency care, which will be made up by individuals who would become insured under this legislation. In other words, the bill represents a cut in federal funding, but not necessarily a cut in the hospital’s total revenues or profits. What’s more, the hospital industry association agreed to this tradeoff, as part of its $155 billion deal with the White House. Was Glenn Nye against that deal? Did he speak out against it at the time? If not, why not?

    In sum, none of Rep. Nye’s “arguments” against health care reform make any sense at all.  But what about the politics? Obviously, Nye is calculating that progressives and “base” Democrats will be pissed (although I believe he’s underestimating how pissed), but that they ultimately will “suck it up” and vote for him anyway. Nye is also clearly calculating that he will pick up support from independents who hate this bill. With regard to the “base,” comments like this one – Del. Lionell Spruill declaring, “If Glenn Nye is not for it, I will not be there to support him. He owes the president that vote, as far as I’m concerned.” – illustrate the scope of Nye’s problem. I’m not sure how he solves that by election day. With regard to independents, I’m sure that a percentage of them will be assuaged by Nye’s opposition to health care reform, but my guess is that a lot more of them – particularly the “Tea Partiers” – will vote for Republican Scott Rigell regardless. We’ll see, but I tend to believe that, when given the choice between a real Republican and a “Republican lite,” independents will vote for the real Republican.

    P.S. I think this comment at Daily Kos neatly sums it all up: “So he is choosing CERTAIN defeat…rather than standing up for Americans, voting on the right side of history and taking his chances on the courage of his convictions. Coward.”

    Nye’s statement after the “flip.”

    Washington, DC – Citing potential problems for TRICARE recipients, the cost of the bill, and cuts to children’s hospitals, Congressman Glenn Nye announced this evening that he will vote against adopting the health care proposal under consideration in the House of Representatives.

    “Over the past year, I have spoken with countless small business owners, families, medical professionals, and average citizens across Virginia’s 2nd District, and it became very clear that this bill was not the right solution for Virginia’s health care challenges,” said Congressman Nye. “There were many strong points in this bill that I would have been happy to support individually, but the package as a whole had serious problems.”

    The original version of legislation in the House had specifically exempted TRICARE from being affected. However, when the final bill language was released on Thursday afternoon, it was revealed that neither the Senate bill nor the reconciliation package contained an exemption for TRICARE.

    “Our military families need to be able to count on their health care benefits, and I am not willing to risk negative consequences for our military personnel and their families, particularly at a time when our troops are serving overseas in harm’s way,” said Nye.

    Nye also expressed concerns about the potential for severe cuts to children’s hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk. The House version of the health care legislation, which Nye opposed last November, would have resulted in a $10 billion annual cut in funding to children’s hospitals. Rather than addressing this problem, the final package actually increased the cuts to $16 billion.

    “This bill did not fix the key flaws with the original health care bill, including devastating funding cuts for CHKD in Norfolk and I am not convinced it will effectively reduce the cost of health care for families and small businesses,” said Congressman Nye.

    Despite his opposition to the legislation, Nye reiterated that he is committed to passing meaningful reforms of the health care system.

    “There are commonsense steps that we can take right now to make a real difference for Americans: repealing the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies, creating a high-risk pool for people with preexisting conditions, establishing an exchange that allows families and small businesses to have more choices, and cracking down on fraud and abuse,” Nye said.

    “I know there are some people who will be disappointed with my vote, but I believe that I have a firm duty to vote my conscience and represent the best interests of my district. As much as we need health care reform, we also have an obligation to enact responsible changes for the American people, and to restore their trust in government,” Nye concluded.

    • I gave money directly to Glenn Nye two years ago and encouraged others to give money to him. I will not do so this year. I will not volunteer for Glenn Nye or encourage others to volunteer for him.

      But that just means I’ll have that much more time & money to give to candidates like Tom Perriello, Gerry Connolly and Rich Anthony.

    • Johnny Longtorso

      I’m not surprised, but I gave him one more chance to earn my support for re-election, and of course he screwed us over again. I can’t even work up any anger about it anymore. I just hope he loses.

    • antonio_m_elias

      Jim Webb specifically mentioned Tricare at last night’s JJ, saying that he supports the current health bill and that it keeps Tricare strong and intact.

      Also:


      I have spoken with countless small business owners, families, medical professionals, and average citizens across Virginia’s 2nd District, and it became very clear that this bill was not the right solution for Virginia’s health care challenges.

      Maybe they’re countless because the number is zero.  Every doctor, premed, or nurse I’ve spoken with agrees that the bill is imperfect, but they’re salivating over any kind of reform.  And if any of the “average citizens” in the 2nd are in a Union, they’d have told Glenn Nye that their #1 priority is getting the bill passed.

      All that being said, I do believe that Glenn Nye is very intelligent, just perhaps a bit proud.  I think he knows what he’s doing and likely would not vote this way if his vote were needed to pass the bill – I think he and dozens of other Democrats have the Speaker’s permission on this one.

    • Tom

      There has to be a good Dem. who could beat Nye in a primary and by so doing energize the grassroots activists and beat Rigell in the general election.

      Why not primary him ? There’s nothing to lose by doing so, and everything to gain. If there is no primary, the dumb shit will think the Dem. base is o.k. with his vote; if there is a primary he will soon realize that he has so little grass roots support that he has to PAY unenthusiastic people to circulate petitions to even get on the ballot. On the other hand, a real Dem. running in a primary against Nye would have no trouble at all finding all the volunteers needed – including me – to overwhelm what I believe will be a pitiful showing by Nye.

      If you good Dems. in the 2nd CD can field a primary candidate, I will take time off from Gerry Connolly’s 11th CD re-election campaign to help in the primary campaign.

                              T.C.

    • WTH

      He voted against climate and energy too.

      Is he doing this because it worked so well for Deeds?

      • NotJohnSMosby

        I hope all Dems defeat Republicans, so yeah, I hope he wins in November. That said, I won’t support him in any way.  Just as I logged on here, I received Nye’s email blast about why he’ll vote.  It’s bullshit.

        At the JJ dinner last night, his reception was as chilly as can be.  There were a few claps, also a few boos.  Generally, though, everyone behaved themselves and sort of ignored him while he spoke.  He told us about all of the “good Democratic” things he’s done, but didn’t mention healthcare at all.  

        Now, we have another Dem who’s voting no as well.  Rick Boucher gets a pass as far as I’m concerned, because a lot of his voters are Republicans.  Whenever he steps down, or is defeated in re-election, the 9th will be a Republican seat for many, many years.  Rick is the Tom Davis of the Democratic Party – he keeps winning and staying in office, but his support drips away year by year.  I think he’ll hold on this year, and in his environment, I think I would do the same if I were him.

        Nye?  He’s in Congress because of Barack Obama.  He’s now told the President to shove it on two of the biggest initiatives in decades.  He’s thumbed his nose at Democrats statewide, who supported in him 2008.

        A lot of people refused to plunk down the $50 for the pre-dinner reception for the Freshman Victory Fund.  A lot.  I think there were over a thousand people at the JJ dinner, and only about 10% paid a pretty small amount of money to go mingle with the team.  That says a lot.

        What also says a lot is the reception that Tom P. got when he rose to speak.  Night and day compared to Nye.  Tom P. may not be a Congressman in 9 months, but he has a solid future in Democratic circles, and we all owe him our thanks and our help and support this year.

        • Ron

          Find 200 activists in VA-02, have each of them get 10 signatures and collect $1.75 from each person, and then game on.  

    • Would I rather gave Nye, even now, than almost any Republican?  Yes. But we have a huge fight on our hands this fall, and that means, unfortunately, having to make certain races priorities over other races.  My time, energy and money are simply better spent supporting Democrats who support fully Democratic legislation. Given that Nye is so concerned about the cost benefit analysis of this bill, I know he will understand when Democrats, with great reluctance, must do similar calculations regarding his campaign.  

    • dbaise

      It is not enough to withhold support from Glenn Nye. He must be actively opposed. We need to smoke him out, not because his votes have made us angry, but because Americans need to stand up against this kind of disingenuous, self-serving politician. Every move he makes is calculated to serve his own ambitions. All Republican candidates for the second district hold to a right-wing agenda, and control of the House could shift to Republicans in close Congressional elections. These are reasons to bite the bullet and vote for Nye, which is precisely what he’s counting on from the base. We need to bite the bullet, but to endure the negative consequences for the greater good of ending Nye’s career now.  A campaign to vote No on Nye aimed solely at Democrats is the principled thing to do. We need to speak out at every campaign forum, confronting Nye directly with his duplicitous justifications and pandering. Let’s channel our anger and disappointment in Nye to the positive goal of enlightened, progressive change-what we thought we were getting.

    • JobyTodd

      Option 1: Primary his butt out of office

      Option 2: Vote Green if he survived the primary

      This holds true for pro-corporate Mark Warner who was part of that “conservadem” group which sealed the fate for the Public Option. His vote this week in support of school vouchers for DC students sealed his political fate with me. NEVER again will I cast my vote for that corporate hack.