What’s up with Southwest Washington Democrat Brian Baird. He voted with the Republicans to reject the health-care reform bill passed by the House of Representative yesterday. Unlike the other 38 Democrats who voted with the Republicans, and who for the most part come from conservative leaning congressional districts that went for McCain in the 2008 general election, Baird is from a mostly liberal district that overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama. One would have to say that the majority of voters in WA CD 3 probably expected Baird to vote for passage of the bill.
Baird claims that he was concerned about the rules that governed procedure on the bill limiting any amendments and that the premiums for people with existing insurance may actually go up. He claims he is waiting for more information from the bean counters and therefore could not support the bill. "For these reasons, until more information is available on premium estimates and Medicare impacts, I will vote against the legislation in its current form," Baird is quoted as saying.
Well don’t go all mavericky on us Brain. I wonder if Brian would of changed his vote if he realized the bill was going to fail without it. It actually only passed with two votes to spare 220 to 215. Someone should ask him that question. The defeat of the bill would of probably killed health reform for the foreseeable future. And been a major embarrassment to the President and Democratic leaders in the House. So Baird’s game of chicken was a major gamble for him. Let’s say the bill had not of passed. We probably be calling for his head on a political platter this morning.
Or is Baird crazy like a fox? Maybe knowing his vote was not actually needed meant he could vote no and look like he’s more concerned and into the weeds on the micro details of the 2000 page bill then other Democrats while at the same time throwing a bone to the large number of tea party types that live in the the Third District. Time will tell. We certainly need to keep Mr. Baird’s feet to the fire and make sure he’s not getting so independent minded that he thinks he can override the will of those who elected him.
There will be no perfect bill. If Baird is willing to throw the health reform baby out with the bath water just because he personally requires certain guarantees in the final bill, that's not a good thing. America and WA State need major health reform now even if some aspects of this massive reform bill turn out to be flawed. Overall the bill will be a major step in the right direction. Corrections can be made as needed in the future. One hundred years of whipping this horse is long enough.