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Health Care Reform: How They Voted

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After the Christmas Eve passage of the Reid Health Bill, which the Senate approved 60-39, the analyses and predictions came pouring in.

By noon, I’d been sent a link to the Washington Post’s look into how each senator voted, an enlightening little graphic that showed – surprise! – the party loyalty with which each senator cast his or her vote.

You’ll note at the top that not one Democrat voted against the bill, and not one Republican deigned to give it their seal of approval. (Republican Sen. Jim Bunning from Kentucky did not vote.)

Shuffling through the analysis, the WaPo shows the dollar amount in campaign contributions each senator received from the health industry, as well as the percentage of uninsured in their state.

To me, then, the most striking was instances where the party lines won against large chunks of influential cash – for instance, Sen. Max Baucus, who received nearly $4 million from the health industry yet voted “yes” – or against the evident need of their state’s residents – such as Texas Sen. Kathryn Ann Bailey Hutchinson, who voted “no” and represents a state where nearly a quarter of residents have no coverage.

Whichever side you fall on, the graphic offers food for thought about what’s really going on when it comes to reform. Is this an issue where the benefit of all is truly being weighed, or one where power reigns supreme and voices are simply not heard?

Of course, many interpretations can be added to my admitted oversimplification of the issue. For one, Democrats and Republicans tend to have values and priorities that naturally align with their respective votes for or against industry reform.

Now, it remains to be seen what will come from this passage, but we want to hear from you: If you were to choose the way the industry was to be reformed, what would you want to see happen? And what would be best for your clients and for your business in the long run – as well as the future of the country? Leave your comments below.

Christina Pellett is the editor of the Agent’s Sales Journal.