(Bloomberg Politics) — The House of Representatives took its 67th vote to repeal all or part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) yesterday.
Its newest Republican members had never been given a chance to vote “hell yes” on the question, and most of them did so. Three of them did not vote for H.R. 596 —Maine’s Bruce Poliquin, New York’s John Katko, and Illinois’ Robert Dold.
There’s no mystery about why. All of them won districts that Barack Obama had carried in 2008 and 2012. He took Poliquin’s rural Maine seat by 7 points, Katko’s upstate New York seat by 16 points, and Dold’s Chicago suburb seat by 17 points. Democrats expect to compete for all of those seats in 2016, with Illinois-born former New York Senator Hillary Clinton leading their ticket.
So, for the first time in a long time, there are Republicans who have to finesse their less-than-total rejection of “Obamacare.” After the vote, Poliquin told Roll Call that he wanted to end the law but fretted about pure repeal. “I need to see a tangible, free-market replacement and this bill does not give us that,” he said. “I need to see how we’re gonna fix this and not just be someone who votes for the 56th time to repeal this.”