Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Geography of the Battle over Obamacare

Obamacare, a major reform of Health Care in the United States, passed the last hurdle with the House of Representatives by a vote of 219-212. The New York Times has a map of the votes (below).

The votes for the reform came solely from Democrats while all Republicans and thirty-two Democrats voted no. The "no" votes among Democrats came primarily from South and some rural, generally center-right districts. Among the geographic cores of the Democratic Party (Latino-Southwest, Farm-Labor-Great Lakes Interior, New England-New York, and Pacific Coast) these representatives voted almost unanimously yes. In fact, the only Democrat "no's" in Democratic dominated New England-New York were from the definition of centrist Mike Arcuri (D-NY) and pro-life Stephen Lynch (D-MA).

A new battlefield over Obamacare is in the courts. Thirteen states, all with Republican attorney generals, are suing to stop certain parts of the bill which they consider unconstitutional. Those states are
  • South Carolina
  • Nebraska
  • Texas
  • Michigan
  • Utah
  • Pennsylvania
  • Alabama
  • South Dakota
  • Louisiana
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • Colorado
These states are either center-right or have considerable conservative representations. Some of these states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Michigan are swing states and Texas has the third largest population in the country. These states will be the spear head of the legal challenge to Obamacare.

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