By Tom Curry National affairs writer
msnbc.com
updated 11/10/2009 9:55:38 AM ET 2009-11-10T14:55:38

Claim: The Democrats who opposed the House insurance bill were all from Republican-leaning districts.

In the vote Saturday night on the Democratic bill to overhaul health insurance, 219 out of the 258 Democratic members of the House voted 'yes.' One Republican, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana, also voted 'yes.' The bill needed 218 votes to pass. The vote was an especially risky one for the 49 Democrats who represent congressional districts that Republican presidential candidate John McCain won in 2008 election. In many cases, these were the Democrats who heard loud opposition to the legislation when they returned home for meetings with constituents.

Fact or fiction?
Fiction. Most, but not all, of the 39 Democrats who voted 'no,' were from Republican-leaning districts. Twenty-two were from the South or Border states. Many of the Democratic 'no' votes -- such as Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, whose district McCain carried with 55 percent -- opposed it because they thought it wouldn't curb health care spending and would, in Altmire's words, '"simply be perpetuating an inefficient system that is unsustainable over time." There were a few others, such as Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Rep. Brian Baird of Washington, who voted 'no', yet are from districts which voted for Obama in 2008. Kucinich said the bill would strengthen insurance companies which were "the very source of the problem." Baird said, "We do not yet have reliable estimates of how this legislation will impact the premiums paid by people who already have insurance."

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