The Caucus Member Who Said No to Health Care Reform

While 41 black members of the House voted for President Obama's health-care reform bill, Artur Davis, who wants to be governor of Alabama, said "No!"

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While 41 of the 42 Congressional Black Caucus members voted for President Obama's historic health-care reform bill, one member with an eye on Alabama's governorship, voted against it. It has caused some flak.

The Washington Post reports:

Rep. Artur Davis, long regarded as one of the most promising of a younger generation of black politicians that has emerged over the past decade, took a bold stance this week as he seeks to become the first African American governor of Alabama: distancing himself from the biggest legislative achievement of the first black president.

The four-term lawmaker joined 33 other Democrats, most of whom hail from the South, in opposing the health-care legislation that President Obama signed into law Tuesday. Davis originally voted against the House version of the legislation in November, and Democratic leaders did not spend much time trying to get him to change his vote, perhaps in a nod to the political dynamics of his state, where Obama won only 38 percent of the vote in 2008.

But in opposing the health-care bill, Davis, a longtime Obama ally who was one of the first lawmakers to back his White House run, split from the other 41 members of the Congressional Black Caucus. They not only all voted for the legislation, but cast it in historic terms as an extension of the policies of the civil rights era.

Davis drew criticism for his vote from some on the left, as well, who accused him of abandoning the interests of his majority-black district in Birmingham. In Davis's congressional district, 19 percent of people are uninsured -- a figure higher than the national average -- and Obama won 72 percent of the vote, his biggest margin of victory in any district where a House member opposed the health-care legislation.

The full story is here.

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