Adler will vote NO on healthcare

I’m disappointed, but not surprised:

“Since June, I have consistently expressed my serious reservations about the House and Senate proposals,” Adler said in a statement. “While the final bill takes positive steps to provide insurance coverage for working Americans, I am not satisfied that the final bill will reform our health care system and prevent excessive increases in premiums for families and small businesses.”

Three members of Congress have switched from their no vote last time to a Yes on this bill. The CBO estimate today said that the bill would save $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion over the second decade. It is estimated to expand health insurance coverage to 32 million more Americans. Adler even talked about the many positive things the bill does in his explanation for why he was voting against, but said it doesn’t meat all his goals. Sometimes you have to get some of what you want now in order to be able to eventually get everything later.

I helped elect John Adler partly because he ran on his support for healthcare. This isn’t the bill many would want, but its the chance we have to move the ball forward. And instead, he’s standing in opposition. I haven’t understood the political or practical calculations of that stance all along, but that’s apparently above my pay grade. This vote by my Congressman is disappointing to say the least. The only thing that could make it worse is if they fall one vote short of passage. I’ll put the email he sent to supporters about his decision below the fold.

Updated by Jason: I posted this in a diary yesterday, but Adler’s vote means he won’t have the president assisting his campaign:

The president will refuse to make fund-raising visits during November elections to any district whose representative has not backed the bill.

Dear Friend:

Reforming our broken health insurance system is a passion of mine. As you know, my father lost his local dry cleaning business because of the crippling effects of health care costs.  Many of you have shared similar family stories, and fought alongside me to bring reform to our broken health care system.  I came to Congress to help make our health care system better for working families, seniors and small businesses.

Unfortunately, I cannot support the bill up for a vote in the House of Representatives.  The bill does many positive things for our country; however, this bill falls short of the goal to fix our broken health care system.

I strongly support provisions in the bill that would end the unscrupulous insurance practices that hurt American families.  I support provisions that would ban insurance companies from denying coverage to consumers with preexisting conditions.  I support eliminating the caps on coverage that insurance companies place on hardworking families. I also strongly support the expansion of health care coverage to more hardworking Americans.  

Our country needs reform that will ensure that health care will be affordable for families and businesses in the future.  We need to change America’s health care model, so that we compensate our health care professionals for the quality of care they give rather than the quantity of tests and procedures they complete.  We also need to make it easier for small businesses to obtain insurance and to break the monopoly that a few health insurance companies have on our region.  We should allow small businesses to pool together and allow insurance to be sold across state lines.  I also support a public option that would give consumers more choice when selecting a health care plan; the current bill omits this cost containment measure.

During these tough economic times, we must remove the burden of rising health care costs on small businesses and working families.  Unless we bend the unsustainable cost curve of health care, we will see more and more Americans without jobs and health insurance. Whether you agree or disagree with me on this issue, I will always be here to listen to your concerns.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  We will continue to work together for a better, more prosperous future for New Jersey and the United States.


John Adler

Comments (23)

  1. Hopeful

    It’s sad

  2. Dvd Avins

    I also contributed to his campaign last time. Given my financial difficulty, it was the only congressional campaign I donated to, though it was a small amount and he proceeded to waste a large fraction of that sending paper mailings asking for more.

    At this point, progressives need to send a message. Adler does hail from a somewhat difficult district. But very rarely does a Representative cast a vote on an issue so important and every vote is needed. When the chips are truly down, Adler is 0 for 1. An batting average of .000. And that’s how he’ll most likely remain.

    I won’t be happy that a Republican takes the district in November. It’s even possible we’ll lose the Democratic Party majority in the House. But for the sake of the future, progressives should not support his reelection. If we want future Democratic legislators to be more conscientious in choosing when to triangulate, we should support a progressive third-party candidacy in this district.

    I don’t know who may run. But whomever will be recognized as taking votes from Adler’s left is who will get my support.

  3. deciminyan

    This is the letter I sent to Adler on Health Care after his disappointing interview on Fox “News”:

  4. JRB

    A) Jon Runyan praises his decision.


    B) Jon Runyan attacks him for being a Democrat anyway.

    …….. uh huh.

  5. srlaser

    because no Rightie is going to vote for him and many Lefties like me will never vote for him again. Smart politics pissing on your base.

    Dumb Ass

  6. Bertin Lefkovic

    I also support a public option that would give consumers more choice when selecting a health care plan; the current bill omits this cost containment measure.

    Is he saying that the ONLY reason that he is voting NO is because the bill is lacking the public option?  If that is the case, why did he vote NO on the original House bill?  Other than the absent public option and Stupak anti-abortion language, is there anything significantly different about the bill the House will hopefully pass on Sunday and the bill that they have already passed.

    And if there isn’t any significant difference between these bills other than the public option and the Stupak anti-abortion language, is the difference between the Hyde language that has prevailed to date and the Stupak language different enough to justify the abandonment of the public option?

    Are these the choices that the House is deliberating or has it simply been decided, despite all of the work that has been done by people like Howard Dean and DFA and New Jersey’s own, Adam Green, and the PCCC on the Senate side to get 51 Senators on board with the public option and anything else that the House wanted to include in this bill.

    Are there really not enough votes in the House for the public option without the Stupakites or is Nancy Pelosi under orders from the Obama Administration to not pursue the public option any further?

    John Adler is going to lose in November and when he does, his political career may very well be over unless he is offered a job in the Obama administration or he decides to redeem himself by challenging James Beach for his old Senate seat where he can go back to being the liberal John Adler that we all knew and loved or takes a shot at returning to the House in 2012 either against Justin Murphy or Jon Runyan or even against Rob Andrews if Cherry Hill winds up in the Democrat’s district, although I wouldn’t imagine that his votes against HCR would really position him well in a contested Democratic Congressional primary election regardless of how checkered Andrews’ past is.

    Knowing that his political career is most likely coming to an end, one would think that John Adler would want to be on the right side of history.  Obviously, that is not the case.  Maybe there is a K Street or State Street job waiting for him.  Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is that we might as well begin mourning John Adler’s political demise now and use his example as a reason to seriously consider the amount of resources that the progressive community focuses on Congressional and Senatorial elections when the impact that we can have on them is far less than the impact that we can have on state, county, and municipal elections, especially if the only result of redistricting is the creation of 12 incumbent-friendly Congressional districts to replace 13 incumbent-friendly Congressional districts.

    2011 could be a watershed year for the progressive community in NJ if it begins to engage the redistricting process and planning for the June 2011 Democratic primary elections RIGHT NOW, not in December 2010 or March 2011 or whenever we generally decide to get over our Holiday hangovers and get back to working on the task at hand.

    Or we could do what we do every year and spend all of our time and other resources on the Democratic incumbents (aside from John Adler) who would have won with or without our help and the Democratic challengers who don’t have a chance in hell of winning no matter how much we help them.  My guess is that this will be the case, although I hope that I am wrong.

  7. JasonCNJ

    It’s hard to write a post about why a Member of Congress from your party (who, frankly, you helped elect) should lose. But that’s what I’m doing. Because John Adler should lose.

    Here are some facts:

    -John Adler will vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker; he will often vote against most Democratic priorities.

    -John Runyan will vote against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker; he will also vote against most Democratic priorities.

    -John Adler will demand that his party give him support, money, volunteers, and effort, but will try to tear down (and will vote against) his Party’s signature legislative agenda.

    -John Runyan will not demand that Democrats give him support, money, volunteers, or efforts, and will try to tear down (and will vote against) the Democratic Party’s signature legislative agenda.

    John Adler is with us on the easy votes and pokes us in the eye on the tough votes. What on Earth is the point of a Congressman like that?

    I understand the whole “well his vote for leadership is essential” but I don’t really buy that. If the House ends up being 218D-217R with Adler’s re-election, does anywhere here think that we’ll be able to accomplish ANYTHING in that session of Congress? I mean, let’s face it, anything significant that the Democratic majority wanted to do would fail if John Adler was the  controlling vote. He does not support his Party on votes that really matter.

    Finally, let’s face it: Adler is either an idiot or a coward. If he honestly does not believe that the health care vote will lower costs, protect Americans, expand coverage, end insurance monopolies, contain costs, or cut the deficit, then he’s an idiot. If Adler does believe those benefits will occur, but wants to vote against the bill because he’s afraid for his political future, he is a coward.

    As a rule of thumb, I don’t like to support or vote for idiots or cowards.

    I hope Runyan wins. He’s an empty shirt without a good sense of the Third District, how to run a campaign, or how Government works. But he will be easy to defeat when he runs for re-election. And maybe we’ll be able to do it with a real Democrat that time.

    So, let’s take some short-term pain for the larger good: John Adler does not deserve to be in Congress and he does not deserve our support for re-election.

    Elections have consequences.

    So do votes in Congress, John: Vote against health care and you’ve given us every reason to vote against you.  


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