We’ve written quite a bit over the past few days (and months) about soon-to-be one term Congressman John Adler’s sticking his thumb in the eye of those who helped elect him – those who thought they were getting the Congressional version of John Adler the progressive State Senator and not someone who would look to sell out his supporters for the pipe dream of gaining any Republican support for his willingness to so frequently “prove his independence” from the Democratic Party.
And even as he tells those who he is selling out that he is not voting for the health care bill, he talks about all of the things that are in the bill that he likes, but then offers up a generic weak sauce “it won’t fix our broken health care system” excuse for voting against it.
As if there was some magic perfect bill that will suddenly fix everything. Aside from the fact that this letter looks a lot like the ones we see up here in the 5th District from Scott Garrett on just about everything – “I like it but there is something that I don’t like so I have to vote no” – there are a couple of things worth noting.
It is pretty much universally accepted that one of the biggest issues with “the broken health care system” is the abuses by the insurance industry; whether it be retroactive denial of care or the “pre-existing condition” denials or the obscene jacking up of rates arbitrarily or the miles of red tape to get anything paid for. But while more than 10% of Adler’s district is uninsured, he has been one of the health insurance industry’s bestest friends, taking more than $400,000 from the health industry in his less than one term (compare to first term Republican Leonard Lance, who has taken almost 40% less than Adler). That total is also more than Sires, Smith, Garrett and Payne – and not all that much less than LoBiondo or Holt.
When it comes to Adler’s history of siding with the obstructionist Republicans, President Obama made a very good point as it relates to this particular bill:
if they vote against it, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo.
Interestingly, voting as a Republican for the status quo against Democratic bills is something Adler is very fond of, casting close to 100 votes in his less than one term against the Democratic Party.
Either Adler doesn’t realize that this will (1) not endear him to his base as well as not gain him any votes from Republicans, or (2) realizes it but doesn’t care. Neither is a good outcome, and we can bet to see former Congressman John Adler as an insurance industry or Wall Street lobbyist (or with a cushy job a la Harold Ford) come next January.