Policy-ish

Colorado Rep. Markey, Tea Party Target, Explains Health Vote

Tea Partiers did more than hold Tax Day rallies yesterday. They also named their "heroes and targets."

Rep. Markey's district is shaping up as a health battleground. i i

hide captionRep. Markey's district is shaping up as a health battleground.

Wikimedia Commons
Rep. Markey's district is shaping up as a health battleground.

Rep. Markey's district is shaping up as a health battleground.

Wikimedia Commons

The target list from the Tea Party Express features 11 members of Congress — all Democrats who voted for the health bill and, most importantly, are vulnerable in November, at least to Tea Party members' thinking.

On the list: freshman Rep. Betsy Markey of Colorado. In 2008, she pulled off a surprising victory in in the sprawling rural, conservative 4th District. She is one of eight members who voted against the House bill in November and for the Senate bill last month.

Now has a tough fight against the likely GOP candidate, Colorado state Rep. Cory Gardner, who has already made Markey's health vote the centerpiece of his campaign, and called for a repeal of the law. CQ Politics now rates the race a "tossup."

Markey told Kaiser Health News' Andrew Villegas Thursday that she switched her vote because the House version didn't do enough to control costs, but the Senate version did.

She spent the spring recess back home in Colorado, where she held telephone-only town hall meetings. She's "proud" of her vote and says:

There was no arm-twisting involved. I looked at the bill, it was a good bill, so I said I was going to vote for it. After I made my announcement to our local press, I was shocked - I got a call (from President Obama) on my cell phone (thanking me).

Girshman is an editor at Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: