Spotlight

The GOP's Lone Health-Care Vote

The passing of the health-care bill in the House has given one politician a bit of instant celebrity: Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana voted a quick and decisive “yes” on the bill, the only Republican in the house to do so. "I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents," said Cao, who represents areas around New Orleans with the highest rates of poverty in the U.S. and which were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Cao isn’t the only one in D.C. in the spotlight after yesterday’s vote: Harry Reid is now under pressure after changing positions to support the controversial public option, and faces an uphill battle to bring together moderate and liberal Democratic senators to combine a Senate version of the bill with the one from the House. “No one was going to be perfectly happy with anything done—stronger public option, no public option, no one was going to be completely happy,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in support of Reid’s efforts. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) summed up the coming negotiations, saying, “I think a showdown is going to happen no matter what.”