Natoma’s Congressman Will Support Reform — Boccieri a 4th No to Yes

By Matt Loffman

Mar 19, 2010 11:59am

ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports: Another key Democrat announced he will support President Obama's health reform play. Rep. John Boccieri, who made the announcement surrounded by several sick constituents in front of more television cameras than a freshman Congressman is used to — is important for several reasons. First, he voted against the House health reform bill in November announced today. Boccieri represents Natoma Canfield, who President Obama featured prominently in his swing through Ohio Monday. Boccieri did not make that trip to Ohio with President Obama, but he mentioned Canfield repeatedly during a press conference in front of the Capitol Building announcing his vote. Boccieri is the first Democrat elected from his Ohio district since 1948. And his vote could complicate his tough reelection bid – a point he said has been made abundantly clear to him. But he said the right decision is to support the bill. “The world is changed not by critics but by leaders,” he said. He put the vote in personal terms, discussing his mother’s fight with breast cancer – “thank god she had insurance,” he said. And he said this vote, ultimately, is for his mother. “There is one person today I want to make proud,” he said. “My mom.” Boccieri was asked if he got any special deals for his support. Turning the question around, Boccieri said, “Yes,” and he argued that the $1.3 trillion deficit reduction anticipated over 20 years from enacting reform is a special deal. More specifically, he said, he will get coverage for the 39,000 people in his district who do not have health insurance. Boccieri brought four of those people from his district to his press conference. After his press conference, an independent insurance salesman from South Dakota came up to Boccieri to complain about his announcement. Boccieri debated the man for a moment before walking way amid a scrum of reporters. Another man, from Ohio, shook his hand, congratulating him on his decision.

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