Mike Ross is the liberal Democrat nominee for governor of Arkansas, attempting to make himself out to be a moderate in a close campaign against Republican nominee and former Congressman Asa Hutchinson. In this campaign advertisement, Ross says, “and voted against ObamaCare.” That campaign spot, ironically titled “Truth,” features Mike Ross not telling the truth. He says he voted against ObamaCare, but that's only partially true. Like his fellow politician, 2004 Presidential nominee John Kerry who voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it, Mike Ross did the same thing.
While Mike Ross did in fact vote against final passage of ObamaCare (H.R. 4872) in Congress representing the fourth district of Arkansas, he was one of a few key votes who could have killed ObamaCare and instead negotiated to keep it alive and allow it to pass. Mike Ross did vote for ObamaCare before he voted against it. He voted in committee to pass ObamaCare and send it to the full house for final vote. The Democrat leadership needed his vote in committee, but knowing he needed to be seen voting against it, they negotiated with him to vote for ObamaCare in committee while letting him vote against it in the full house where they had a majority of the Congress without Mike Ross's vote. So, they allow him to play politician and tell voters he voted against it when he voted for in committee first.
Mike Ross is and has been an ObamaCare champion. In July 2009, Mike Ross told Steven T. Dennis of Roll Call, “One of the biggest reasons I ran for Congress was because I wanted to reform health care.”
“Moderate Democrats, led by Arkansas’ Rep. Mike Ross, reached a deal Wednesday with congressional leaders and White House officials to let consideration of the stalled health-care bill resume, a move that ensures no final votes will occur until this fall,” Jane Fullerton wrote in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on July 30, 2009, who also reported that same day, “Under the agreement, Ross and three other holdout Blue Dogs agreed to vote to pass the bill out of committee and thereby provide enough support for it to emerge.”
As Mike Ross started his campaign for governor last year, telling voters he voted against ObamaCare in Congress, the truth came out. Jason Tolbert, writing for Arkansas News on April 17, 2013, reported, “...it is still a valid point that Ross and his Blue Dog colleagues cast votes that allowed the to move out of committee,” in a story titled “Mike Ross: For and against health care reform.” In the same article, Tolbert quoted Mike Ross as saying, “It was 10 days of very intense negotiation. I was not trying to kill health care reform. If I was, I would not have been in negotiations for 10 days,” while also defending his vote to save ObamaCare in committee by saying, “We protected small businesses...Eighty-six percent of small businesses in America today will no longer be subject to any type of employer mandate to provide health insurance coverage, but at the same time those small business owners, as well as their employees, will have access to affordable health care.”
So there is it, simply put, Mike Ross voted in favor of saving ObamaCare before he voted against it. The key voted was his vote to save it in committee, where it could have died, and not his voted against it in final consideration when the leadership had the votes to pass it without Mike Ross's vote on the floor of Congress.
Mike Ross is an old school politician that thinks he can get elected by telling the voters what they want to hear. He's neither the first nor last politician to take advantage of voting in Congress to cast contradictory votes on a major issue so he can tell the special interests groups he had their backs on the issue while telling the voters back home that he voted against it. In reality, he saved ObamaCare while telling voters in Arkansas he voted against it. This is exactly the kind of behavior by politicians that makes voters more cynical.
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