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According to the Times Union:

Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., on Friday declared he would vote for the administration’s $940 billion overhaul of the nation’s health care system, saying it would shift the balance of power from insurance companies to patients and does a better job of reining in medical costs.

This is awesome, awesome news - and follows on other great news from No-to-Yes converts Kucinich, Gordon, Markey, Boccieri, Kosmas, and Boyd.

More from the paper:

Murphy said the final health care package is "much more fiscally conservative" than the broader House-passed bill he opposed last November and would do a better job of reducing the explosive growth in medical costs that "our families and small businesses are facing," while still expanding insurance coverage to roughly 32 million people.

"This bill is fundamentally different than the bill we voted on last November," Murphy said, adding that while the measure "is not perfect," he feels "much better" about it.

And another killer quote:

This is "the most important piece of deficit reduction work that’s been done here in a decade," Murphy said.

I'm impressed by the attention he's paid to the legislation. It's obvious by the rationale he provided to the Times Union that he really "gets it," and takes his responsibilities to his constituents seriously (who tend to be more conservative than in many other NY districts).

One benefit of this switch and the others today? It means Stupak's group has less leverage, which can only be a good thing.


Per TPM, Bob Etheridge (D-NC) has announced he's a Yes. He also voted Yes in November, so this is a hold.

For an added sense of momentum, intrade is up to 87% of this writing. This is gonna happen!


Unfortunately, not ALL good news tonight. Harry Teague to vote No:

I had hoped to have a chance to vote on a bill that provided affordable health care options to all American families, but after reviewing the final health care reform proposal, I do not believe that the bill does enough to contain costs and it definitely does not do enough to rein in the out of control insurance companies that are driving up healthcare costs in this country.

Not sure this is a big blow, as we don't need every undecided to vote Yes. And leadership may have freed him up for electoral reasons to take this stand. But you have to admit: Yes votes are more fun.

Originally posted to itskevin on Fri Mar 19, 2010 at 03:27 PM PDT.

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