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Does Al Lawson deserve credit for Allen Boyd’s vote on Health Care Reform?

in Statewide by
U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, who voted against national health care last November, said on Friday that he will vote for the new bill when it comes to the House floor.

The Monticello Democrat said he studied the revised bill and the Congressional Budget Office report on its costs and benefits. He said “it’s not perfect” but that the package meets the four criteria he set forth in a series of 16 meetings across the 2nd Congressional District last summer.

“My decision has been based from the very beginning on the substance of this policy,” said Boyd. “It’s been my belief that good policy equals good politics.”

I think there’s another reason for Boyd’s switch. Senator Al Lawson’s quixiotic primary challenge

Lawson has been attacking Boyd as a conservative Blue Dog Democrat who sided too often with Republicans on issues concerning the poor and working families. He vigorously criticized Boyd’s vote against the plan when it passed the House last November.

I don’t think Lawson will beat Boyd, but if his challenge helped move Boyd to the left, and with Boyd’s vote, helped Health Care Reform pass, Lawson deserves a lot of credit he may not get at the ballot box.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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