Jim Cooper (D-TN-5)

Earlier today, Rep. Jim Cooper issued the following statement regarding his vote on H.R. 3962:

I am grateful to the thousands of Nashville-area residents who have shared their opinion on health care reform with me. Everyone feels strongly because health care is so important to our lives. Having read the pending bills and having taught health policy at Vanderbilt business school for twelve years, I have made the following decision:

I will vote yes on H.R. 3962. My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed. There is little chance that H.R. 3962 will become law due to the long legislative process.

My reason for voting yes is to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act. Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health-care system is not sustainable. Congress needs to pass good health legislation in the next few months for the good of the country.

Passing legislation is a little like writing a term paper in school. The first draft is usually not very good. The second draft is better — H.R. 3962 is the second draft. The bill that the Senate will vote on will be the third draft, which I expect to show major improvement. The final draft will be written next month when the House and the Senate vote on the same bill. I will continue to work hard to make sure that the final legislation helps all of our families get quality, affordable health care.

So, Jim Cooper will vote "yes" on H.R. 3962, but is still trying to hedge on his support for a public option, spinning this "yes" vote as being part of a larger plan to get what he considers to be not-so-good legislation to the conference with the Senate, where he will work to produce a better "final" draft, i.e. he will work to get the public option removed.

In other words, he’s saying what he hopes will be enough to make his constituents, who annoyingly want a public option, happy, while saying for the benefit of those he’s really trying to please that he’s still going to work hard to make sure that his constituents never get the opportunity to choose a public health insurance option. (Anyone want to bet that later, after a public option is created by this Democratic Congress, he’d issue statements saying how very pleased he is that so many of his constituents are benefitting from it? That’s assuming, of course, that he’ll still be in Congress, which I’m very much hoping he won’t be.)

I’ve recently written about Rep. Cooper’s failures as a Congressman and about his condescending mistreatment of Nashville physicians when he met with them a couple of months ago to discuss health care reform.

Jim Cooper’s modus operandi is painfully obvious. I really hope that a decent challenger comes forward to oppose him in the 2010 primary so that I’ll have the opportunity to help oust this ridiculous character.