Tracking the health care weekend

Almost completely off-topic, I’m a decent policy wonk and have tried to keep up with the high drama of the health-care debate. For what it’s worth, I find the upcoming weekend vote far more interesting than the concurrent basketball tournament.

So for those few lonely souls like me, and perhaps the larger number interested in both, I have to point out this nifty little web feature from the Washington Post, laying out every Representative’s past vote, current leaning, campaign contributions from the health industry, and % uninsured in their district. I’m sure far smarter people than I are pulling out all sorts of trends, so I won’t attempt the same. These are tenuous comparisons, as there are so many other factors in play. For example, our own congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) has one of the lowest amounts of health industry contributions, but I think that’s because he’s wealthy and largely self-financed. It’s fascinating stuff to examine, though.

The results of this vote, and the overall package, are of course important to us since we’re self-employed in a fairly dangerous business; even a minor injury can have serious repercussions during the growing season when every healthy minute counts. If this passes, it will be interesting to see what actually happens on the ground for us.

UPDATE: The Post’s web people need to learn a bit more about programming and data management. If you click on their headers to sort the data by column (say, highest-lowest contributions), it resorts by text value, not numerical value. Thus, you see all the contributions that start with 1 first (whether $1,000,000 or $100), then $2,000,000-$200, and so on. Stupid mistake, and even stupider that it hasn’t yet been fixed.

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