As soon as the news broke today that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives had passed the latest iteration of the “AHCA” American Health Care Plan by a 217-213 vote total, thus voting to repeal the “ObamaCare” Affordable Care Act in the process, a number of related hashtags began trending on Twitter. One of those hashtags accused “2 Dems” of having voted for it. But did it really happen?
Various online social media posts claimed (without sourcing) that Democratic Representative Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Democratic Representative Jim Matheson of Utah voted for the AHCA. This sparked immediate pushback against the two Democrats. This generated particular anger over the appearance that these two Democrats put the AHCA over the top by a 217-213 vote, instead of what would have been a 215-215 tie.
However, Mike McIntyre and Jim Matheson are no longer even in Congress, having both exited in the 2014 election. So these two men clearly did not vote for or against the AHCA today. A check of the Washington Post tally for the AHCA reveals that in the 217-213 final vote totals, all 193 House Democrats voted no on the AHCA today (link). So where did the online claim come from which sparked so much anger at two phantom “yes” votes from Democrats?
Several social media users report having seen the live televised vote tally as having listed two Democrats as voting “yes” while the voting was going on. Those numbers later changed to reflect that zero Democrats voted for it. While we’re still seeking to get to the bottom of why and how the television error was made, it’s rather factually clear that all 193 House Democrats voted against the AHCA today. So when it comes to the online claim that two House Democrats voted for the AHCA, we can safely rate that claim as False. It’s also worth pointing out the fact that the Senate has yet to vote on the AHCA.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report