News and Press

Reviews Are In: Markey Pressing Lynch On Obamacare Opposition the Pivotal Moment During Last Night’s Debate


Contact: Andrew Zucker: 617-398-0428; Giselle Barry: 781-960-5338

Lynch Only Mass. Congressman To Vote With Every House Republican Against Affordable Care Act

Charlestown, Massachusetts – During last night’s primary debate between Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, the candidates aired their differences on issues such as Lynch’s anti-choice stance and support for the sequester. But the debate’s pivotal moment occurred when Ed Markey confronted Stephen Lynch about his decision to vote with every single House Republican against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what people are saying about last night’s debate:

Boston Globe – “Democrats Markey, Lynch tangle over Obamacare in first TV debate”

US Representatives Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch tangled over Lynch’s vote against President Obama’s health care law in a televised debate tonight between the two contenders for the Democratic nomination in the special election race for US Senate. …

Markey described his own vote for the Affordable Care Act as “the proudest vote of my career” and said, “Steve, when that vote came up, you were wrong.”

Boston Herald – “Senate candidates face off”

Markey struck first only minutes into the debate, turning to Lynch and demanding he explain why he didn’t support the health care reform legislation.

Associated Press – “Mass. US Senate hopefuls face off in debate”

Asked about the federal health care law championed by President Barack Obama, Markey called his vote for the law the “proudest vote of his career” and criticized Lynch for voting against it.

The Republican – “Massachusetts Senate rivals from both parties scrap over health care, abortion in first televised debate”

Lynch and Markey also clashed on the 2010 health care law, with Lynch opposed and Markey in support. …

Markey said he would oppose efforts to repeal the law. Markey said the law generally requires insurers to cover all people regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex and protects the health of children.

The Hill – Markey, Lynch spar on healthcare, bailout at Massachusetts debate

Lynch voted against reform in a move that drew the ire of a number of labor unions in 2010 and has become a contentious issue in the race.

CBS News – “Mass. Senate candidates spar over health care, abortion”

Markey, who did support the bill, called his vote for the ACA “the proudest vote of my career” and told his opponent, “Steve, when that vote came up, you were wrong when you were needed most,” according to CBS affiliate WBZ.

“During last night’s pivotal debate moment, Ed Markey told Stephen Lynch what so many across the Commonwealth have thought quietly since 2010 – that he was wrong for voting with every Congressional Republican against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act,” said Markey campaign spokesman Andrew Zucker. “Ed Markey is the only candidate in this race who supported Obamacare, and his leadership in passing historic health care reform makes him the clear choice in this primary election.”


Stephen Lynch voted with congressional Republicans against the Affordable Care Act. [Huffington Post, 5/22/10]

  • Lynch Was Joined By Only 33 Other Democrats, Most Members Of The Conservative “Blue Dog” Coalition.  24 out of the 33 Democrats (other than Lynch) who voted against health reform were from the conservative “Blue Dog” Coalition. See below for the list. [Huffington Post, 5/22/10;, 2/5/10]


  • “House passes health-care reform bill without Republican votes.” “House Democrats scored a historic victory in the century-long battle to reform the nation’s health-care system late Sunday night, winning final approval of legislation that expands coverage to 32 million people and attempts to contain spiraling costs. The House voted 219 to 212 to approve the measure, with every Republican voting no.” [Washington Post, 3/21/10]


Stephen Lynch was the only member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to vote against the Affordable Care Act. [Huffington Post, 5/22/10]

  • Lynch Was The Only MA Congressman To Vote Against The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act. In March 2010, Lynch was the only member of the Massachusetts delegation and one of only 34 House Democrats who voted against the motion to concur in the Senate amendment to the bill that would overhaul the nation’s health insurance system and require most individuals to buy health insurance by 2014. It would create a system of national private insurance plans supervised by the Office of Personnel Management and create state-run marketplaces for purchasing health insurance. Those who do not obtain coverage would be subject to an excise tax. Excluded from the mandate would be those exempt from filing income tax and others with a hardship waiver, religious objection or those who cannot afford coverage. Employers with more than 50 workers would have to provide coverage or pay a fine if any employee gets a subsidized plan on the exchange. Certain small businesses would get tax credits for providing coverage, and those with low incomes, excluding illegal immigrants, could get subsidies. It would bar the use of federal funds to pay for abortions in the new programs, except in the cases of rape or incest or if the woman’s life is in danger. Insurance companies could not deny coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions beginning in 2014, and could not drop coverage of people who become ill. It would expand eligibility for Medicaid, shrink the coverage gap under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and create an advisory board to reduce the per capita growth rate in Medicare spending. [Vote 165, 3/21/2010;]


Paid For By The Markey Committee