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The Boston Globe

Opinion

JEFF JACOBY

Lynch’s health vote showed backbone

Representative Stephen Lynch, the South Boston Democrat running to succeed John Kerry in the Senate, voted against Obamacare on the make-or-break House vote in March 2010. He was the sole member of the Massachusetts delegation to oppose the bill, and he did so in the face of personal entreaties by President Obama, by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and even by the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy, who had died just a few months earlier. He did so even though it angered many of his labor-union allies, and despite the president’s enormous popularity in Massachusetts. Lynch was one of just 34 Democrats in Congress — and the only one in New England — to vote no.

Lynch’s vote is back in the spotlight, as his primary contest with fellow Representative Ed Markey — who says voting yes on the health law was “one of the most important votes of my career”— intensifies.

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