Cao has previously voted against the Democratic position on many key votes, such as the stimulus bill and the energy/climate change bill. Cao had previously told the Times-Picayune that he knew he could be imperiling his career by voting against the health care bill, but would oppose it if it funded abortion:
"Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice," Cao said. "I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives.
"I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of my political career," Cao said, "but I have to live with myself, and I always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, 'How does it profit a man's life to gain the world but to lose his soul.' "