GOP Rep. Joseph Cao Says He’s “Leaning” Towards Voting For House Dems’ Health Care Bill

Rep. Joseph Cao (R-LA), who won a stunning upset victory last December in the solidly Democratic New Orleans district against scandal-plagued Dem incumbent Bill Jefferson, made a very stunning announcement for a House Republican, the Times-Picayune reports: That he’s leaning towards supporting the House Democrats’ health care plan.

“The word is ‘leaning,'” Cao told a town hall in the district. He has various conditions, such as prohibiting any government funding for abortion, and the effects on the budget and the overall economy.

Overall, he’s keeping his options open: “I don’t believe in too much federal intervention. I don’t believe in inadequate federal action. The question is to find the right balance.”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.’ ”