U.S. Rep Collin Peterson’s vote in the House against health care reform was unusual in that his district has a high rate of uninsured.
The Minnesota Independent notes a report from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which shows that, except for Peterson, the rate of uninsured residents in Minnesota’s eight congressional districts was a good predictor of how U.S. House lawmakers voted on the issue.
In contrast, the three Republican Minnesota representatives who voted with Peterson against the bill had relatively low rates of uninsured residents, even on a national scale.
On average, 9.8 percent of Minnesotans are uninsured, but in Peterson’s district, the rate is 11.3 percent of people — the third highest rate in the state. Only the 5th and 8th districts had higher rates of uninsured, the former encompassing the highest population density in the state, Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs, and the latter containing the economically ravaged Iron Range.
Among children in Peterson’s district, 7.9 percent lacked health insurance compared to 6.3 percent statewide. In fact, more children are on government subsidized health insurance (25.6 percent) in Peterson’s district than every other district except for that of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents much of urban Minneapolis and its inner suburbs (34.5 percent).
Minnesota Republicans who voted against the health reform bill in the House have the lowest uninsured rates among their constituents. The districts represented by John Kline and Erik Paulsen are ranked 14th and 17th out of 435 congressional districts in terms of lowest rate of uninsured residents. Michele Bachmann’s district comes in at 22nd.