I'd just like to point out that Heath Shuler, House Representative of NC 11, Western North Carolina, has voted against the health care bill. This follows his voting against several stimulus provisions. He is also against abortion, in favor of gun control, and against illegal immigration. And yes, he is a Democrat.
I imagine this is bad news for the 20% of his non-elderly adult constituents who are uninsured. But the broader picture here is that Democrats are finding it difficult to pass their agenda not (just) because of Republican intransigence, but because of loud opposition from Democrats representing conservative bits of the country. Rahm Emanuel's strategy of running culturally conservative moderates in red districts paid off huge electoral dividends, but these marginal legislators are much less favorable to a progressive agenda.
It also looks like Hendersonville's hotshot mayor, Greg Newman, is planning on running for this seat in 2010, the first of what looks to be a wave of local Republicans hoping to cash in on the coming 2010 Republican bonanza. This is, of course, another great reason for Shuler to vote against the Health care bill, lest Newman and company scare all the old people into thinking that their Medicare is going away.
Man, politics really is local. It's great reading the comments to some local story on a totally non-consequential issue, and seeing people get completely riled up about it.