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Joseph Cao: the lone Republican who voted for healthcare bill

Joseph Cao, a House Republican from Louisiana, voted for healthcare bill Saturday night.

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Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R) of Louisiana must not have gotten the message from House Republicans that no one in the GOP caucus – repeat no one – would vote with Democrats on a sweeping overhaul of the US healthcare system.

In a vote late Saturday night, Representative Cao – a vulnerable freshman in a Democratic district still devastated by hurricane Katrina – broke ranks, casting the lone Republican vote for the legislation.

“I have always said that I would put aside partisan wrangling to do the business of the people. My vote tonight was based on my priority of doing what is best for my constituents,” he said in a statement after the vote.

In Cao’s district, 3 out of 4 voters chose Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential elections. In 2004, President Bush won only 24 percent of the vote here.

The first Vietnamese-American elected to the US Congress, Cao last year defeated incumbent Rep. William Jefferson, after the eight-term Democrat was indicted for bribery.

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