Rep. Lynch defends vote against healthcare law

Lynch is defending his vote, saying the bill that came to the House floor from the Senate simply "was not good enough," in part because it lacked a public insurance option and included an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans, which some unions opposed.

Lynch also pooh-poohed the White House's intense lobbying in 2009 and 2010, when it sought to push reticent Democrats to support the overhaul despite withering Republican attacks.

“A train of thought was going around that this is really the defining point of President Obama’s presidency, and we can’t allow the president to fail, so rally-round-the-flag boys,” he told the Globe.

While most of the Democratic votes against the Affordable Care Act came from moderates afraid of losing their seats, Lynch voted against the bill from the left — even after fellow liberals like then-Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) came around.

Lynch is now running in a solidly Democratic state — and one where healthcare is an especially big issue. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) championed the Affordable Care Act until his death, and Kennedy's widow personally lobbied Lynch to support the bill.

The federal overhaul is also based largely on a system that Massachusetts designed.