Freshman Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) will vote for the healthcare reform bill that will soon hit the House floor.


Kirkpatrick's support is a boost for President Barack Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who are trying to corral 216 votes to clear the legislation through the lower chamber.

In a statement to The Hill on Tuesday evening, Kirkpatrick noted she has opposed government bailouts and the House's 2009 climate change bill.

The Arizona legislator, who is in a competitive reelection race, said she is voting yes because the bill will improve the healthcare of children and seniors. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won Kirkpatrick's district by 10 percentage points in the 2008 presidential election. Kirkpatrick supported the 2009 House healthcare reform bill.

The congresswoman's entire statement follows:

"In my first year in Congress, I have always put the needs of my district first -- that's why I stood up to the President and congressional leadership and opposed the auto and bank government bailouts, the cap-and-trade bill and billions in deficit spending. I am doing so again by voting for this reform package. Health insurance reform is critical to ending denials of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, making sure our children can get the care they need and protecting our seniors from unaffordable prescription drug costs. I will be working to improve the bill moving forward, including addressing the potential costs for AHCCCS and eliminating politics-as-usual special deals like the Cornhusker Kickback."