House Democrats are not going to be passive and silent while Republicans endeavor to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now that the GOP has set January 12th as the day to bring back pre-existing conditions, Democrats are stepping up to force them to own the consequences of their effort.
Greg Sargent has details on their strategy.
In an interview with me just now, Dem Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is one of the best there is at framing liberal arguments in pugnacious terms, said Dems are leaning towards seeing this fight as an opportunity, and appear to be eschewing their typical "fetal position" on health reform.
Separately, in another development, Dem Rep. Peter Welch -- last seen leading the charge on behalf of House liberals against the Obama tax cut deal -- is circulating a letter among Dems vowing to introduce amendments to the GOP's repeal bill forcing votes directly on the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions.
Weiner told me this afternoon that he's urging fellow Democrats to see the GOP's repeal push as a chance to do what they failed to do last year in the runup to the midterms: Aggressively make the case for the individual provisions in health reform that the public likes.
"This gives us a chance to unmake the mistake that we made in 2010 -- we shied away from the challenge of explaining exactly what's in the bill," Weiner said. "Polls show that parts of health reform are very popular. That argues for talking more about what's actually in it."
I am looking forward to seeing Republicans argue for repealing the donut hole closure for seniors, and for allowing people to be excluded for pre-existing conditions. I'm especially looking forward to their arguments for repealing the tort reform provisions contained in the bill, too.
Senate Democrats have already fired their shot across the bow in a letter to Speaker-elect Boehner signed by Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Debbie Stabenow, Dick Durbin and Patty Murray.
If House Republicans move forward with a repeal of the health care law that threatens consumer benefits like the "donut hole" fix, we will block it in the Senate. This proposal deserves a chance to work. It is too important to be treated as collateral damage in a partisan mission to repeal health care.
I'm looking forward to seeing them trip over themselves to explain to those seniors who were at the town hall meetings in the summer of 2009 why they're taking away their drug benefit. Or explaining to the parents of college kids why they can't be on their group policy any more. It should be lots of fun. (A full list of provisions taking effect in 2011 can be found here)
Lead on, Boehner, lead on.
Late update: After 2 years of GOP whining about hearings and lack of bipartisanship, this repeal effort will be brought to the floor without even one hearing in any committee.