When House Republicans use their first days in the majority to push for a repeal of the landmark health care reform law signed back in March, they're likely to have a few Democrats stand with them. Around a dozen Democrats who voted against the law the first time survived the bloodbath election back in November, giving House Republicans a small Democratic caucus to work with when trying to cast the repeal effort as at least nominally bipartisan.
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House Democrats are gearing up to fight the repeal battle hard, as Greg Sargent reported yesterday. Progressive leaders in the soon-to-be Democratic minority are hoping to cast the repeal vote as an attack on the more popular elements of reform, including the banning of preexisting condition discrimination and the closure of the so-called Medicare "donut hole." Democrats plan to push Republicans to take a stand on those elements, Sargent reports, by pressuring them to cast unpopular votes against them.
The same pressure will not be applied to fellow Democrats, however. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), former chair of the DCCC and incoming ranking member on the Budget Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill today that there's not a concerted effort to push reform-opposing Democrats to stick with their caucus when it comes to the Republican repeal vote.
"No one is pressuring anybody to do anything," Van Hollen said.