What a difference eight years will make.
The frontline of Democrats defending Obamacare from a GOP repeal in the new year looks a whole lot different than the lineup of lawmakers who fought for its passage in 2009-10.
Gone are the likes of Ted Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Harry Reid, and Henry Waxman.
With those stalwarts either deceased or retired, a new lineup has emerged that will be tasked with defending the law that their predecessors spent nearly their entire careers waiting to see enacted. But unlike their counterparts eight years ago, these Democrats will be playing defense and in the minority, with fewer legislative and political tools at their disposal.
“It’s mostly the bench who are now out front,” said John McDonough, a Harvard public health professor who wrote the 2011 book "Inside National Health Reform."
“It’s a very experienced and well-rounded bench in terms of understanding and familiarity with these issues in a very, very deep way, but it is a whole new generation that will be rising up and taking leadership roles in this,” he said.
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