Democrats Prepare Defense Against Repeal of ObamaCare

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2010   |   2:00PM   |   Washington, DC

Congressional Democrats are preparing now for what will likely be eventual votes on legislation that would repeal, de-fund or significantly scale back their abortion-funding ObamaCare law.

With voters giving pro-life Republicans control of the House of Representatives, GOP lawmakers are expected to make good on their pledge to put forward repeal and de-funding legislation to reverse ObamaCare or, at minimum, mitigate its abortion-funding components and other problematic features.

Democrats will use the repeal bills as a means of promoting the aspects of ObamaCare they believe will resonate with the general public even though polling data has shown a majority of Americans consistently opposing ObamaCare before, during and after passage of the legislation.

The Hill indicates Ways and Means health subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, a pro-abortion California Democrat, has already unveiled a 14-page report to help his Democratic colleagues put together talking points defending ObamaCare.

“The Affordable Care Act is already providing health coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and young adults, and lowering drug costs for seniors. In time, it will help millions more. Yet Republicans fought us every step of the way and used every tool — including outright lies — to try to kill health reform,” the document claims. “The Republicans failed, but they won’t give up. Now, they want to re-fight the battles of the past. It is up to Democrats to make clear how dangerous their agenda really is.”

But public opinion runs counter to ObamaCare and Republicans will emphasize the abortion-funding, rationing and other problems associated with it when the promote the repeal bills and they will have more members to give interviews to media outlets to do so.

October polls from The Hill show voters in key congressional districts in November’s election favored repeal and, for the first time, a new national Rasmussen survey released yesterday showed a majority of voters across the country thinking ObamaCare will be repealed. It found 52 percent think it is at least somewhat likely that the health care law will be overturned. Thirty-three percent view repeal as unlikely. Those figures include 16 percent who say it is very likely and 5 percent who say it is very unlikely.

The new survey shows 55 percent of voters now favor repeal of the health care law, including 40% who strongly favor it. Forty-one percent are opposed to repeal, with 31% saying they are strongly opposed. Support for repeal has ranged from 50% to 63% in weekly tracking since the bill became law in late March.

But Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who favors abortion, says Republicans will be challenged by Democrats during a repeal debate and vote.

“I think [the repeal debate] will be a great opportunity for us to make the case to people about how beneficial this law will be to everybody,”he told The Hill.

Waxman’s replacement heading the panel responsible for ObamaCare, Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, has already said he would make repeal legislation a priority.

Republicans will likely be able to pass whatever legislation they wish in the House to repeal, roll back parts of, or de-fund ObamaCare. The challenge will be going further as Democrats control the Senate and they will be reluctant to support a bill for full repeal.

The most likely outcome, given the divided Congress and a pro-abortion president who will veto any repeal measure, is a push for legislation to scale back some of the most onerous provisions and yank as much funding as possible — setting up potential efforts to repeal it fully in 2012 depending on the results of the presidential and congressional elections.

The repeal effort will also be altered based on the lawsuits various states have filed against ObamaCare — where one judge has already declared the individual mandate unconstitutional in Virginia and another, in Florida, is expected to do the same.