Healthcare bill to get second look

Jan. 9, 2011 at 3:35 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- As Republicans in the House prepare to vote to repeal of the healthcare bill, Democrats say they will fight to win public opinion to their side on the measure.

After losing their majority in the House and seeing it reduced in the Senate, Democrats say they have little to lose by fighting to preserve a controversial law likely to feature large in President Barack Obama's bid for re-election in 2012, The Washington Post reported.

"The Republicans are making a big mistake," Democratic National Committee Chairman Timothy M. Kaine told the Post Saturday. "We're not going to let them do this quietly. We're clearly going to spend an awful lot of time talking about how their repeal of healthcare will take away flesh-and-blood benefits that Americans are receiving."

The White House has joined the effort, planning to deploy Cabinet secretaries this week to make the Democrat's case in the national media.

"It's not often you get a second chance to make a first impression, but (Republicans) are giving that right to us," Sen. Charles E. Schumer D-N.Y. said. "Right now, people don't realize all the good things in the bill. The more we have an opportunity to talk about them; fewer and fewer people are going to be for repeal."

Opposition to the bill helped lift Republicans to the majority in the House, and their repeal attempt will fulfill a campaign promise and Tea Party priority.

"We're listening to the American people," House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday. "They want this bill repealed, and we are going to repeal it."

The repeal vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday but delayed after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others in Tucson on Saturday, the Post reported.

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