Democrats Defend Health Law, Prepare To Fight Back As House Minority

With the countdown on until the Jan. 12 House repeal vote, Democrats who initially voted against the health overhaul are now considering where they stand on the repeal effort. Meanwhile, the Obama administration and other Democratic officials “hit back” at the GOP push to the undo the health law by detailing the negative repercussions it would have for consumers.

Los Angeles Times: House Democrats Poised To Fight As Minority
As President Obama returned to Washington on Tuesday urging Republicans to continue the cooperative spirit that marked the end of the last Congress, Democrats on Capitol Hill went on the attack, vowing to battle to preserve their legislative accomplishments despite a newly diminished position. Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) denounced the Republican-led effort to repeal last year’s health care overhaul, saying such a move would “do very serious violence to the national debt and deficit” (Mascaro and West, 1/4).

The Hill: Dems Who Voted ‘No’ On Healthcare Weigh Support For Repeal
House Democrats who voted against the health care bill last year are weighing whether to side with the GOP during next week’s vote to repeal the legislation (Pecquet, 1/4).

Fox News: House GOP Health Care Repeal Could Pick Up a Few Dem Votes
Only a few moderate or conservative Democrats remain left in the House of Representatives come opening day on Wednesday, but expect at least a chunk of them to vote in favor of the Republican plan to repeal the health care law (1/4).

Politico: Pelosi Stands By Health Care
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) used her last day as speaker to launch a defense of health care reform, calling Republicans’ plans to repeal the law “very serious violence to the national debt and deficit” (Aujla, 1/4).

The Associated Press: Obama Admin. Hits Back Against Health Care Repeal
Previewing the administration’s counterattack, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said new benefits under the law have freed millions of Americans from worry that they’ll lose or be denied insurance, made it easier for small businesses to sponsor coverage for their employees, and provided more affordable prescriptions for seniors on Medicare (Alonso-Zaldivar, 12/4).

The Denver Post: White House Mounts Defense Of Health Care Reform
The Obama administration launched its counterattack against repeal of its signature health care reform effort Tuesday, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touting benefits for each state and saying Americans will resist a rollback (Booth, 1/5).

The Hill: HHS Outlines Repercussions Of Repealing Healthcare Reform
As Republicans eye a vote next week to repeal the new healthcare reform law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will unveil a detailed outline of national and state-by-state repercussions if repeal succeeds. HHS will argue that repealing the law would deprive people of popular consumer protections and leave them at the mercy of insurance companies, according to department documents obtained by The Hill (Millman, 1/4).

McClatchy: Sebelius: Repealing Health Care Law Returns Power To Insurance Companies
Repealing the new federal health care law will put power back in the hands of insurance companies and take away new freedoms that elderly and other Americans are only now discovering as they receive new benefits, President Obama’s top health official said Tuesday (Wenzl, 1/5).

Kansas Health Institute News Service: Sebelius details early benefits of reform law ahead of repeal debate
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said today she is more optimistic than ever that the new health reform law will withstand Republican efforts to repeal or weaken it (1/4).

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