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Who To Watch in the Health Care Debate

Who To Watch in the Health Care Debate

The debate is rolling on as House Republicans push to repeal the Health Care Reform Act.  The vote itself is ultimately an act of political theater — the Senate is unlikely to repeal and the president in the end would not sign the bill even if they did.  With the realization that repeal is becoming more and more unpopular, and that Republicans have no plan to offer in its place, it’s more interesting to watch who ends up on each side of the debate, especially when it comes to Congresspeople in tough districts.

The Fix offers this list of the top five to watch:

* Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.): Holden escaped a big-time challenge in 2010 after voting against the health care bill. But his district is tough, and a Republican-controlled round of redistricting could make it even tougher. Only a few of the 13 anti-health care bill Democrats haven’t made it clear where they stand on repeal, and he’s one of them.

* Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.): Chandler also voted against the bill originally, surviving by the narrowest of margins in 2010. And he figures to be targeted again in 2012. Republicans have already jumped on his vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker, and a vote against repeal could throw fuel on the fire. Chandler said during his campaign that he was against full repeal of the health care bill, citing the more popular parts of it.

* Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.): McIntyre voted against the bill and said he supported repeal after the bill passed in March. He was one of four Democrats who voted to move forward with a vote on repeal two weeks ago. He has not said recently that he will support repeal, but he will be a top GOP target in 2012. If he votes against repeal, it would be a big surprise — and a big win for Democrats.

* Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.): Duffy did not push for a repeal of the health care law in his 2010 campaign, and unlike a lot of Republicans, he’s actually pointed to some of the good things contained in the law (coverage for pre-existing conditions, etc.). His district could be friendlier after Republicans redraw the map, but it went 56 percent for President Obama in 2008, and he doesn’t have an easy vote here. He’s also getting some pressure from the local press.

* Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.): Hanna, like Duffy, is a freshman from a tough district who has balked at the idea of a full repeal. Hanna has not said how he will vote, and he stresses some of the finer points of the bill that he would like to keep. With both he and Duffy, though, you’ve got to remember: a vote against repeal would be the equivalent of begging for a tea party primary challenger. A ‘no’ vote from either would be a true shocker.

The House is expected to vote on the repeal later tonight.

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17 comments

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9:13AM PST on Jan 24, 2011

It really saddens me how this debate is so blue vs. red. Let's face it, both sides do not have this health care system completely figured out! Obviously the American People voted, and and the Democrats lost control of the House. They are not in touch with the majority of the American people. But then again, many Republicans aren't either. There are so many things that don't add up from the health care debate. It has to be a compromise, but it definately is not as it stands.

11:12PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

noted :)

11:19AM PST on Jan 21, 2011

The impending rounds of congressional hearings on all aspects of this monster will be informative. No way did the 111th Congress or the Administration reveal most of what this massive law will do. Just the unintended consequences, never mind the deliberate ones makes it necessary a through review be done.

Costs have skyrocketed (as predicted) to both government and the ultimate consumer. The medical industry is reacting as predicted with providers abandoning Medicare/Aid. Insurance companies have abandoned children only policies and are (both profit/non profit) raising premiums. The rules to govern these new policies are still in the process of being written and the first sets of taxes have been implemented.

The weak Dem defense of ObamaCare so far rests on the farcical numbers used to narrowly pass it and not the ones coming out now. Never mind the silly arguments based on the 5th and 14th Amendments...

It will not be over turned of course under the 112th Congress but they can continue to reveal its nasty secrets, under reported costs, and increased impact on all Americans. Count on it being a factor in 2012 as retiring Sen Kent Conrad has already figured.

5:23PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Call me skeptical but I can't help but ask myself how many of our elected officials read the bill (or any bill) in full, page by page by page? Like most things in life, we need to start somewhere and hopefully improve along the way. Politics aside... learn how to work together, compromise and make the best decisions possible knowing that there will always be some for and some against.

2:44PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Re, ignorant and repugnant: people aren't but their words and actions could well be.

2:12PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Sending a Green Star is a simple way to say "Thank you"

You cannot currently send a star to Doyal because you have done so within the last week.

12:24PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Can't we have thoughtful disagreements on this site without resorting to calling people "ignorant" and "repugnant"? We are in the middle of a national dialog about civil discourse, following the tragedies in Tucson. I would hope that we can practice some restraint in our comments here - and still make our viewpoints known. I have always enjoying reading everyone's views on Care2, but there is a nasty tone sneaking in. Please, people, let's show some courtesy for one another.

11:23AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Why watch it? Does everything on TV need to be fictionalized?

10:08AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Don't bother trying to reason with Paul B. All he's ever said forever is repeal but hasn't a clue as to what to repeal it to. And, if he does receive medicare or even SS, he's just a hypocrite!

9:33AM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Paul B. How can you have 29 new green stars and 0 total?
I did not know we can start with a negative bank!

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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