How Many Democrats Will Vote for Health Care Repeal?

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 4 2011 9:39 AM

How Many Democrats Will Vote for Health Care Repeal?

Last night I posted the text of the legislation Republicans will introduce to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The GOP's legislation is not called the "Repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." It is called the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." It's ironic that this is submitted by incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, because, you'll remember, he blamed the original Republican vote against TARP on the shrillness with which Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed the debate on the legislation. This repeal bill, anticipated for 10 months, requires Democrats not only to scrap their legislation, but to apologize hard while doing it.

Over the weekend, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), incoming chairman of Energy and Commerce, predicted that the repeal bill would pass (of course) but also speculated about a high number of Democrats supporting it. Let's look at the numbers. Only 13 members of the diminished Democratic conference voted against the health care bill last year. We should use that as a baseline for determining whether Democrats are convinced that they can re-fight the health care war on the popular elements of the bill -- as Greg Sargent reports Senate Democrats are doing -- or whether the momentum remains with the Republicans.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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