ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports: One day before House Republicans try to repeal the new health care law, Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi today tried to highlight how the move could negatively affect Americans.
“Why we are doing this – other than playing to the vanity of the extremely conservative right wing of the Republican party – is beyond me,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-FL, at a House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee hearing this afternoon.
A panel of witnesses described how health care repeal could hurt them in the future. Stacie Ritter of Lancaster, PA, the mother of twin daughters who have been diagnosed with leukemia, described how she and her husband ended up bankrupt even though they have full insurance coverage. Ritter urged lawmakers to fight against repeal, emphasizing how much the new law meant to her and others.
“You have no idea how much it meant to a lot of people,” she told the panel. “I know you only got to hear the bad because that’s all that the news will play, but believe me it was greatly greatly appreciated.”
Earlier today the Department of Health & Human Services released a new administration analysisthat estimated the law will, when it fully kicks in three years from now, prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to as many as 129 million Americans who have some type of pre-existing health condition.
It is all part of an effort by Democrats to win public support for the reforms.
According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, President Obama and Republicans are tied for the first time in trust to handle health care, with trust in Obama dropping 9 points since last month to a new low, and trust in the GOP gaining 4 points.
Even if House Republicans succeed in repealing the bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he will not bring the repeal to a vote in the Senate.
“The Republicans have to understand that the health care bill is not going to be repealed,” Reid said at a Jan. 6 press conference.
“Are we saying the health care bill is perfect? Of course not,” Reid said. “We’re willing to work in any way – constructive in nature – to improve the health care delivery system for our country. But repealing health care? They should get a new lease on life and talk about something else.”