NRO‘s Robert Costa is reporting that Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Ben Nelson (D-NE) are all opposed to repealing the health care law, though Webb is hiding a bit behind the courts. This is in keeping with a pattern: only three Democrats in the House voted for repeal even though 39 Democrats voted against the bill when it originally passed, 13 of whom were reelected. If vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection in 2012 in purple or red states won’t vote for repeal, we should assme that few if any Senate Democrats will.
This shows that conservatives were right to still mostly vote out the 30 House Democrats who’d opposed the bill because their opposition wasn’t likely to mean much going forward: 17 of the Democratic “no” votes were replaced by Republicans who voted for repeal, while 10 of the Democratic “no” votes who returned voted against repeal. This political pressure needs to intensify.
Democratic intransigence does complicate the prospects for repeal. Last year, I wrote about the last time an entitlement was repealed, the aptly named Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. That repeal movement, like the coalition that passed the original disastrous bill, was bipartisan. If it is to be repealed, Republicans will have to repeal it alone — just as Democrats passed it alone.
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