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House Democrats Are Set to Go for the Jugular on Health Care

Do you want Democrats to protect the Affordable Care Act?

by Axios | Updated on 1.2.19

With their very first vote when the new Congress opens tomorrow, House Democrats plan to pounce on one of Republicans' biggest political vulnerabilities, the lawsuit to wipe out the Affordable Care Act.

The state of play: A congressional source tells me that a key provision tucked in House Dems' 14-page opening-day rules package, "Restoring Congress for the People," focuses on the federal judge in Texas who struck down the ACA (which remains in effect during appeals).


  • The provision authorizes the House counsel to intervene in the lawsuit on behalf of the House of Representatives, to try to protect people with pre-existing conditions, a popular and consequential feature of the ACA.
  • Next week, Democrats will hold an additional vote on a stand-alone resolution on intervening to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Why it matters: House Dems view the health care issue as a key reason they won the majority in November's midterms.

  • The vote shows that House Democrats will aggressively leverage advantages of the majority, even with the government shut down, and without needing the Senate to agree or President Trump to sign anything.

Be smart: Axios' Caitlin Owens points out that while this is good politics, voting to intervene in the lawsuit probably won't have any practical effect.

  • And Axios' David Nather says it's no accident that Democrats are putting the spotlight on pre-existing conditions rather than the whole health care law, which has had its ups and downs with the public.
  • Protection for pre-existing conditions is part of the health care law that has always been popular. Republicans know it — and so does Trump.
  • This is also key to protecting incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s legacy: She had a bigger role in passing the law than many people realize, and insisted on pushing forward in 2010 when other Democrats wanted to scale back the plan.

Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesman, said: "After two years of brutal attacks on health care and desperate GOP misrepresentations on the campaign trail, we’re not giving Republicans anywhere to hide."

  • "Republicans who survived the election on their tardy promises to protect pre-existing conditions will have to explain why they have once again been complicit in trying to strike down those life-saving protections."

Go deeper: How Democrats will use their majority to bolster health care

Axios

Written by Axios

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(101)
  • Dawn
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    I fully support Universal Healthcare for all. I will beat this particular horse until I am dead. Look to other First World countries with Universal Healthcare. Find out what works for them and why it works. Find out what doesn’t work and why it doesn’t work. Use that information to build the best functioning, most comprehensive, most equitable universal healthcare system in the world.

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  • August
    Voted Maybe
    01/02/2019
    ···

    If 9 out 10 doctors told you something, would you not lessen to the majority? Nine out of 10 of the major democracies have national health care but us. Copy Canada’s heath care, it is that easy.

    Like (11)
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  • Donna
    01/02/2019
    ···

    Go!Go! Go! Do what you were ELECTED to DO! NEXT IMMIGRATION, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS, and STOPPING FEderal Judicial appts!!!

    Like (10)
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  • Cosmo
    Voted No
    01/02/2019
    ···

    It needs to be destroyed. A new far better Health Care program is required. No subsidizing insurance companies with our tax dollars. Keep your hands out of my pocket.

    Like (7)
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  • Steve
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    Expand ACA.

    Like (15)
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  • Ed
    Voted Maybe
    01/02/2019
    ···

    As long as elected officials are required to take the same health care benefits that they vote into law.

    Like (9)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted No
    01/03/2019
    ···

    Who’s jugular? SneakyPete says the following........ Not the Senate or the President’s! The HOUSE Democrats led by “Tingling Belle” Pelosi may have the house by so much now but in another two years there will be another house election for the other half! Their leadership and $hitty rhetoric will sound their defeat and massive defections in the coming year and 2020 Election 🗳 cycle. As such I readily am willing in the prediction that Pepsi, the Democratic Party and their followers will once again loose the faith of the American voters and the U.S. House in 2020....... SneakyPete..... 🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸. 1*2*

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  • James
    01/03/2019
    ···

    Who’s jugular? Not the Senate or the President’s! They don’t have the house by much either and in another two years will be another house election for the other half!

    Like (3)
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  • Robert
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    Protect the ACA but only until Medicare for all is implemented. The only solution to the healthcare crisis is Medicare for all. Not the ACA, not a public option or any other alternative. Any attempt to fix a broken system will fail. Medicare is an effective, efficient publically funded system that uses private providers and if extended to all will save 600 billion dollars for citizens and businesses, a fact that should compel fiscally conservative Republicans to embrace Medicare for all on that basis alone. A 2013 study details how Medicare for all would save 600 billion. http://pnhp.org/blog/2013/07/31/friedman-analysis-of-hr-676-medicare-for-all-would-save-billions/ Updated article by Gerald Friedman http://theconversation.com/medicare-for-all-could-be-cheaper-than-you-think-81883

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  • Mark
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    We must not only ensure the health care act but strive to improve and drive down the cost for individuals currently insured. Health insurance must be affordable to all.

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  • Erin
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    I urge you to support single-payer affordable healthcare for all as the TOP priority for the upcoming legislative session. The ACA is great but really it’s getting too expensive for low and middle income folks even with the subsidies. Also if Dems do away with the estate tax for families earning more than 50% of income from active farming and ranching, you’ll get a lot more support in rural counties. Just my 2 cents.

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  • Pat
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    Obama care needs adjustments because it’s certainly not perfect. But it needs to be kept in place until something better/adjustments are made. Let’s face it the Republicans haven’t come up with anything to replace it and I doubt they are capable.

    Like (9)
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  • Lionman
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    This might be a good time to not just “save the ACA” but also fine tune and improve it. Make it MORE affordable, drug plans cheaper, coverage expanded wider.

    Like (8)
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  • Hillary
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    Citizens have repeatedly and overwhelmingly demanded the ACA be protected. Any politician not supporting the ACA is in violation of the work entrusted to them by their employer/constituents.

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  • Mancos
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    Protect and strengthen the ACA. When done, please go after insurance and pharmacy companies who exploit our health for personal gain.

    Like (6)
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  • Kevin
    Voted Yes
    01/03/2019
    ···

    Universal healthcare now!

    Like (5)
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  • Mitchell
    Voted Yes
    01/03/2019
    ···

    This should be considered a basic human right.

    Like (5)
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  • Mary
    Voted Yes
    01/04/2019
    ···

    Actually what I really want is for them to pass universal health care.

    Like (5)
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  • Christy
    Voted Yes
    01/02/2019
    ···

    I am in support of Democratic leaders protecting and improving the affordable care act. I hope you will join in this important effort!

    Like (5)
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  • Jean
    Voted Yes
    01/03/2019
    ···

    COUNTABLE ASKS: "Do you want Democrats to protect the Affordable Care Act?" I SAY: Until there is universal health care (single-payer, Medicare for all, whatever), the ACA MUST BE PROTECTED.

    Like (5)
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  • Susan
    Voted Yes
    01/03/2019
    ···

    You democrats go! I support you 100 percent! All Americans need health care. How would republicans like it if we took away THEIR health care? What kind of sociopathic monsters want to deprive their fellow citizens of having health care? These guys have put the Sermon on the Mount in reverse. These republicans all want to take away clean water, clean air, kill off all the wildlife, destroy every healthy ecosystem, sell off our National Parks and public lands, take food away from the hungry, make poor people homeless, and take away health care from sick people, and on and on, all while fabulously enriching themselves, and their fat cat donors. This is not democracy, it’s tyranny! Only the evil minions of Satan would do this! I know who and what you republicans all are, and that there is no such thing as right wing Christianity. You can’t fool me or fool God. We democrats, and at least sixty percent of the American people, all know exactly what you are all up to and we will fight you! I will fight you with every last breath in my body and with every last drop of my blood, and I will never give up or give in!

    Like (4)
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