Democrats received an electoral drubbing in November because they lacked the courage to defend their healthcare reform legislation, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D).

Democrats rarely mentioned the legislation on the campaign trail. Even popular provisions, such as one that required members of Congress to buy the same health insurance available to other Americans, weren't widely talked about.

Speaking to Democrats in Omaha on Wednesday, Rendell said members should have been proud of their votes for the bill.

"We Democrats have become a party that is scared to talk about what we believe in," he said, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

"It's time to be bold again. We lost in November being scared of our shadows," said Rendell, who wraps up his second term and will leave office later this month.

Many strategists expect much of the 2012 campaign to revolve around the battle to implement or repeal the healthcare bill passed in March of last year.