Democrats see opportunity in repeal debate

Another factor working in favor of Democrats, said Hankin, is that the party is no longer on the verge of a civil war between its liberal and more centrist members, many of whom were pressured to vote "yes" and ultimately lost reelection thanks in large part to those votes. 

Without wrangling over the public option and specific elements of the law that divided the Democratic Caucus, members will likely be able to put forth a more united messaging front that focuses on the law's positives. 

Over the weekend, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats welcome the repeal debate for that very reason. During an appearance on "Meet the Press," Schumer said the debate allows members of his party "a second chance to make a first impression." 

Another option for House Democrats moving forward is making use of procedural motions in an attempt to stymie Republicans or force the majority's hand on votes its members would rather not take. It's a risky strategy, warned Hankin, who said it could simply end up reminding voters "how much they hated the process of healthcare getting passed in the first place."  

Meanwhile, advocacy groups are also jumping back into the fray. The liberal group Americans United for Change is up with a new TV spot Tuesday, accusing the new House Republican majority of trying to strip healthcare benefits enjoyed by members of Congress from the rest of Americans. 

"Members of Congress know their health insurance plan can't deny converage for their kids," the spot says. "Congressmen can rest assured that their insurance plan won't drop their families if they get sick. The Affordable Care Act gave your family the same health protections members of Congress get."  

The spot will run on Fox News and MSNBC in the D.C. market, as well as on CNN nationally. Watch the ad here

The House has scheduled seven hours of floor debate on the GOP repeal bill, with time divided equally between Republicans and Democrats.