Dems target vulnerable GOP lawmakers over health law repeal vote

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching a new campaign Monday targeting vulnerable GOP lawmakers on healthcare ahead of the House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"Democrats are on offense as we expose these House Republicans for standing up for insurance companies and congressional perks instead of protecting consumers," said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.), in a statement announcing the drive. "For 18 months, Republicans have been on defense for protecting millionaires over Medicare and now they're planning another vote to put insurance companies back in charge of our healthcare at the expense of middle-class families and consumers."

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The DCCC will target Republicans in 10 districts with robocalls, charging those lawmakers with placing the interests of insurance companies above voters.

Among the targets is Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). 

“After taking more than $120,000 from insurance companies, Congressman Lungren wants to put insurance companies back in charge of our healthcare,” says the script of one recorded call.

“Congressman Lungren already voted for deep cuts to Medicare to fund more tax breaks for millionaires and corporations. He even voted to protect the government healthcare plan for members of Congress that is funded with your tax dollars. But now he could vote to let insurance corporations cut back your health benefits,” it continues.

Similar calls will be placed against Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Judy Biggert (Ill.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.) and Anne Marie Buerkle (N.Y.)

The DCCC will also launch calls against Rodney Davis, who is running to replace the retiring Rep. Timothy Johnson in Illinois. 

The robocall campaign is part of the DCCC’s “Drive for 25,” its effort to capture 25 seats in November to recapture control of the House. 

The campaign comes after the Supreme Court upheld much of President Obama’s healthcare reform law in a landmark 5-4 ruling last Thursday. Congressional Republicans and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, however, have vowed to continue efforts to undo the law. 

The House is expected to vote on July 11 after returning from recess on repealing the law, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday he would also push for a repeal vote ahead of the election.

But Democrats believe that with many individual provisions of the healthcare law still popular with the public, Republican calls for a full repeal will backfire with voters.

On Sunday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) acknowledged that there were some “good” parts of the bill, but said Republicans would address those with a “common sense, step-by-step approach” after a full repeal. “This has to be ripped out by its roots,” he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blasted Republicans as the “mouthpiece” for the insurance industry on Sunday and said the chamber should focus its attention on the economy. But she said Democrats would benefit from the GOP effort to push repeal.

“They'll bring it up, and when they bring it up they will ask for repeal, repeal of all the things I said that help children, help young adults, help seniors, help men or women who may have prostate cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is, any precondition. And everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access. So that's what they want to repeal; we're happy to have that debate," Pelosi said in an interview aired Sunday with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Past House repeal votes, though, have failed to garner support in the Democratic-led Senate.