Dems ratchet up pressure on new Republicans on healthcare

Democrats will look to target newly elected Republicans who will rely on healthcare plans funded by the government after having campaigned in favor of repealing the new healthcare reform law.

The party will ratchet up pressure on Republicans who ran against healthcare reform, the signature accomplishment of President Obama and congressional Democrats, who are now accepting a government-run healthcare plan as part of their benefit package as a new member of Congress.

"On the heels of a campaign season where Republicans made repealing healthcare a marquee issue — and heading into a legislative session where Republicans have promised to repeal, defund or otherwise dismantle health insurance reform — Democrats are not going to stand by while new members of Congress reap benefits that they are attempting to deny to millions," said a Democratic National Committee official.

Many Republicans running for Congress had vowed to vote to repeal the new healthcare reform legislation sought by congressional Democrats and signed into law by President Obama in March. But Democrats have tried to make a political issue of new GOP lawmakers' accepting of their congressional healthcare plans.

When Rep.-elect Andy Harris (R-Md.) complained at a meeting of newly elected lawmakers about his healthcare coverage, liberal groups had pounced. His words prompted some other newly elected GOP members to decline the government-run plan.

Democrats will look to gin up attention with coordinated outreach to local press, starting on Friday in Pennsylvania. The party will begin its efforts by targeting Sen.-elect Pat Toomey (R), and GOP Reps.-elect Pat Meehan, Lou Barletta, Tom Marino, and Mike Fitzpatrick.