By Mike Lillis - 07/02/12 07:37 PM EDT
House Democratic leaders are challenging the GOP's female lawmakers over women's benefits preserved by last week's Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama's signature healthcare law.
In a mock memo addressing every member of the GOP Women's Policy Committee, the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is highlighting the provisions benefiting women, while suggesting the Republicans' female constituents will embrace the changes even if the lawmakers don't.
The law "is also great for moms," the memo continues, "protecting children with pre-existing conditions from being denied health care coverage, providing some free preventive services to people of all ages, and letting young people up to age 26 stay on their parent’s health insurance policy."
The memo is just the latest part of the Democrats' long-running attack on what they consider the Republicans' "war on women." In recent months, they've gone after GOP leaders for opposing a proposal designed to curb violence against women, and another aimed at closing the pay gap between the sexes. Democrats have also hammered Republicans for their opposition to a new Obama administration rule requiring most employers to pay for birth control for female workers.
The GOP Women's Policy Committee was launched this year largely as an attempt to counter the notion that Republicans are unsympathetic to women's concerns.
Pelosi's memo targets all 24 Republicans on that panel, tapping U.S. Census figures to detail how many women in each lawmaker's district could benefit from the healthcare reform law, which includes provisions barring insurers from dropping coverage when women get pregnant and preventing companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions like cervical cancer.
In Rep. Mary Bono Mack's California district, for instance, there are "338,209 women & girls over the age of 15 years ... including 21,483 single moms heading households with kids under the age of 18," the memo states.
For Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), the numbers are 308,683 and 18,896, respectively. And the list goes on, including Reps. Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Sandy Adams (Fla.), Diane Black (Tenn.), Kay Granger (Texas), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.), Kristi Noem (S.D.), Martha Roby (Ala.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Judy Biggert (Ill.), Lynn Jenkins (Kansas), Candice Miller (Mich.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Vicky Hartzler (Mo.), Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.), Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Sue Myrick (N.C.), Jean Schmidt (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.V.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.).
The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday in favor of Obama's healthcare reforms — most notably the provision imposing a financial penalty via a tax on those who choose to remain uninsured — shocked many observers who expected the conservative-leaning panel to strike down at least the individual mandate.
Instead, conservative Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's four most liberal justices to uphold the "tax" on people who don't purchase health insurance.
"It is not our job to save the people from the consequences of their political decisions," Roberts said.
House Republican leaders have used the Supreme Court's ruling as further motivation to scrap the entire law and replace it with different reforms, such as allowing businesses to buy insurance policies from other states and making it harder for patients to sue doctors for malpractice.
"It has to be ripped out and we need to start over, one step at a time," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told CBS's Norah O'Donnell on "Face the Nation" Sunday.
Pressed by O'Donnell if repeal should include "provisions like additional preventative care for children [and] for women," Boehner held his ground.
"All of them," he said. "While we replace this, we can have a common-sense debate about which of these provisions ought to stay and which ought to go."
House Republicans have scheduled a July 11 vote to repeal the entire law.