Dems who voted 'no' on healthcare weigh support for repeal

House Democrats who voted against the healthcare bill last year are weighing whether to side with the GOP during next week's vote to repeal the legislation. 

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), a liberal lawmaker who voted against the healthcare reform law because it taxes some healthcare benefits starting in 2018, told The Hill he won't support Republicans' repeal effort. 

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Three other House Democrats who voted "no" on the healthcare bill in March have already said they won't vote for the repeal bill when it comes to the floor next Wednesday.

Republicans are hoping a number of Democrats will join their repeal effort and possibly create pressure on the Democrat-controlled Senate to get on board. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News Sunday that Republicans hoped to get at least the Democrats who voted "no" on their side.

"Congressman Lynch still believes in true healthcare reform," a spokeswoman said via e-mail. "While the recently passed health care law has numerous flaws and fails to reduce health care costs, he believes that we should spend our energies trying to fix those flaws. Congressman Lynch does not support the Republican effort to go back to the old broken system."

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), the top Democrat on the agricultural committee, and Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) also told The Hill they would not support repeal. Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), however, told Fox News on Monday that he is "inclined to support the repeal."

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.), another Democrats who voted "no" last year, told The Hill that the GOP's plan to repeal the full healthcare bill is "immoral."

“There are some very good things in this bill that have already become law: Parents can keep their kids on their insurance till they’re 26, it’s helping to close the donut hole for seniors, and children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied access to coverage. I think it is not just wrong, but immoral to take those things away," Shuler said in a statement.

Several Democrats face pressure to vote for repeal. Only 13 of the 34 who voted against healthcare reform were reelected in the midterms, and at least three of those — Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Ben Chandler (Ky.) — survived close races and are likely targets in 2012. McIntyre has previously expressed his support for full repeal of the law.

Other Democrats who voted "no" include Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), John Barrow (Ga.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Larry Kissell (N.C.) and Mike Ross (Ark.).

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, told The Hill that members who have concerns with the healthcare law should work to amend it instead of starting from scratch.

"My best sense is that there are going to be members who voted against healthcare reform but who do not support total repeal and starting from scratch," Van Hollen said. "But no one is pressuring anybody to do anything."

—Shane D'Aprile and Jason Millman contributed

This post was updated at 2:21 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.