Upton unsure why repeal didn't have more Dem support

After predicting earlier this month there would be substantial Democratic support for the GOP bill repealing the healthcare reform law, a powerful House Republican said he was unsure why only three Democrats supported the measure Wednesday night.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) had predicted on Fox News earlier this month that “a significant number of Democrats” would vote to repeal the reform law. However, just three — all who voted against reform in the last Congress — voted with Republicans Wednesday night.

“I don’t know the reason for that,” Upton told The Hill on Thursday.

Some of the original Democratic “no” votes told The Hill earlier this month that they would vote against the repeal bill, dismissing it as political theater. Just 13 of 34 House Democrats who voted against reform last Congress survived the midterm elections.

Despite the scant support from Democrats on the repeal vote, Upton said he thinks the parties can work together on replacing the law.

“There are a lot of very positive conversations between both sides, Republicans and Democrats,” he said. “I know we look forward to bipartisan cooperation on a bunch of issues.”