Sebelius rallies Obama's healthcare base

Opponents of President Obama’s healthcare law are going to take their "best shot" at destroying it this year, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen Sebelius65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Fauci: 'Horrifying' to hear CPAC crowd cheering anti-vaccination remarks The Memo: Biden and Democrats face dilemma on vaccine mandates MORE warned Thursday.

Sebelius, along with Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), rallied a crowd of healthcare advocates to fight for President Obama and his signature domestic program.


“Over the next few months we’ll see the biggest barrage of attacks and misinformation about the law we’ve ever seen, and that’s hard to do — increase the misinformation,” Sebelius said at a conference sponsored by the healthcare advocacy group Families USA. “The law’s opponents are definitely going to take their best shot.”

Schakowsky, a vocal supporter of healthcare reform, warned liberals not to turn away from Obama because they didn’t get all they wanted in the new law.

“Losing in November is not an option,” she said. “It doesn’t make it easier to get single-payer or even a public option. It makes it impossible.”

The law’s second anniversary will come in March — the same month in which the Supreme Court will hear a remarkable three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the law’s individual mandate. Those events, and the continuing assault that is sure to come from the Republican presidential nominee, make it especially important for supporters to stand their ground, Sebelius said.

“When the healthcare law was passed, we had predictions of everything short of Armageddon,” but healthcare reform has consistently added jobs, Medicare has added new benefits and some insurers have scaled back proposed premium increases, Sebelius said.

She also criticized Republican proposals to privatize Medicare.

“We have a well-organized, well-financed opposition that wants to get rid of the law and then go back 50 years and dismantle Medicare and Medicaid along with it,” Sebelius said.

She said the existing Medicare Advantage program has shown that allowing more private plans into Medicare does not save money.