More than half of California’s 14 House Republicans face potentially tough battles in next year’s midterm election, and while some of them wavered until the last minute, all of them voted for the House healthcare plan in May.
For now, it looks as if congressional leaders are moving on from their healthcare reform efforts, but the Californians’ vote for a plan that would have taken health insurance from as many as 1 in 3 Californians is sure to be kept alive by the dozens of challengers who have signed up to run against them.
Democrats are plotting to use the healthcare vote as a cudgel against vulnerable Republicans in the same way votes for Obamacare were used to sweep Democrats out of the majority in 2010. And winning at least some of California’s GOP seats is crucial to Democratic efforts to win back the House.
The party blasted out news releases Friday saying the representatives “can’t turn back time and undo the damaging vote they took to kick 23 million Americans off their health insurance and jack up premiums for millions more. … [They] own the Republican health care disaster and it will haunt them in 2018.”
At the time of the House vote, several of California’s Republican representatives said they were keeping their years-long promise to repeal President Obama’s signature law. Others said they were trying to move the process forward with the expectation the Senate would make the bill better.
Now they say they’re disappointed the Senate couldn’t agree on a way to repeal Obamacare, but none is too concerned about the political effects of voting for the House version, which polls have shown was very unpopular.
Rep. Jeff Denham of Turlock initially said he couldn’t back the House bill, but voted for it after getting a commitment from GOP leaders to work on access to healthcare,…