Republicans, Democrats and their allies this week have organized a series of events to mark the two-year anniversary of the federal health reform law on Friday and the highly anticipated Supreme Court review of the constitutionality of the law next week, USA Today reports (Wolf, USA Today, 3/19).
Opponents Coordinate Lobbying Plan Against Overhaul
The GOP is launching a coordinated lobbying effort against the overhaul with more than 50 planned events, including daily news conferences on Capitol Hill and the adoption of social media and multimedia campaigns to highlight the overhaul's shortcomings (Steinhauer/Pear, New York Times, 3/19).
Officials acknowledge that their efforts will not influence the high court's ruling, but that their goals are to sway Congress and public opinion on the overhaul (USA Today, 3/19).
One objective for opponents of the law is to emphasize the "broken promises" of its proponents. They plan to compare the current situation of higher premiums, employers dropping coverage and the rising costs of insurance subsidies with Democrats' predictions in 2010, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports (Pecquet , "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/19).
On Monday, Republicans in both chambers denounced the overhaul during floor speeches in advance of a House vote this week on a bill (HR 5) that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by the law (Strong, Roll Call, 3/20).
Democrats, Proponents To Highlight Overhaul's Benefits, Possible Cuts
Meanwhile, the Obama administration, President Obama's reelection campaign, House Democrats and Democratic supporters have planned events to publicize the law's benefits (USA Today, 3/19).
On Monday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touted the overhaul's success in helping more than 5.1 million Medicare beneficiaries save more than $3.2 billion on prescription drug costs. According to "Healthwatch," Democrats' focus on seniors coincides with the expected release on Tuesday of the House Republicans' fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, which is expected to include a plan to alter Medicare (Pecquet , "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/19).
Obama, Sebelius and other top cabinet and federal health officials are visiting key states, such as Missouri and Ohio, to host events related to the health reform law and other domestic priorities (USA Today, 3/19).
Throughout this week, HHS also plans to release daily videos of U.S. residents discussing the benefits of the health reform law as part of the newly launched "MyCare" campaign (New York Times, 3/19).
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday also launched a "robocall" campaign in 41 GOP districts to highlight potential Medicare cuts that could be included in the upcoming GOP budget program. AARP also launched a 50-state outreach effort to defend Medicare and Social Security (Pecquet , "Healthwatch," The Hill, 3/19).
Democrats Insist Voters Will Support Health Reform With Time, Information
Several House Democrats on Monday rejected recent polls suggesting that most U.S. residents want the Supreme Court to strike down parts or all of the federal health reform law, Washington Post's "2chambers" reports.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Monday found that about one in four respondents hope the justices will invalidate the law's individual mandate but leave the rest of the overhaul intact.
During a media conference call, the Democrats -- Rep. Doris Matsui (Calif.), Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) -- said that most voters have supported the law after learning more about it. They also noted that Democrats are positioned to win the debate on the overhaul because they have been introducing options to improve health care, while Republicans have been working to strip them away without viable alternatives (O'Keefe, "2chambers," Washington Post, 3/19).