Democrat Joins Calls for Health Care Repeal

health care

At least one of the 34 House Democrats who voted against President Obama's comprehensive health care overhaul is now calling for its repeal, joining a chorus of Republicans intent on making the new set of laws an election issue.

Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) said he would be in favor of repealing the entire bill, WECT reports.

"If we had the opportunity to vote on it, I would," McIntyre reportedly said. "But I don't think the votes are there right now. So now (the) question is, it'll have to be addressed by the judicial branch."

McIntyre said he supports the numerous, largely Republican state attorneys general suing the federal government on the grounds that the bill is unconstitutional, according to WECT.

The congressman's comments fly in the face of the Democrats' current efforts, led by Mr. Obama, to convince the American public of the benefits they will see from the new legislation. It highlights the adamant opposition to the reform package that exists in moderate and conservative parts of the country.

In a CBS News poll conducted last week, nearly two in three Americans said they wanted Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill.

The poll also showed, however, improved perceptions of the legislation after it was passed: While 37 percent approved of it before the House vote, 42 percent approved afterward. A USA Today/ Gallup poll released today showed slightly more people describing the new law as a "bad thing" rather than a "good thing."

Democrats, it appears, still have a long ways to go to convince Americans the value of the health care reform bill. For now, they are using the controversial vote to appeal to their base. Special Report: Health Care

"I've got one message for all the Tea Party haters who took aim at everyone from [Reps.] John Lewis to Barney Frank: We're not backing down," Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) wrote today in a fundraising e-mail the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent to supporters. "The American people have been struggling for decades with skyrocketing health care costs and out-of-control insurance companies that deny care when people need it most. So Democrats stood up for what's right and passed historic health care reform."

Endorsing a repeal of the health care reform legislation has become something of a litmus test for Republican candidates running in the 2010 midterm elections, the Washington Independent notes. More than 400 electoral candidates have signed the conservative group Club for Growth's "Repeal It" petition.

Mr. Obama has essentially dared Republicans to run on the promise of repealing the bill, contending that voters will not want the benefits of the bill -- such as new consumer protections -- rolled back. The GOP leadership has adopted a slogan of "repeal and replace," adding nuance to the call for a repeal.

Political and logistical realities could make repealing the bill a promise that is hard to keep -- for one thing, even if Republicans won back congressional leadership, they would still face Mr. Obama's veto pen at least through 2012.