Day before inauguration, Democrats vow to fight Trump's plans to repeal Obamacare

Congress in the dark on Trump healthcare plan?
Congress in the dark on Trump healthcare plan?

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    Congress in the dark on Trump healthcare plan?

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Congress in the dark on Trump healthcare plan? 01:37

Story highlights

  • Democrats are taking a page from Republicans in 2010 to drum up opposition to Obamacare
  • Liberals are creating a major public relations push to counter the GOP move to roll it back

(CNN)The day before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in as president, House Democrats promised to fight his top priority -- repealing Obamacare.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi touted events organized by Democrats around the country to highlight support for President Barack Obama's signature health care law.
"People are becoming outraged and speaking up," Pelosi said, and pointed to events in districts across the country in the last week that drew hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of people concerned about the fallout from the GOP pledge to dismantle the law.
"Democrats will not sit idly by," Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland said, stressing, "every American should know they will be adversely affected if the Affordable Care Act is repealed."
He pointed to the requirements that insurers can't deny anyone with a pre-existing condition, preventive care coverage, lifetime limits on out-of-pocket expenses, and other provisions apply to all those with health insurance.
U.S. House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (C), House Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (L) and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) (R) come out from the U.S. Capitol for a rally  July 30, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Taking a page from the Republican push in 2009 and 2010 to drum up opposition to Obamacare in town halls of vulnerable members of Congress, Democrats are creating a major public relations push to counter the GOP move to roll it back.
Pelosi argued that effort is "organic" and that it's following on Americans living with the benefits of the law and increasing public support for the law that up until recently has been viewed poorly by a majority of voters since it was enacted.
"This is different also because then, they were putting fear in people's minds about what this might do. Right now, they're trying to take away a benefit. It's a harder thing to do."
But the California Democrat acknowledged that one thing her party failed to do in 2010 was combat the GOP's message on the law, saying, "If I would fault us with anything, it is not to stop doing the work we're doing and just fight their misrepresentations."
Pelosi pointed to new polls "public opinion on this subject has grown. It's one thing for us to try and sell it to the American public, it's another thing for the Republicans to take it away."
"This doesn't play in Peoria," Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos told reporters, saying she held several events in her district on the issue. She said even though the majority in the area voted for Trump, they don't support repealing the health care law.
Democrats stressed that all Americans -- whether they are enrolled in health care exchanges established by Obamacare or have insurance coverage through employer sponsored plans -- all have a stake in the debate.
California Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez reeled off statistics about tens of thousands of projected job losses in the home states of House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the incoming president that she said were directly related to any move to do away with Obamacare.
"A lot of economic activity is generated by the growth in health care jobs yet we stand to lose all that if Republicans foolishly go ahead with their plan to repeal the ACA," Sanchez said.