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Schumer: Most Senate Democrats Will Oppose Health Care Repeal

Nearly all Democrats are expected to vote against repealing the health care overhaul law Wednesday, with even moderates up for re-election in 2012 such as Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) deeply opposed to repeal.

Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said party leaders are not whipping the vote, but he expects most and maybe all Democrats to oppose repeal. “There is no way this repeal will pass,” he said.

The language is being offered as an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that the chamber is considering. Because the repeal would add to the deficit, the amendment must clear a 60-vote point of order, but it appears unlikely to get even a bare majority of 51 votes.

Nelson, in a media call Wednesday, called for fixing the health care overhaul, not repealing it. “We need to improve the law, not throw it out,” he said.

“Who wants to go backward and tell 220,000 Nebraskans they can’t have health insurance? Who wants to deny young adults coverage on their parents’ plan? Who wants to deny children health insurance because they have pre-existing medical conditions?” he asked.

At a pen-and-pad news conference Wednesday, Schumer and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) accused Republicans of hypocrisy if they accept government health insurance but support repealing the health care law. 

Brown pledged when he was first elected to the House in 1992 that he would not enroll in the government insurance plan until Congress acted on a health care law for the country. He paid for his own health insurance from that first election until this month.

Schumer praised the 16 House Republicans who have decided not to sign up for the government insurance plan. “At least they are walking the walk and rejecting coverage from the government,” he said. “What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander.”

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