The law also expands access to Medicaid as a means to provide coverage to the uninsured. Democrats, citing projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, argue that the law will help reduce the deficit, although Republicans — referring to other studies — have countered those findings.
Some liberal Democrats fought for a more expansive health care overhaul and were unhappy with the compromises accepted by Obama to help secure passage of the legislation. But even they see the law as a signature achievement and are unwilling to stand by as the Republicans move to overturn their work.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, pushed hard to add the public insurance option to the health care law. He smiled, and was silent for a few moments, when asked how the majority is likely to respond to Republican effort to throw the new law out.
“The fight I’m happy to have is to make sure we have a health care system that guarantees health care to all people in a cost-effective way. I hope that my state of Vermont will lead the country in moving toward a single-payer system,” Sanders said. “I have the feeling, in many ways, our Republican friends are going to try to dismantle many programs which benefit working families, and that has to be fought vigorously.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.