The unwillingness of Democratic lawmakers to run on the passage of sweeping health care reform legislation has been an oft-noted feature of the 2010 campaign, mainly because the party's elders insisted that the law would prove to be an electoral boon.
But not everyone has shied away from touting the reforms that were passed. In North Dakota, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) has put up a spot defending his vote after it was attacked and mis-characterized by his opponent. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle praised him for doing so, and even suggested that health care reform's political viability rested on whether or not Pomeroy won reelection.
Now, however, another Democratic lawmaker is making an even bolder play with respect to health care. Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.) who won his seat in New York's 20th district early in the Obama presidency, is up with a new ad attacking his opponent for wanting to repeal the law.
"Time for a reality check. Chris Gibson wants to repeal the health care law. Chris Gibson would let insurance companies go back to denying coverage for preexisting conditions; he would let them restore lifetime limits on coverage. Chris Gibson would eliminate mandatory coverage for preventive care like mammograms and colon screenings, and seniors would pay more for prescription drugs. Chris Gibson: he is for the insurance industry, not you.
The spot is a rarity in this cycle: a Democrat using health care reform not only as a sales pitch, but also as a bludgeon to hold over the head of his repeal-oriented challenger. And if Daschle viewed Pomeroy's effort as a linchpin to health care reform's political future, he and other reform advocates will be looking closely to see how Murphy's more aggressive ad plays in upstate New York.