Congress Prepares to Sell Healthcare Reform on the Homefront

Lawmakers going on the road to sell healthcare reform in their home districts.  The Obama administration will work hand-in-hand with House Democrats to sell healthcare reform legislation to a wary public once members of Congress return to their home districts over the summer break.  Nancy-Ann DeParle, the White House’s healthcare reform czar, assured the legislators that the Obama administration will help them explain the ins and outs of the new law.  DeParle and other officials clarified precisely what the new law will change immediately, such as an expansion of health insurance and tax credits for small business.

Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said “They’re certainly focused on both implementation and doing that well, and in communicating with Americans about the benefits they will see.”  Schwartz noted that many lawmakers are presently answering constituents’ questions; this is expected to increase during the Congressional break and in the lead-up to the 2010 mid-term elections.

Representative Dale Kildee (D-MI) wants to see a joint effort between Congress and President Barack Obama to sell the new law, saying “The No. 1 spokesman for this lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and he can do a great job of it.”

Congress members who voted against healthcare reform are jumping on the bandwagon now that the law is starting to take effect.  One of the former antis is Representative Dan Lipinski (D-IL), who said “I’ll make sure people are aware of things that are available.  I’ve always said that there are some good things in the bill and I want to make sure that people are able to take advantage of those.”

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