"Fifteen months before the midterm congressional election, health care is appearing in candidate stump speeches and interviews — particularly by Republican challengers… running in districts recently claimed by Democrats," USA Today reports. "That dynamic helps explain why a $1 trillion-plus health care bill stalled last week in Congress. … Obama has said he wants lawmakers to finish health care by the end of the year, in part because it could become mired in election-year politics. All 435 members of the House and 36 members of the Senate are up for election in 2010."
And "candidates across the country are raising the issue and putting pressure on incumbents. Among the talking points: A government-run health benefits program will put private insurers out of business. 'Having the government involved in health care to that degree is really counterproductive,' said Steve Chabot, a Republican running to reclaim the Ohio seat he lost to Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus last year. Driehaus responded with an argument Democrats are likely to use in races across the country: Complex legislation like health care requires votes that won't make everyone happy" (Fritze, 7/27).