Election-Year Politics Swirl Around Health Law Arguments

Democrats, including President Barack Obama and members of Congress, have different strategies for how they will handle the spotlight on the health law next week, when it comes before the Supreme Court.  House Democrats plan to celebrate the law's achievements. President Obama will be in Korea. Republicans, meanwhile, are attempting to turn it into campaign fodder.

The Washington Post: Obama Tries To Reclaim Advantage On Gas Prices, Health Care
The White House has launched a concerted effort to turn political weakness into strength on two critical election-year issues that have become big vulnerabilities for President Obama: rising gas prices and the controversial health-care law (Gardner and Wilson, 3/21).

Politico: The Obama Vacuum: House Dems Defend Health-Care Reform
House Democrats are going all out to defend their health care reform law as the Supreme Court takes the case next week. President Barack Obama is talking about energy and jobs. Next week, he's going to Korea (Allen and Nocera, 3/21).

The Hill: Liberal Dems Back Obama's No Show On Health Law Anniversary
President Obama has been a no-show on the law's second anniversary, but Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) says he's fine with that. Miller, the chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, recalled Wednesday how "proud" he was to stand by Obama two years ago when the president signed healthcare reform into law. "He's been very outspoken on healthcare, and I think the opponents of the plan have made the case for him," Miller told The Hill. The Supreme Court case challenging the law's individual mandate, which starts next week," is where the administration should be focusing its talents" (Pecquet, 3/21).

Arizona Republic: Flake Marks 'Obamacare' Birthday With Web Video
Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican running for the Senate, on Wednesday marked the anniversary of the congressional passage of President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul with a statement and campaign web video that highlights his opposition to the 2010 legislation... Flake hopes to succeed the retiring three-term Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. (Nowicki, 3/21).

Boston Globe: Governor Patrick: Affordable Care Act 'Deserves To Be Defended'
The Affordable Care Act is a "value statement," affirming that access to health care is a public health concern, Governor Deval Patrick said Wednesday morning. Speaking after an appearance with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to promote the National Prevention Strategy, Patrick declined to offer predictions about how the law will fare next week as the US Supreme Court hears a case challenging the law. But he offered an opinion on how he thinks it should go (Conaboy, 3/21).

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