Democrats tying their fates to passage of health reform?

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

When President Obama signed sweeping healthcare reform legislation into law, he was doing more than carving out his legacy. He also might have been helping determine whether congressional Democrats seeking re-election in the fall would likely keep their jobs.

Healthcare reform legislation was muscled through both chambers by congressional Democrats. Depending on how the measure is received, they stand to either reap rewards or pay a huge political price in November.

Like most health bills, this one largely focuses on doctors, hospitals and insurers. But long-term care is hardly overlooked.

The new law includes the CLASS Act. As such, it will set up a pot for discretionary long-term care spending. This aspect was lauded by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, which championed the CLASS Act as a primary legislative goal.

Provisions that clarify nursing home ownership are likely to make clearer who owns and operates many facilities.

No Republicans voted for the measure, and they continue to voice criticism of the law. More than a dozen introduced a bill to repeal it. Attorneys general from 13 states also filed suit to rescind it. They claim that new Medicaid-payment demands exceed federal authority.