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Battle over ObamaCare shifts from courtroom to campaign trail

 

The Supreme Court has made its decision on the health care overhaul. 

Now it's up to the voters to make theirs. And as Democrats and Republicans amp up their campaign to refocus the November race in part around health care, the melee could start looking a lot like 2010 -- when both sides clashed over President Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. 

Of course, Democrats want to avoid the outcome of 2010, when they lost control of the House and lost several seats in the Senate. 

But both sides are going on offense over the health care ruling, raising millions of dollars and launching a new phase of campaign messaging this week. 

Republicans are trying to cast Democrats as standing in the way of a full-scale repeal. Democrats are trying to cast Republicans as carrying water for the insurance industry. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday announced a wave of automated phone calls to targeted districts. The calls will highlight how much money each targeted lawmaker has raised off the insurance industry, accusing him or her of wanting "to put insurance companies back in charge of our health care." 

"Democrats are on offense as we expose these House Republicans for standing up for insurance companies and congressional perks instead of protecting consumers," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. 

Not to be outdone, Republicans were ready with their own health care-themed campaign on Monday. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee rolled out TV ads in House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's home state of California -- targeting three incumbent Democrats, Reps. Jerry McNerney, Lois Capps and John Garamendi. 

In the ad, the main actress laments the Supreme Court's decision while texting her 'sister.' 

"Ugh. The court upheld ObamaCare," the actress types, as they complain the decision coincides with higher premiums. 

"Time to repeal this mess," one types, before accusing one of the three Democratic incumbents of wanting to "keep the whole %^#* thing." She then asks whether they can "repeal" the lawmaker. 

Though the economy is still considered the top issue in 2012, NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsay said the two issues can be viewed through the "same prism." 

"From what you're hearing from small businesses, this is a direct impediment to their ability to create jobs and hire new workers," he said, adding that Democrats are standing in the way of repeal. 

All 435 seats are being contested in the House, which is now controlled by Republicans 242 to 191. 

The Senate is now controlled by Democrats 53-47. Thirty three of the 100 seats are being contested in the November election -- 10 Republican, 23 Democrat and two independent, who typically caucus with Democrats. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told "Fox News Sunday" the races in his chamber will be "a referendum on this job-killing, health care, tax-increasing measure." 

McConnell, R-Ky., also suggested incumbent Senate Democrats seeking reelection in November will face a difficult challenge because all of them voted in favor of a law "deeply unpopular with the American people." 

McConnell also said, "We have one last chance here to defeat ObamaCare. We can do that in the November election." 

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation" said fellow Democrats should campaign on the merits of the legislation, despite many losing their seat in 2010 because of Tea Party supporters unhappy with their support for the act. 

O'Malley said his party "needs to do a better job" of saying the economy will never improve if the federal government continues to throw away money on expensive health care "for fewer people with worse and worse outcomes." 

The DCCC, in its initial round of auto-phone calls, is targeting 10 Republicans over their opposition to the health care law -- including Rep. Dan Lungren in California and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in Maryland.