Among the more than 80 House freshmen who were sworn in this week, there were several who had been there before — including Florida Democrat Alan Grayson.
After starting his first term four years ago, Grayson quickly made a name for himself with biting comments targeting Republicans — like when he said during the health care debate: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."
His national stature didn't prevent him from being defeated in 2010. But now Grayson is back.
Just how powerful is Medicare as a political weapon? So powerful that for the past two election cycles it's been a favorite cudgel for both Republicans and Democrats.
And the election of Democrat Kathy Hochul to fill a traditionally GOP seat in upstate New York in May is just the latest demonstration.
Hochul and the national Democratic party ran a campaign based on large part on the House Republican Budget passed in April that would essential privatize the government program for the elderly and disabled. And their campaign worked.