In Democratic State Party Chair Dwight Pelz's swift and harsh response to Attorney General Rob McKenna's legal assault on the new health care bill, we see a preview of what's to come all over the country as Democrats now move to defend and consolidate yesterday's historic legislative victory.

Health care hits people on a highly personal level, and Pelz doesn't shy away from that fact, swinging back at McKenna via a statement loaded not just with aggressive rhetoric but also data on how many Washingtonians stand to benefit from the bill:

Keep your hands off of our health care coverage, Mr. McKenna. You and your wife and you children can see a doctor when they are sick, but for over 400,000 people in Washington that is not the case. Each year around 1,000 residents of our state die because they do not have health care coverage.

On the substance of McKenna's concerns that the bill's mandate to buy health insurance violates the U.S. Constitution's 10th Amendment and Commerce Clause, Pelz says:

We require all Americans to pay for Social Security and to pay for Medicare. Is McKenna going to challenge those two programs also? Rob McKenna should be more concerned about the health of Washington's families than about the ideology of his Right Wing Republican backers.

What's going to be even more interesting is the response from Gov. Christine Gregoire, a former attorney general herself. It's no secret that McKenna is lining up to run for governor in 2012, and this is clearly an attempt on his part to pick a fight with his possible future opponent. Gregoire's people tell me a response is coming later this afternoon.

Meanwhile, here's some of the data that Pelz tossed in McKenna's face:

According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Washington residents will benefit greatly from the Health Insurance Reform Bill. It will:

- Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 1,455,000 families to help them afford coverage.

- Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 163,600 small businesses to help them afford coverage.

-Improve Medicare for 910,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.

- Extend coverage to 442,500 uninsured residents.

- Guarantee that 105,200 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.

- Protect 10,700 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.

- Allow 526,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.

- Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 229 community health centers.

- Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by
$327,000,000 annually.