(CNSNews.com) -- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), founder and chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus, told
A spokesman for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R.-Va.), who will be the House majority leader in the next Congress, told
A spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R.-Ohio), who will be the speaker of the House in the next Congress, answered more ambiguously, saying that Boehner was committed to holding a vote to repeal Obamacare, but not directly stating whether that vote would tie the repeal of Obamcare to other issues such as health-care reforms intended to “replace” Obamacare.
In “A Pledge to America,” a document released by the House Republican leadership before the November election, the Republican leaders promised to both “repeal and replace” Obamacare--rather than to simply repeal it.
“We will repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship,” said the pledge.
“We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick,” the pledge added.
In a videotaped interview this week,
“Yes. I do,” said Bachmann. “I was the first member of Congress to go to the floor and introduce a bill that would repeal Obamacare lock, stock and barrel. It was 41 words long, very simple. It would eviscerate the entire bill and that’s what we need to do, because it is the government takeover of one-sixth of the economy. We’ve already see the devastating impacts. It doesn’t work.”
“If they don’t,” said Bachmann, “I think there needs to be an insurrection here in
“Whether it’s private industry in health care, whether it’s the takeover of GM and Chrysler, the takeover of the student loan industry, or of the secondary housing mortgage market, or of banks, this is completely antithetical to American history to have the federal government takeover and run and control and direct and own private businesses,” said Bachmann. “Our economy cannot turn around if we turn away from the model of free enterprise.”
Bachmann did say that she takes the Repubican leaders “at their word,” but then vowed that if they cave there would be members of Congress who would fight them on it.
“I believe the best in them, and I take them at their word when they say this is what they’re going to do,” she said. “But if they decide they’re going to cave, or go weak in the knees, you will see members of Congress that will stand up against our leadership because we’re going to stand with the people on this issue.”
Bachmann said that Boehner and Cantor had said they stand for repeal of Obamacare, but when she was reminded that the Pledge to
“That’s where the problem will be,” she said. “Because if we want to replace it with Obamacare-lite where the government comes in and tries to have interventionist policies, we are going to continue to see failure. We need to return free markets to health care.”
Bachmann said she thought it would be wrong-headed for Republicans to replace Obamacare with federal government intrusions in the health-care market such as forcing insurance companies to take people regardless of pre-existing conditions, eliminating caps on benefits and forcing insurance companies to cover people’s children until they are 26.
“I think it’s the wrong way for Republicans to go, and I have a bill that would get to cost,” she said. “That’s the real issue. It’s dealing with cost, and if you let any American buy any health insurance policy they want with no minimums and buy it anywhere in the United States, allow people to purchase the policies and pay the co-pays and high deductibles and all the other medical-related expenses with their own tax free money and then deduct the rest on their income tax return and have real tort reform, everyone in the United States will see their health care costs go down, because there is no perfect system.”
Megan Whittemore, spokesman for House Majority Leader-to-be Eric Cantor, told CSNews.com that Cantor is unambiguously committed a straight up-or-down vote on repealing Obamacare that is not tied to any thing else, period.
“To reiterate, there is no ‘tying’ a repeal bill to anything,” Whtitemore said in an email. “Very soon after Republicans become the majority, there will be a straight up or down vote on full repeal of ObamaCare, period. Eric led the effort against ObamaCare during its consideration in the House and has said nothing but full repeal since.
“Bachmann’s position is the same as Eric’s,” said Whittemore. “To be absolutely clear and avoid any possible confusion, Eric Cantor supports nothing less than the full and complete repeal of Obamacare. As Majority Leader in the 112th Congress, Eric will ensure that the entire Obamacare fiasco will be repealed by the new Republican Majority. (Emphasis in original.)
“When ObamaCare is repealed, Eric has said that he supports several commonsense reforms including: tort reform that will help end frivolous lawsuits that only serve to drive up costs; portability of insurance policies across state lines; high risk pools for pre-existing conditions,” Whittemore said.
“These reforms were included in the Republican Health Care alternative bill that was supported by nearly every Republican in the House, including conservatives in the House, including Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Jeb Hensarling, Michele Bachmann, and John Shaddegg,” said Whittemore.
“As you know, Eric led the whip operation against ObamaCare and has sought its repeal from the minute that it became law,” she said.
House Speaker-to-be John Boeher’s office provided a more ambiguous answer.
“We have pledged to
“Yes, but will it be in a straight up-or-down vote that is not tied to any ‘replacement’ policies or anything else?”
“We will have a vote to repeal ObamaCare. I can’t be any clearer than that,” said Steel via email.
Boehner Spokesman Steel did not respond to this query.