Rep. Michele Bachmann: House Republicans Should ‘Fully Defund Obamacare’ Under Congress’ ‘Power of the Purse’

By Nicholas Ballasy | January 7, 2011 | 5:24 PM EST

( -- Given that House Republican efforts to “completely” repeal the health care law will face hurdles in the Democrat-controlled Senate or a presidential veto, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told that Republicans should use Congress’ “power of the purse” to “fully defund Obamacare.” asked Rep. Bachmann whether she agreed with Rep. Steve King’s (R-Iowa) proposal to include specific language in appropriations bills passed by the GOP-led House to prohibit the funding of the health care law.

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Bachmann said: “Absolutely, and not only that, in the last 111th Congress, he [Rep. King] and I talked about this concept that we needed to make sure that we defund Obamacare through the appropriations process and I applaud him for taking the lead on that. I was the very first member of Congress that introduced the full scale repeal of Obamacare.”

Representative Bachmann spoke with on Friday shortly after four Democrats joined House Republicans in voting “yes” to begin debate on a measure to repeal the health care law.

“I did that the morning after Obamacare passed and now, this year, he and I will be dropping in another bill – the Bachmann-King repeal of health care bill -- and that is our intent in our heart to make sure that Obamacare is completely repealed,” she said.

“But until we can see that happen, we want to fully defund this bill so that, like, it would be akin to a helium balloon that gets no helium inside so that it can’t take off the ground, and that’s what we’re planning to do,” said Bachmann. “I’m very, very grateful for nothing else; having a majority in the House of Representatives so that we have the ability of the power of the purse to not fund Obamacare, and this is exactly the right way to go.” also asked Bachmann if she thinks House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will support defunding the health care law given that repeal will likely fail in the Senate or get vetoed by President Obama.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 19, 2010. (Associated Press/Cliff Owen)

“I think he will be because I think you will see the membership all behind defunding Obamacare,” said Bachmann, “because that’s what we’re hearing from the people back home. They want us to repeal Obamacare. And this is the next best thing, which is defunding Obamacare.”

“Let’s face it,” she said. “Our budget is broke in the United States. We’re effectively bankrupt in this country. We can’t afford to take on another new expensive entitlement program for at least 30 million people and Obamacare had so many holes in it.”

Bachmann further said that the current health care law should be replaced with a law that allows Americans to buy their own health insurance anywhere in the country.

“We have to move toward a policy of personal responsibility, which is why we have to defund Obamacare and, in its place, substitute a bill that will allow every American to buy their own health insurance policy anywhere in the country with no minimum mandates,” she said.

“Buy it with their own tax-free money, deduct the rest of any of their other expenses and then have true medical malpractice reform,” she said. “If you do that, everyone’s health care will go down and that’s true free market in health care.”

Other House Republicans like Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) and Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) have not committed to defunding the health reform law.

In September 2010, then-Minority Leader John Boehner was asked by if he supported defunding the health care law considering that the president will likely veto any attempt to repeal the law.

“I am committed to doing everything that I can do and our team can do to prevent Obamacare from being implemented,” Boehner said.  “I believe that this bill will ruin the best health care system in the world, and I believe that it will bankrupt our country. Now, when I say everything, I mean everything.”