Tea-party leaders are delivering a bold ultimatum to all congressional candidates in 2010: Pledge to repeal the health-care reform bill in its entirety if it passes – or you will be booted from office.
FreedomWorks Press Secretary Adam Brandon told WND the message couldn’t be any clearer. Asked whether he believes the tea party movement will seek to oust politicians who refuse to repeal the legislation, he emphatically declared, “Absolutely.”
Max Pappas, vice president of FreedomWorks, echoed Brandon’s statements in an interview with Gary Sargent, Washington blogger for the Plum Line, this week.
“This has an unusual ability to be repealed, and the public is on that side.” he said. “The Republicans are going to have to prove that they are worthy of their votes.”
Both Brandon and Pappas emphasized that Congress must try to repeal the whole bill if it passes.
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Brandon said most people are opposed to the bill’s requirement that citizens pay a fine if they don’t maintain insurance
for themselves and their families. Under the current bills, the government will also collect taxes for 10 years, but only pay out benefits for the last six years. As WND reported, majority Democrats in the U.S. Senate have inserted in the fine print a provision that it would take a supermajority of 67 votes in the Senate for future legislative bodies to even consider amendments to its provisions for “death panels.”
Other serious concerns about the current legislation include possible health-care rationing, denial of treatment, substantial cost increases and stifling of medical innovation.
Also, the Senate bill provides that Medicare fees for doctors would be cut by 20 percent beginning in 2011, but the Heritage Foundation notes, “Nobody believes these cuts will be allowed to happen.” If the cuts don’t take place, it would result in an added $196 billion to the deficit in the first 10 years and $765 billion in the following one, according to Congressional Budget Office calculations.
As WND reported, FreedomWorks is partnering with the American Liberty Alliance and several other groups to launch a massive Tax Day tea party at the White House Ellipse on April 15, 2010.
“We’re delivering this one right to the White House,” Brandon said. “It could spill out over into the Washington Monument, so it’ll be a hell of a visual.”
Brandon said FreedomWorks has been told “legislative entrepreneurs” are already planning a Senate bill calling for repeal of the health-care legislation, should it pass.
“That means there will be something we can start to rally around in 2010,” he said. “We’re going to remind them every step of the way that this bill was a real stinker.”
He said Democrats plan to tell the electorate this year: “We said we were going to do this, and we did it.”
“They passed a terrible bill. Not only was it a terrible bill, but it was a disgusting process to watch,” Brandon said. “It was almost like they were playing mafia with taxpayer dollars.”
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In an earlier interview with the Plum Line, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schultz said Democrats are conspiring to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire as well.
“Republicans on the ballot next November who opposed the bill will be in the precarious position of telling voters they plan to rollback landmark health-care reform which will have afforded coverage
to hundreds of thousands in their state,” Schultz said. “We absolutely intend to make Republicans look voters in the eye next November and make it clear they want to take affordable health-care reform away from them.”
ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., “Do you think that Republicans running for Senate in 2010 should run on a platform of vowing to repeal the health-care reform bill, should it become law? And will that be one of your first items should you regain control of the Senate, repealing what you guys call Obamacare?”
McConnell appeared to evade the question and Tapper asked once again, “Respectfully, sir, you didn’t answer my question, which is should Republicans campaign on a platform of repealing the health-care reform measure? And will that be one of the first items on your agenda should you become the new Senate majority leader after the 2010 elections?”
Then McConnell replied, “There’s no question that this bill, if it were to become law, and frankly even if it doesn’t become law, will be a big, if not central issue not only in the 2010 election, but in the 2012 election.”
However, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, wasn’t so hesitant to declare his intentions.
“If they somehow manage to get the votes and get enough Democrats to walk the plank and commit suicide, in the next Congress, I’ll be chairman Joe Barton of the Energy and Commerce committee, and we’ll repeal it,” Barton told the Hill today.
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “I suspect every Republican running in ’10 and again in ’12 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill. The bill – most of the bill does not go into effect until ’13 or ’14, except on the tax increase side; and therefore, I think there won’t be any great constituency for it. And I think it’ll be a major campaign theme.”
Brandon said, “Now, realistically, with Obama as president and with the current Congress, could you get repeal? No. But we can build up the momentum so that during the next Congress it gets repealed.
“Would President Obama veto that one? I don’t know. I think when President Clinton saw the writing on the wall, he became a pretty moderate guy. So we’ll see if Obama would then say, ‘This doesn’t reach any of our goals.'”
Brandon said Americans must act now because Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted, so they will be back for the rest of their demands.
“This issue isn’t done and over. Their final goal is to create a system where in 10 to 15 years from now, we will have a single-payer system,” he said. “We’re going to stop that and repeal this. We have to pull this weed out by the roots. ”