A broad coalition of grass-roots conservatives, right-to-life proponents, and establishment conservatives rejoiced Thursday evening after the House passed a bill repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
The 245 to 189 vote fell largely along party lines, with Republicans joined by three Democratic defections: Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, and Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina.
“It’s a momentous day and we’re thrilled,” GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview just minutes after the final tally.
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Although some polls suggest opposition to the president’s healthcare reforms is softening, Bachmann says she sees just the opposite trend.
Insurance premiums for some of her constituents have jumped 25 to 45 percent, she says, and she predicts the Affordable Care Act will have a “devastating impact” on U.S. voters.
“That’s only going to continue as more and more about Obamacare is known by people,” she said. “That’s why this is a clunker, the American people don’t want it.
“It has nothing to do with our American way of life. So we need to get rid of it, because quite frankly it’s the crown jewel of socialism, and it’s got to go,” she said.
Wednesday’s vote represented the culmination of the fierce conservative resistance to Democratic healthcare reform proposals that first manifested itself in the summer of 2009 at town hall meetings nationwide.
That grass-roots uprising fueled the GOP mid-term landslide in November, which in turn made Wednesday’s repeal vote possible.
In her exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV Bachmann said the November midterms effectively “repealed Nancy Pelosi.”
The next objective for Republicans, she said, is to “repeal” President Barack Obama by defeating him at the ballot box in 2012, in order to change the law spike the entire act.
Bachmann, the founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, called the president “a steel-door obstacle” to a full repeal of Obamacare. President Obama has said he will entertain modifications to his signature piece of legislation, but will veto any attempt to repeal it.
According to Bachmann, Wednesday’s vote was much more than just symbolic. She called it a “down payment on the full-scale repeal of Obamacare.”
Republicans, she conceded, will need Democratic support to move forward on any measures to refine the existing law. But she also left no doubt that her party’s ultimate objective is to repeal the Affordable Care Act altogether.
“We will not back down, nor will we lose our resolve, until Obamacare is completely, 100 percent repealed,” she pledged. “That’s why everything is about the 2012 election.”
Bachmann said that members of this more conservative 112th Congress will introduce bills seeking to reform medical-malpractice laws that Republicans blame for driving up health-insurance costs.
Bachmann also said that Republicans intend to attach a “rider or amendment” to every appropriations bill they move through the House, insisting “that no money included in that bill can be used in any way to implement the Obamacare legislation.”
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