Bachmann says GOP-led House must pass ‘full-scale’ repeal of health care law

WASHINGTON — Simply attempting to defund parts or repeal the most onerous parts of the health care law won’t be enough for the new Republican-led Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann told MinnPost in a Tuesday interview.

“Quite frankly, knowing the parameters we have, success will be passing the full-scale repeal of Obamacare through the House,” Bachmann said.

“I’m serious about it, and not just a perfunctory thing, but I think we need to demonstrate to the public that we mean business.”

Bachmann returns to the 112th session in a unique position, after a brief campaign for the No. 4 slot in the House Republican leadership — a bid she withdrew after it became clear that Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling had a majority of caucus support while Bachmann counted just five public supporters.

House GOP leaders lined up en masse behind Hensarling, partly because they wanted him there and partly because they didn’t want Bachmann.

But while her official position may remain that of a simple back-bencher, her influence is considerable. Bachmann still heads the House Tea Party Caucus that she founded, in a party conference now dominated by people who claim the Tea Party mantle. She’s still able to drive the debate through frequent visits on cable news and conservative talk radio. And she was easily the most successful Republican fundraiser in the House over the recently concluded election cycle.

Bachmann says there are no hard feelings toward party leaders who backed Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling over her — “I’m a big girl,” she said with a smile.

“I’m not seeing myself in opposition to leadership, I’m not seeing myself as hostile to leadership,” she said.

Yet that doesn’t mean she’s planning to hold with party leaders if they stray from what she calls bedrock principles — like the 2008 Wall Street bailout that she vehemently opposed as GOP leaders worked to whip up votes in favor of the plan.

“I haven’t been fearful to take my leadership and my president on in the first four years, and I won’t be fearful to take them on again.”

Update: Michael Steel, spokeman for likely House Speaker John Boehner, e-mails what sounds like an agreement.

“We made a Pledge to America that includes repealing and replacing the job-killing ObamaCare law. That’s what we’ll fight for.”

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by John Ferman on 11/17/2010 - 11:36 am.

    Of course, this isn’t the first story about Rep Bachmann’s opposition to health care reform. But in none of those stories do we learn ‘why’ she is so opposed. A simple question; why does she like a system that covers a lesser percentage of citizens for twice the cost, in terms of percentage of GDP, than any other industrialized country in the world. It seems to me that she would not put up with that. So why in specific terms should be made apparent.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 11/17/2010 - 11:45 am.

    Washington’s version of “one stop shopping” for businesses:


    Health insurers last year gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law, according to tax records and people familiar with the donation.

    (end quote)

  3. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 11/17/2010 - 11:47 am.

    The axe lady is now officially empowered. L’aventure commence, let the rampage begin!

  4. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 11/17/2010 - 12:52 pm.


    Michelle is part of the, to me, very baffling PRO-LIFE movement that says ANY child, no matter how deformed, no matter how conceived, not matter whether the mother will die in childbirth or not, MUST be born. Then after its birth, that child, its family, and all of God’s other children are on their own to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”. (Have never been able to visualize that one either.)

    Wish I could remember the name of the guy from Inver Grove Heights who wrote a letter to the editor in the Strib, I think, a few days ago, who explained VERY carefully that a right to health care is not found in the Constitution, so no one has a right to health care.

    But if the PRO-LIFE folks are all for the life of unborn infants, where is the PRO_LIFE backing for actually being to LIVE a health life????

    They don’t want death panels, by golly, but if Grandpa and Grandma die because they can’t afford health care, apparently it doesn’t matter.

    Can someone explain this to me??

  5. Submitted by T J Simplot on 11/17/2010 - 02:31 pm.

    Full disclosure: I work in the health insurance industry.

    That said, With a Democratic President and Senate, the chances of a full repeal are slim and none. She should focus her energy on changing aspects of the law and not repealing it because a repeal is not going to happen.

  6. Submitted by Jim Meyer on 11/17/2010 - 03:27 pm.

    Thank you John and Sheila for asking the question I also had. I hope somebody in position can find the answer, though I fully understand Michelle is not very open to deep questioning. C’mon local news media en masse; give it your best shot.

  7. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/17/2010 - 03:32 pm.

    The worst thing that could happen to La Bachmann is that she could actually DO something that she could be held accountable for.

  8. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/17/2010 - 04:05 pm.

    What kind of Tea are people drinking when they decide that insurance companies should be able to return to the terrible abuses they inflicted upon their customers (including huge rate increases year after year while providing the same less coverage), young 20-somethings should go without insurance and hope they don’t get sick, Medicare should continue to cost more without the adjustments made to eliminate wasteful spending, ETC ETC ETC?

    The only justifiable reason for repealing this law, imperfect though it may be but nevertheless ten times better than we had before, would be to replace it with the solution that DOES achieve both universality and significant ($400 billion per year) cost savings — single payer.

  9. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/17/2010 - 08:47 pm.

    If these bozos do try to repeal the Health Care Reform Act, I hope some Democrat put a rider on that would also repeal health care for all members of the Senate and Congress. In fact, I hope they would make add repeal government subsidized health care for everyone: the military, ex-military, government employees, the judiciary, etc. Make it illegal to purchase “health insurance except the same way you buy auto, life, property and other insurance. I’d like to see how people like it when they have to deal on their own with the health insurance octopus. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    I read that Matt Taibi wrote in his new book that Bachmann voted against financial industry reform because she thought it would eliminate free checking. She was against Health Care Reform before she even knew what it was going to be about because it was somehow “socialist”, that is, the idea was to “socialize” health care costs. She calls health care reform a job killer when one of the main reasons US industries cannot compete against foreign manufacturers is because they have to pay employee health care costs while foreign competitors don’t.

    Many people voted for Bachmann because she is militantly “pro-life” without bothering to think what that means. Pro-life means passing a law that makes abortion illegal but which every study that’s been done, does not stop abortion but just endangers the lives of women. People like Bachmann and her followers are not “pro-life.” They are “pro-stupid laws”.

  10. Submitted by Wm. Sweeney on 11/18/2010 - 05:13 am.

    I would like to see a report on Rep. Bachmann’s plans to include David Barton in sessions to teach new House members about the US Constitution.

  11. Submitted by Eric Glenne on 11/18/2010 - 07:39 am.

    I heard on public radio that the GOP could shoot themselves in the foot with this one. When asked blanketly “Do you support the healthcare legislation?” most polled said no. But when the specific aspects of the reform were then listed separately, the same people who said no indicated they highly supported many of the items.

    Pundits speculate that trying to trip apart this law will mean that the nuts and bolts of it will come to better public light and support will actually increase. There are aspects that will be changed however, but I think the Dems knew that all along.

  12. Submitted by Richard Molby on 11/18/2010 - 08:42 am.

    Why does anyone outside of Wing Nut Media™ give her a voice? Even her own party, now in control of Congress, doesn’t want her in a position of power because they think she’s nuts, too! So for her to run around the country saying what Congress will do is a bald-faced lie and news organizations who want to be taken seriously would do best to either ignore her or disprove her (see Anderson Cooper on CNN) but to just give her a platform gives her credibility. And, like just about everything she says, that is just flat wrong.

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