Health Care

Pledge to Repeal ObamaCare Gains Momentum in Battleground States

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Three members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation have signed on

Two advocacy groups, American Majority Action and Independent Women’s Voice, have ramped up efforts to “make ObamaCare an issue in this election campaign.” With headquarters in four battle ground states, the organizations have 115 federal candidate or incumbent signatories to their Repeal Obamacare Pledge, including two Democrats and 74 challengers.

According to Drew Ryun, president of AMA, he and his volunteers have emailed, called, and faxed 834 incumbents and challengers, including all members of Congress. They have asked each incumbent and candidate, if elected, to commit “to vote for all bills which seek to REPEAL the health care bill, HR 3590, signed into law on March 23, 2010.” Voters may also sign up to express their support for this movement.

Ryun believes a clear majority of American voters oppose the healthcare reform of 2010 – “55 to 60 percent” – and that, as people continue to learn more, the number is rising. Media polls vary on the matter. In fact, a recent Associated Press poll had the number at only 40 percent, although 30 percent of respondents remained neutral and only 30 percent were in favor. However, by way of the campaign’s telephone survey and outreach work, he has found at least 75 percent of individuals opposed to the reform, and 90 percent of these people plan to vote.

To give these people a more explicit choice on the matter and to have an impact on elections, he and his associates have set up two or three “Liberty Headquarters” in battleground states: Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. From there they hope to make pressure for repeal “not just an election season issue.” Click below to see the organization’s latest promotional campaign video (one minute).

From Louisiana, Rodney Alexander, John Fleming, and David Vitter, have committed to the pledge – all Republican incumbents. Overall the list of signers includes seventeen Libertarian, three independent, two Constitution, and two Democratic candidates. All 33 committed incumbents are Republican.

Representative John Fleming (La. – 4th) opposes Obamacare because he believes it will prove counterproductive to both access and costs, and he believes it is equivalent to a “job-killing” tax on businesses.

“Conservatives are committed to repealing the new health care reform law however possible. The timeframe that we can accomplish this depends on the outcome of tomorrow’s election. The House can repeal it, and possibly in the Senate, but without a Republican White House committed to the same principles, we are talking about a more distant timeframe. Either way, I will work with my colleagues to continue to work to eliminate or limit funding to enforce and enact this unconstitutional law.

While only three of the nine congressmen from Louisiana have signed the pledge, Fleming believes that in the case of Republicans they “are committed to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care.” He notes the Pledge to America by Republican leadership earlier this fall as evidence of this. Stephen Bell, press secretary for Representative Steve Scalise’s (La. – 1st), also wanted to make clear that Scalise “is opposed to ObamaCare,” even if he is not a signatory to this specific pledge.

“We are on record as signing repeal and replace pledges.” And Bell points to another pledge website, Repeal It. On this pledge, only Representative Joseph Cao (La. – 2nd) of the Republican candidates has not signed on. Finally, Bell offered to look into the AMA and IWV pledge campaign.

The AMA has amassed a prominent list of endorsements, including Ryun’s father Jim Ryun, a former congressman and Olympian, and John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis and a leading “pro-free enterprise” blogger on health care policy. Organizations such as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Americans for Tax Reform, and the US Health Freedom Coalition have also given their support for the campaign. Another activist organization, Restore America’s Voice, has focused its efforts on the voter perspective and is amassing a petition.

“It’s socialism; let’s be honest,” says Drew Ryun, regarding the health care reform. His organization is against “anything that increases the size of government,” so they will continue to exist and campaign beyond the potential repeal of this particular policy.

Fergus Hodgson is the capitol bureau reporter with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He can be contacted at, and one can follow him on twitter. This article first appeared on the Institute’s home page.