Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor:
We understand the House of Representatives is scheduled next week to consider legislation--the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act (H.R.452)--to repeal Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and we write to express our concerns with this strategy.
IPAB is an unelected and unaccountable board of 15 bureaucrats empowered to set Medicare reimbursement rates in order to control costs, and it will mean rationed health care for our nation's senior citizens. To be clear, we adamantly support its repeal. However, we are gravely concerned that IPAB alone is being proposed for repeal and not part of a full repeal of Obamacare. This legislation is part of a troubling trend to break off the worst portions of Obamacare for individual votes, which muddies the water in this election year between those who are adamantly opposed to Obamacare and those who want to see its implementation.
This approach is misguided at this point in our nation's national dialogue. The entirety of Obamacare is both terrible policy and politically unpopular. Poll after poll reveal the American people's fundamental recognition that Obamacare is unconstitutional and will increase their premiums, lead to rationed care, and insert the federal government into their most personal medical decisions.
We cannot allow the idea to take root that the worst parts of Obamacare can somehow be "removed" when in fact the entire law must be rescinded. If this belief is allowed to take root, Obamacare is very likely here to stay as K Street lobbyists rush not to put their shoulders to the wheel of full repeal but to get their easy scraps from Congress' table. And of course, the political consultants will clamor for only repealing the most overwhelmingly one-sided and poll-tested appealing provisions.
In addition, partial repeal votes allow politicians of both parties to obfuscate on full repeal. It gives many who have consistently opposed full repeal an opportunity to convince their voters that they are with them just because they register occasional support for repealing an IPAB or some other politically unpalatable provision. For example, repealing IPAB has substantial support among many of the very same officials who voted for Obamacare in the first place. A vote on H.R. 452 is an outright invitation for wolves to take on sheep's clothing.
Instead of continuing to put forth partial repeals of Obamacare, the House of Representatives ought to schedule additional votes on full repeal before the coming elections. This will offer real checkpoints for the repeal coalition to grow the vote for full repeal and energize our activists.
The worst aspects of Obamacare-and the target of many of these partial repeal bills-are already discredited as policy and destabilized politically. One way or the other, they will be repealed. The question for this moment in our nation's history is whether our coalition will insist on full repeal, and we look forward to working with you towards that end.
Edwin Meese III
former Attorney General
President, Americans for Limited Government
President, Club for Growth
President, American Values
President, Media Research Center
President, HSA Coalition
President, Family Research Council
President, American Majority Action
C. Preston Noell III
President, Tradition, Family, Property
Dr. Herb London
President Emeritus, Hudson Institute
Morton C. Blackwell
Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch
J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman, Coalition for a Conservative Majority
T. Kenneth Cribb
former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan
Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action
former Publisher, American Spectator
Hon. Donna Hearne
Executive Director, Constitutional Coalition