By Mike Lillis - 10/14/10 09:48 PM EDT
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday became the highest-ranking lawmaker to sign a conservative pledge to repeal and replace the Democrats' healthcare reform law.
Revere America, a Washington-based conservative group named after the 18th-century Boston patriot, sent its repeal pledge to all members of Congress and the candidates challenging them this election season. Twenty-one Republicans have endorsed the motion, with Boehner leading the pack.
"We are pleased that Leader Boehner is joining this effort," former New York Gov. George Pataki (R), chairman of Revere America, said in a statement. "We will count on his leadership in the 111th Congress."
The group, Pataki added, "is receiving signed pledges every day."
They have a tough road ahead. Not only would repeal legislation face the impossible task of avoiding a presidential veto, but the most controversial provisions of the law — things like the individual insurance mandate — are inextricably linked to the most popular reforms, like the prohibition on denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
Critics of the law want to scrap the former and keep the latter — but have never fully explained how they'd do it.
It hasn't stopped them from trying. Last month, Revere America launched a seven-figure ad campaign targeting roughly a dozen Democrats from conservative-leaning districts who voted in favor of the law.
More recently, Pataki has been touring the country, focusing on those same districts in hopes of ousting the Democrats who supported the law.
"It's a bad law," Pataki said last month. "The American people know it's a bad law, and we're going to remind them."