By Jason Millman - 12/16/10 02:53 PM EST
An influential Tea Party group is urging Congress to hold votes in January to repeal healthcare reform in its entirety, according to a confidential memo to congressional Republicans.
The FreedomWorks memo, obtained by The Hill, outlines a strategy that starts with holding a vote in January to repeal the entire law. The group, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), said Congress should then hold repeal votes on certain provisions of the law, such as the individual mandate.
“Repeal is achievable, possibly sooner than many expect, because the American people clearly want and expect repeal, and because the law is vulnerable to effective repeal,” the memo said.
FreedomWorks claimed the reform law is vulnerable because public support for repeal has increased since the midterm elections; the law’s structure makes it immune to repair but vulnerable to repeal; fiscal realities make the law an “irresistible” source of offsets for deficit reduction; 60 percent of the states are challenging it; and the Supreme Court may rule it unconstitutional.
The group identifies four reform provisions it believes have bipartisan support: the individual mandate, 1099 reporting requirements, a bill allowing Americans to keep the private health insurance the way it is and a bill that lets states opt of out Medicaid eligibility expansion. FreedomWorks also thinks it has time on its side, writing that 70 percent of the law’s spending doesn’t begin until 2014.
FreedomWorks said it would have more in the coming months on a strategy to replace the reform law with “a set of patient-centered” bills.