IWV ObamaCare Repeal Pledge • Wall Street Journal

The ObamaCare Repeal Pledge with a difference: We’ve created a candidate pledge that goes farther than any other: this is the pledge that makes it clear where candidates stand, and holds our representatives accountable both to the specific processes of repealing the health care legislation as well as to all the necessary incremental steps along the way they can and should  be taking until repeal is possible.

And this candidate pledge doesn't stand alone: you give it teeth.

We not only urge you to ask your candidates to sign The Repeal Pledge, but we also know that politicians will only realize how serious we are if you sign The People's Promise, the citizen's petition that specifically references the pledge you want candidates to sign: that way you make it absolutely clear that you will not to support any candidate who won't agree to work for repeal, the standards you expect them to uphold, and the fact that you'll hold them accountable.

The Wall Street Journal gave IWV’s Repeal Pledge high marks in an editorial on “holding politicians to their promise to replace ObamaCare:”

Launched a week ago by the nonprofit outfits Independent Women's Voice and American Majority Action, the repeal pledge has been signed so far by 43 Republicans. Its sponsors are about to name a board of outside policy experts to evaluate all votes and let the public track how Members shake out on health care. The pledge applies beyond repeal per se to interim steps like discharge petitions to allow certain up-or-down votes in Congress on partial repeal, stripping funding from some ObamaCare subsidy or enforcement programs, and repealing certain regulations.

Dismembering ObamaCare limb by limb is probably the best, and perhaps the only, political strategy for at least the next two years. Meanwhile, many Republicans may figure that the path of least political resistance will be to hold a symbolic vote on repeal and claim victory, even if it is filibustered in the Senate or vetoed by President Obama. Republicans are also notoriously fractious on health policy and will need outside pressure if they ever do get around to the "replace" part.

Investor’s Business Daily notes that IWV’s pledge will be especially effective in keeping Republicans from finding ways to dodge the health care issue:  

The IWV pledge commits candidates and members who sign it to vote for full repeal and for legislation that kills ObamaCare provisions such as the tax hikes and the individual mandate to buy insurance. Thus far, 52 members and candidates have signed it.

Similarly, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru deems our Repeal Pledge the “most ironclad pledge I’ve seen out there:”

If the Democratic candidate takes the pledge, then the Republican has (a) done some good and (b) made himself look like a leader and the Democrat like a follower. If the Democrat refuses to take the pledge, he has exposed his stated opposition to Obamacare as a pretense. Either way, it’s a win for conservatives.

Blogger Bill Pascoe has also explained these pledges are so effective:

The most famous and useful pledge in American politics, of course, is the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," the granddaddy of them all on the conservative side. ...

Two promises, one sentence, a binary pledge -- this is an either-or proposition, exactly what candidates need to distinguish themselves from their opponents. No shades of gray allowed, it's a yes-no, up-down, black-white issue. It forces candidates to take a clear stand -- you're either a signer, or you're not.

Pascoe mentions IWV:

Enter our friends at Independent Women's Voice, who, after much consultation with allies and even more gnashing of teeth, have created a binary pledge on health care, called The Repeal Pledge. ...

The IWV Repeal Pledge, to be unveiled and circulated to candidates shortly, will provide the kind of binary pledge necessary to re-inject the healthcare issue into campaigns all across the country, giving voters an opportunity to make a clear choice on the healthcare issue.

The only question is, will candidates opposed to ObamaCare be smart enough to use The Repeal Pledge to distinguish themselves from their opponents? Or will Republicans once again muff a chance?

Michael Barone has also reported on IWV's Repeal Pledge:

It will be interesting to see how many Republican candidates for Congress sign—or refuse to sign—and whether some of the Democrats who vote against Obamacare do so, especially those who have run ads bragging about that vote.

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