The Republican presidential field has just lost one of its most vocal critics of health care reform. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a fiery conservative aligned with the tea party movement, didn’t just criticize health care reform legislation; she based her campaign on repealing it.
"The evening that 'Obamacare' was passed ... served as the inspiration for my run for the presidency of the United States,” the Minnesota lawmaker told supporters on Wednesday, as she announced the suspension of her campaign.
“What the Congress had done and what President Obama had done in passing Obamacare endangered the very survival of the United States of America,” she said. “I will continue fighting to defeat the president’s agenda of socialism.”
The Republican field is essentially united in opposition to 2010's health reform bill. But Bachmann’s opposition was by far the most passionate, consistent, and sustained. In speech after speech, debate after debate, she repeated two refrains: Repeal Obamacare, and make Barack Obama a one-term president. Bachmann zeroed in on health care reform and financial-regulation legislation -- the 2010 health reform law and Dodd-Frank, respectively -- describing both as examples of creeping socialism, and arguing that both must be repealed as soon as possible.
Bachmann has also been a vocal critic of the health care reform plan fellow contender Mitt Romney championed while governor of Massachusetts.
"We also know that Mitt Romney is the only governor in the history of the United States to put into place socialized medicine," she told National Journal last month. "Mitt Romney will never get rid of the health care mandate under Obamacare."