The national gay group Log Cabin Republicans this week joined 21 conservative organizations, including some that oppose LGBT rights, in signing a letter calling on Congress to gut President Obama’s health care reform law.
The letter came shortly before the House began debate Friday morning on a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) that would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from becoming involved in any way in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including providing tax credits to individuals and small businesses to lower their health insurance premiums.
The bill, which Obama supporters say would effectively kill the health care reform law, marks the 40th attempt by House Republicans to kill the controversial law.
“I wanted you to know that today Log Cabin Republicans joined Americans for Tax Reform and a broad coalition of national conservative leaders as co-signers of a letter demanding that the United States Congress remove the Internal Revenue Service from any role in the implementation of the tyrannical Obamacare law,” Log Cabin Executive Director Gregory Angelo said in an Aug. 1 letter to the group’s members.
“The healthcare of the American people is one of the most personal and private aspects of our lives – even more so for LGBT Americans,” Angelo said in his letter. “Recent controversies about IRS targeting are bad enough, but with present scandals set aside, the last thing any member of the LGBT community needs is the IRS involved in any way in our heath care,” he said.
Angelo was referring to allegations that IRS officials gave greater scrutiny to conservative groups applying for a non-profit, tax-exempt status. A congressional investigation into the allegations prompted the IRS to apologize for the actions of a few officials who reportedly gave greater scrutiny to conservative groups. However, IRS officials said the agency also challenged tax-exempt applications of liberal-leaning groups.
Among the organizations co-signing the letter to Congress with Log Cabin were Concerned Women for America, which opposes virtually all LGBT rights legislation pending in Congress; the American Conservative Union, which barred Log Cabin and the gay conservative group GOProud from participating in its annual Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference in March; and Restore America’s Mission, which advocates against same-sex marriage.
Angelo told the Blade Log Cabin has made it clear that it doesn’t agree with the LGBT-related positions of some of the co-signers. But he said Log Cabin and each of the co-signers shares the strongly held position that the Obama health care reform law is harmful to the nation and should be repealed.
Angelo noted that the joint letter was initiated by Americans for Tax Reform leader Grover Norquist, who has been supportive of Log Cabin.
The House was scheduled to vote Friday on the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act, known as HR 2009. The bill would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, who has jurisdiction over the IRS, from enforcing the Obamacare law, which is officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Democratic leaders in the House, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have called the latest GOP bill to kill the Obamacare law a publicity stunt aimed at diverting attention from Republican lawmakers’ opposition to a compromise deficit reduction measure and other pending bills opposed by House Republican leaders.
“It is only fitting that Republicans would waste the last week at work this summer voting for the 40th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act and continue their record of no jobs bills, no budget agreement, and no solutions for the middle class,” Pelosi said in a statement.
All of the GOP-sponsored bills calling for repeal of the Affordable Care Act have died in the Senate. Senate Democratic leaders said the bill being debated on Friday, if approved by the GOP-controlled House, would be dead on arrival in the Democratic Senate.
In his letter to Log Cabin members announcing that he co-signed the joint letter supporting HR 2009, Angelo also asked members to make a contribution to the gay GOP group.
“Your financial support of Log Cabin Republicans today allows us to continue to fight for choice in healthcare, your right to privacy, and to keep gay Americans -— and all Americans — free. Please give today and tell the IRS: Hands off my healthcare!”