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Healthcare tops Tea Party debt cut list

Oct. 18, 2011 at 6:27 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- People who took part in a Tea Party group's online survey overwhelmingly targeted U.S. healthcare reform law for budget cuts, the group said Tuesday.

They also favored the idea of eliminating entire federal agencies and departments, just as Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul recommended in his budget-cutting plan Monday.

Ninety-three percent of the more than 40,000 people who logged on to FreedomWorks' TeaPartyDebtCommission.com Web site favored axing the healthcare package passed into law by Congress and signed by Obama last year, Roll Call reported.

After repeal of what conservatives have labeled Obamacare, the top choices for trimming the federal deficit were reducing unnecessary military supply purchases (90 percent), eliminating the Education Department (81 percent), privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (81 percent), reducing discretionary spending to 2008 levels (76 percent), block grant Medicaid (73 percent), ending ethanol tax credits (71 percent), selling federal buildings (71 percent), eliminating Housing and Urban Development (70 percent) and ending earmarks (68 percent).

"People love the idea of cutting out whole departments," Dean Clancy, FreedomWorks legislative counsel and vice president of healthcare policy, wrote in a memo to colleagues Monday, Roll call reported. "This confirms our findings at the field hearings, where eliminating departments always gets very loud applause, especially the Department of Education."

FreedomWorks, a conservative Washington group led by former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said the results will be part of a proposal its citizen debt commission plans to send to Congress late next month when the congressional supercommittee is to present its budget-cutting plan.

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