Sen. Coburn Fighting A Straw Man
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has made it clear that he disagrees with the conservative strategy to defund Obamacare. Unfortunately, now he is taking aim at a different strategy that simply does not exist. Today he announced that a government shutdown would not defund Obamacare. With all due respect to Senator Coburn, that is not news.
In fact, it is common knowledge, which is why those pushing to defund Obamacare are also pushing to fund the government. In short, Sen. Coburn has constructed a straw man argument to fight his fellow conservatives, thereby preserving Obamacare.
Defunding Obamacare means attaching a legislative rider to a “must pass” bill (debt limit, annual spending bill, etc.) that 1) prohibits any funds from being spent on any activities to implement or enforce Obamacare; 2) rescinds any unspent balances that have already been appropriated for implementation; and 3) turns off the exchange subsidy and new Medicaid spending that are on auto-pilot.
Perhaps Sen. Coburn just misunderstood the strategy, which has always been to actively defund Obamacare, not shut down the government.