Who Is Working to Stop Obamacare?
Conservatives across the country know the best means of stopping Obamacare is for Congress to refuse to spend another dime funding the law. Take away the funds, stop the implementation. So where do we stand on the defund effort inside the Washington Beltway?
Unfortunately, conservative leaders working to defund Obamacare are currently dealing with political gamesmanship spawning gimmicks that wouldn’t really stop the law. It’s difficult to understand why conservatives are in this position. Opponents of Obamacare should have rallied around the defund effort; after all, a new poll finds that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Obamacare and of President Obama’s approach to healthcare policy.
The law is unaffordable and unworkable. In 15 days open enrollment begins for Obamacare exchanges, making the law more entrenched than ever before. And those who think Obamacare can be fixed are completely mistaken – it must be defunded.
Fortunately, a gimmicky proposal purported to defund Obamacare without actually achieving that goal was widely rejected last week:
The rejection of [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor’s CR proposal last week was widespread throughout GOP ranks. The internal Republican opposition was both ideological and strategic — rank-and-file lawmakers thought that their leadership was giving up too easily on defunding the health care law. Cantor privately told Republicans that there were no more than 190 GOP votes for his plan, far short of the 217 votes needed to pass the legislation, according to sources involved in those talks.
One pundit supportive of the strategy explained, the plan would “simultaneously fund the government, including Obamacare, at sequester levels while also passing a separate resolution that would amend the CR to defund Obamacare.” (emphasis added) That would have been a weak approach and would have allowed Senators supportive of Obamacare an means of funding the law.
Other lawmakers want to deal with Obamacare during the debt-ceiling fight rather than on the CR, and that debate will wage on this week. But as some have noted, fighting Obamacare on the debt-ceiling is “far from a fireproof move.”
The best option at this point is to fund the government and defund Obamacare. President Obama and supporters of Obamacare in the Senate need to feel real pressure from the House and from the majority of Americans who oppose Obamacare – not to be protected by some House gimmick.
When asked what President Obama would do if legislation to defund Obamacare and fund the government was presented to him for his signature, Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint stated:
“I don’t know what the president would do. But I think if the president rejects the government funding, he’s going to have a hard time making the case that somebody else shut it down.”
The House should proceed with a plan that puts the onus on Democrats and President Obama to fund the government but defund Obamacare. Fortunately, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) has introduced legislation to do just that, and 59 representatives have co-sponsored the bill at this point. A plan is on the table; the only question is whether the House will pull up a chair.