Morning Action: Conservatives Won’t Stop Fighting Obamacare
DEMINT ON OBAMACARE. Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint says in a Wall Street Journal piece that the fight on Obamacare is not over because the law continues to harm Americans:
Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preservedObamaCare for the time being, it’s worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.
I spent a good part of my summer traveling around the country with the Heritage Foundation’s sister organization, Heritage Action, and I heard firsthand from many Americans being harmed by ObamaCare. More and more people have had their work hours cut, their jobs eliminated and their coverage taken away as a result of this new law.
Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on ObamaCare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months ObamaCare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate. Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend. With a revived and engaged electorate, ObamaCare will now be the issue for the next few years.
These are the reasons we fought so hard to get Washington to listen to the American people and take action to stop ObamaCare, and it is why so many are thankful for the courageous leadership of people like Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, and conservatives in the House of Representatives. The law is economically unstable, financially irresponsible and harmful to hardworking Americans.
DEBT LIMIT INCREASE. The Bipartisan Policy Center has found the budget agreement reached by Congress and the President will increase the debt limit by $600 billion:
As part of the agreement to reopen the government, Congress passed the “Default Prevention Act,” which empowers the president to suspend the debt limit until February 8, 2014. To do so, the president must send a written certification to Congress that the Treasury will be unable to issue debt meeting commitments absent a suspension of the debt limit. While the legislation includes an opportunity for Congress to disapprove and cancel the debt limit suspension, this would require a supermajority vote that is unlikely to be achieved.
Absent Congress disapproving this certification, on February 8, the debt limit would be reinstated at a new, higher level. BPC estimates that the new debt limit on February 8 would be about $17.3 trillion, roughly $600 billion higher than the previous limit. At that point, Treasury would be able to use extraordinary measures to continue to meet federal government financial obligations, although those measures would not last as long as they did in this most recent Debt Issuance Suspension Period, which covered nearly five months.
OBAMA’S PRIORITIES. President Obama has indicated that he wants to make immigration, the farm bill, and the budget his priorities in the coming months. However, Heritage explains that the plans he has to deal with these issues would be harmful to the top priority of most Americans – the economy. Heritage notes:
Americans care about the economy. They care about finding work and making ends meet. None of the President’s policies helps them. This is not how Washington can earn back trust.
Read more to find out how Mr. Obama’s policy ideas would harm the economy.
IMPERILED HEALTH CARE LAW. Even the Huffington Post notes how harmful the failed Obamacare rollout is for the success of the law:
A broken website imperils the largest expansion of the American safety net since the Great Society.
Time remains for these problems to be resolved, but not much. “If things aren’t resolved in three weeks, we’ve got some serious, serious problems,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor and health care reform expert at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., and an Obamacare supporter. “I don’t think we’re anywhere close to there yet, but if the whole thing collapses, it’ll be another generation before we get this problem fixed.”
failure of this magnitude woulddiscredit a core premise of this presidency, that government can do big things to improve Americans’ lives.
Although there are signs of incremental improvement, HealthCare.gov is unable to reliably allow consumers to create accounts, verify their identifies, apply for tax credits available to low- and middle-income people or shop for health insurance plans.Insurers are receiving bad enrollment data and states are reporting difficulties in accessing the federal system.
Of course, conservatives do not believe that a government takeover of health care is good for America. Even if the website’s issues are one day resolved, the law will continue to harm the quality of health care. That’s why it must be stopped.
FARM BILL. The Heritage Foundation responds to President Obama’s remark that he will push to get the farm bill enacted by the end of the year:
Sound agriculture and food stamp policy should be the goal, not getting a farm bill done at all costs based on an artificial timeline. The House and Senate are going to conference on their flawed farm bills, making it unlikely that good policy will come out. It would be better to have an extension than to lock in five years of bad policy.
Good policy would free farmers and ranchers from government intervention and recognize that the agriculture sector is a prosperous and innovative sector of the economy. Food stamps would promote self-sufficiency by requiring work for able-bodied adults.
President Obama is absolutely right, though, when he also said policymakers should focus on the American people when it comes to the farm bill.
A farm bill should serve the interests of the American people. This first starts with taking politics out of the bill. By separating out food stamps from the agriculture programs, these critical issues could be considered on their own merits.