Congress Must Honor Sequester Savings and Defund Obamacare Before It Is Too Late

MEMO FOR THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT
Congress Must Honor Sequester Savings and Defund Obamacare Before It Is Too Late

Current Event:
The current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government expires on March 27, setting up an opportunity for Congress and President Obama to honor the bi-partisan sequester savings already agreed upon. It also presents an opportunity to achieve even more savings by defunding and stopping the implementation of Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently reported will force 7 million Americans out of their existing health insurance.

Action:

  • Conservatives cannot support a CR that is above the sequester level of $974 billion annually. While many conservatives would prefer reprogramming defense cuts to other areas of discretionary spending (dollar for dollar cuts in the same year), the current sequester savings are better than none at all. 
  • Conservatives should not approve a CR unless it defunds Obamacare. This includes Obamacare’s unworkable exchanges, unsustainable Medicaid expansion, and attack on life and religious liberty. 

A mere “date-change CR” is unacceptable. Although the Obama administration and others will argue the CR is not the appropriate legislative vehicle to defund Obamacare, it is easily done through a series of appropriation riders. Because the CR represents one of the best vehicles possible to delay the implementation of Obamacare, it must not be used to bargain on the upcoming sequester.

Issue in Brief:
On October 1, 2013, open enrollment begins for the federally backed health care exchanges. On January 1, 2014, new money from Washington will begin flowing to states and individuals, all but ensuring that these new entitlements will become a permanent fixture of life in America. The window of opportunity to stop the implementation of these massive new subsidies is closing.

Although many of Obamacare’s provisions are now the law of the land, many of the law’s most damaging and irreversible provisions do not take effect until 2014.

Once implemented, the new spending contained within Obamacare, primarily the Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies, will cost taxpayers more than $1.6 trillion over the next decade, according to the latest CBO estimates.  Given the history of federal entitlement programs and the back-loaded nature of Obamacare spending, some estimate the full implementation cost could reach  $2.6 trillion over ten years. It will increase the federal government’s health spending by 15 percent.

The issue is far from settled in the states, which are tasked with either implementing the wide-ranging mandates and invasive requirements put forth by Obamacare, or deferring such choices to the bureaucrats in Washington.

The fractured opinion amongst the states is one reason the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has continually pushed back the deadline for states to make a decision on the exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

The invasive elements of Obamacare are not set in stone; in fact, elements of the law are already under assault from Republicans and Democrats alike. The CLASS Act was repealed and there is bipartisan support for eliminating the devastating Medical Device Tax.

Blueprint to Defunding Obamacare

Obamacare’s funding mechanisms are as complicated as the law itself, but they can be stopped through the appropriation process, which includes the upcoming continuing resolution.

  • Federally Backed Exchanges. An appropriations rider must eliminate the refundable tax credits for premiums and the cost sharing subsidies that are essentially used to support insurance purchased in the Obamacare exchanges, which starts January 1, 2014. 
  • Medicaid Expansion. An appropriations rider must eliminate the enhance match funding for the Medicaid expansion, which takes effect January 1, 2014. 
  • Permanent Appropriations. Obamacare contains items called “permanent appropriations” which guarantee funding for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) and Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). An appropriations rider turns off funds for these so-called permanent appropriations, which are already in effect. 
  • Implementation. An appropriations rider must block the implementation of Obamacare, covering salaries, rulemaking, enforcement, etc. 
  • Life and Religious Liberty. Obamacare is an unprecedented attack on life and religious liberty. An appropriations rider must repeal the HHS mandate that attacks the religious values and principles of countless Americans. 
  • Miscellaneous Programs. An appropriations rider must block all funding for newly authorized discretionary programs contained in Obamacare and return reauthorized programs back to their pre-Obamacare levels. 

Signed:

Edwin Meese III, Former Attorney General. President Ronald Reagan

Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth

Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder, Tea Party Patriots

Penny Nance, President, Concerned Women for America

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell, President, Constitutional Congress, Inc.

William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government

Duane Parde, President, National Taxpayers Union

Susan Carleson, President, American Civil Rights Union

Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition

Alfred S. Regnery, President, The Paul Revere Project

Lewis Uhler, President, National Tax Limitation Committee

Brent Bozell, President, ForAmerica

Matt Kibbe, President, FreedomWorks

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List

David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

The Honorable David McIntosh, Former U.S. Representative, Indiana

David Bozell, Executive Director, ForAmerica

Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring

Stuart Epperson, President, Council for National Policy

Heather Higgins, President, Independent Women’s Forum

Cindy Chafian, President, The Mommy Lobby

Gary Bauer, President, American Values

Mike Needham, CEO, Heritage Action for America

David Bossie, President, Citizens United

Mathew D. Staver, Chairman, Liberty Counsel Action

James Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Erick Erickson, Editor, RedState.com

T. Kenneth Cribb, Former Domestic Advisor, President Ronald Reagan

Becky Norton Dunlop, Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan

Grace-Marie Turner, President, The Galen Institutue

Myron Ebell, President, Freedom Action

Craig Shirley, Reagan Campaign Biographer

Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition

Richard Rahn, President, Inst. for Global Economic Growth

Lee Beaman, Businessman, Nashville, TN

Bob Reccord, Executive Director, Council for National Policy

Angelo M. Codevilla, Professor Emeritus, BostonUniversity

Tom Donelson, Chairman, America’s PAC

Brian Baker, President, Ending Spending

Kay R. Daly, President, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Don Devine, Senior Scholar, The Fund for American Studies

Gary Aldrich, President, PatrickHenryCenter for Individual Liberty

Ralph Benko, President, Center for Civic Virtue

Andresen Blom, Senior Strategist, Center for Civic Virtue

Joe Gregory, CEO, Gregory Management Co.

Rebecca Hagelin

(All organizations listed for Identification purposes only)

NOTE FROM CAP: The purpose of this memo is to advocate to policy makers a top-line discretionary spending level in a CR of $974 billion that defunds Obamacare.  A subsequent memo will lay out more specifically how Congress can arrive at that spending level in the most responsible way-namely, achieving savings in non-defense, non-security areas of government to preserve defense spending.