The 4 W’s of Defunding Obamacare
Obamacare is a predictable failure because it is based on the idea that government manipulation and control of the health care system can improve outcomes for patients, reduce costs and increase choice. It can’t, and it was only a matter of time before even Democratic support for the law began to erode.
The question is what Congress can do now given President Obama’s intransigence on the issue. The answer is the total and complete defunding of Obamacare. In Iowa, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made the compelling case to do just that:
WHO has the power to make sure Obamacare is stopped in its tracks? Our Senators and Representatives have the power to do so by defunding the law. The Constitution grants Congress the “power of the purse.” Through legislation, Congress can make certain the Obama administration is not given another dime to implement this disastrous law. We must also keep the pressure on Congress and give them our support by making calls, using Twitter and Facebook, writing emails, and visiting offices.
WHAT needs to happen to stop Obamacare? The most viable approach to stop the implementation of Obamacare is a complete and total defunding of the law by Congress. Fortunately, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) and Sen. Cruz have introduced the Defund Obamacare Act of 2013. Heritage Action is key voting in favor of co-sponsorship of the legislation in both the House and the Senate. Heritage’s Chris Jacobs explains that only by defunding Obamacare entirely can Congress prevent the law from more fully taking root.
WHY is it necessary to defund Obamacare rather than taking another approach? Other approaches, such as delaying particular parts of the law, will simply allow it to become more entrenched. Obamacare cannot be fixed or tweaked. Congress cannot unilaterally repeal Obamacare, but they do have the authority to defund all Obamacare activities for the upcoming fiscal year. If Pres. Obama disagrees, he is free to shutdown the government in defense of Obamacare. That is his choice.
Even the powerful unions that so strongly supported Obamacare since its inception are beginning to understand how harmful Obamacare is. The President promised that if you like your insurance plan, you’ll get to keep it; but that was a false promise. Obamacare has already caused insurance premiums to rise and Americans across the country to lose their jobs. Seven million people will lose their health insurance thanks to Obamacare, and this process has barely begun. More pain will follow as employers simply cannot afford to continue providing health insurance for their part-time employees under Obamacare.
Doctors are already retiring prematurely because of Obamacare’s onerous paperwork. Indeed, the American Association of Medical Colleges estimates the U.S. faces a shortage of 91,500 physicians by 2020. The doctor-patient relationship is also being harmed because of Obamacare’s excessive red tape and regulations.
Young people, and especially young men, will be heavily burdened by the higher costs resulting from Obamacare.
Make no mistake, the future is grim under Obamacare. Obamacare’s new entitlements are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014. If this occurs, taxpayers will spend $48 billion in 2014 alone and nearly $1.8 trillion through 2023. Moreover, on January 1, 2014, the government will be able to force Americans to purchase a product – health insurance – for the first time ever.
WHEN can Congress implement the plan to stop Obamacare? Now! Time is of the essence if Congress wants to stop Obamacare’s burdensome regulations, so the momentum must build immediately. The politics of this debate will change after Obamacare becomes fully implemented. As we have noted previously, open enrollment begins October 1, 2013. Once people enroll, they will begin receiving massive subsidies on January 1, 2014.
As Sen. Cruz explained, Congress has an excellent opportunity this September to defund Obamacare using the must-pass Continuing Resolution (CR). He and other Senators, and a growing number of Representatives, have pledged not to vote for a CR that funds any part of Obamacare.
This is a battle conservatives must fight now and win.