Massie and Bridenstine urge Republicans to defund ObamaCare

 Heritage Foundation

ObamaCare proponents like to make excuses for more government interference by claiming that the market has failed, leaving over 45 million of Americans uninsured. What they fail to realize is that the competing businesses haven’t been able to make insurance more affordable due to the increased government control over the healthcare market. Once the Affordable Health Care Act kicks in, low-income households might find it impossible to afford insurance due to President Obama’s mandate, which requires more coverage, pushing the price of insurance policies up.

As President Obama announced the “employer mandate” was being delayed, critics suggested that the implementation of ObamaCare seemed catastrophic even to those who so blatantly support it.

According to Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), new congressmen were told back in 2010 that they should wait for the Supreme Court to rule the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. In an op-ed for the Courier-Journal, the Republican congressmen claimed that when the first strategy failed, they were asked to wait until the new President took office while members of the House simply worked on sending Repeal-ObamaCare legislation to the Senate, where the bills were doomed to fail.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the lead author of the Affordable Care Act, famously called the implementation of the bill a “huge train wreck.” The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS workers, has urged members to write to their senators and representatives asking them to oppose a bill that would shift employees’ current enrollment in the federal health system into the exchanges made possible through the Affordable Health Care. The United Union of Roofers and the United Food and Commercial Workers also claimed they were withdrawing any previous support to the Affordable Health Care Act.

Reps. Massie and Bridenstine warned the public that if nothing changes, ObamaCare begins on January 1st. According to the congressmen, defunding the train wreck is the only way to win this battle before ObamaCare manages to damage our economy even further and cause millions of Americans to lose their coverage and possibly their full-time jobs.

The strategy is basically to fund everything except the Affordable Care Act, which does not mean that a “shut down of the federal government” will ensue if the resolution passes. According to Massie and Bridenstine, the strategy simply “prohibits expenditure of taxpayer funds for a specified purpose.”

While critics of the strategy seem to argue that the resolution won’t work because of ObamaCare’s mandatory spending nature, proponents of the plan to defund the unaffordable Affordable Care Act say that it has been done before. In 1976 Congress enacted the Hyde Amendment, which restricted mandatory funding “even though the amendment has been attached to discretionary appropriations legislation every year.”

No government shutdown is necessary. It’s not even close to what the strategy would like to do since a shutdown would not stop ObamaCare. As soon as the legislation proposing to fund everything except ObamaCare passes in the House, it’s up to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to decide whether he takes up the legislation or if he prefers to shut down the government.

Republicans in Congress should be urged to stand together if they are willing to carry out this strategy until the end. A majority of Americans already oppose the Affordable Care Act and even Democrats are quitting on ObamaCare. Republican elected officials who believe they should allow ObamaCare to fail so more Republicans will be elected in 2014 should leave campaign strategies out of the policy making process and keep in mind that their job is to represent their constituents.

 


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