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Jon Fleischman

Republicans Need To Get Their Sea-Legs, and Defund Obamacare ASAP

Apparently the Obamacare legislation signed by it’s namesake says that Members of Congress and their staff have to obtain their health care coverage through the same state-level health-care exchanges and anyone participating in the program.  (See the article.) I would love to see Congress try to get by passing a law somehow eliminating or mitigating this requirement and explain to the American people why what’s good for everyone else isn’t good for those working under the Capitol Dome.  Apparently kudos go to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) for being the one to beat the drum that this be a part of the bill.

Of course what really needs to happen is a full repeal of Obamacare, which was a fiercely partisan play by the Democrats (I wish Republicans could unite to shrink the size of government the way that Democrats can unite to increase it).  It should be so obvious that in seeking solutions in healthcare in America we need to try to get the government out of the middle of things.  Sound policy on healthcare reform should start with the premise that we need to put individual healthcare consumers in the drivers seat making choices — not the opposite, moving healthcare decision making to nameless, faceless bureaucrats.

At a recent briefing at the conservative Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington, D.C., United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “If there is ever a time to defeat Obamacare, it is now.”   He went on to say, “Moreover, we have, I believe, the best opportunity we will have, and possibly the last good opportunity we will have to defund Obamacare with the continuing resolution.  If we do not pursue this strategy,  we are saying we surrender. Obamacare will be a permanent feature of the American economy…”

There is a debate taking place right now on Capitol Hill about whether or not to include the “de-funding” of Obamacare in any “continuing resolution” passed by the Congress to keep the government afloat.  The controversy comes because there is no doubt that the President will make a big stink about it, and threaten to (or actually) veto such a “poison pill” in a CR.

Republican resolve MUST be strong here because, as Cruz pointed out later in his remarks, “If the subsidies kick in, the prospect or full repeal of Obamacare diminish dramatically.”

We all know how this works — once a huge chunk of the American people get used to being subsidized with a new Obamacare entitlement, it will be infinitely harder to ever repeal this terrible law.

The problem is that already many Republicans on Capitol Hill are already balking at the idea of being hard-core on this issue, and facing down the President.  I will simply say this — that unless Republicans can find within themselves a deep resolve to do whatever it takes to shrink the size of the government, we will continue to see more of the same — which is growth in government under both political parties.

Which takes us back to the apparent inclusion in the Obamacare law of language requiring Members of Congress to enroll in the program, and give up their current plans.  Remember that if you de-fund Obamacare, you won’t have to deal with this.  Perhaps where ideological commitment is lacking, self-benefit can shine the way?

Oh yes — is there political risk involved with a direct assault on Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution?  Sure.  But remember that the purpose for a Republican majority is not to accumulate power for power’s sake — nor is it to simply run the government with an “R” instead of a “D” in a chapter of American history books.  The purpose of political power is to use it to achieve critical policy objectives.