Republicans' last chance to stop Obamacare for good

There is one last, viable chance to do away with Obamacare. Will Republicans take it?  Photo: AP

HOUSTON, August 9, 2013 — There is no issue that is more critical to economic growth and the future of the American dream than the fight to stop Obamacare. Republicans have been blessed with one last viable chance to do so.

Never in modern times has an entitlement program been rolled back after it had been implemented. The Obama Administration is well aware of this fact, and their plan is very simple: Get people addicted to the free and reduced prices for health insurance as quickly as possible, in order to make it politically unfeasible in the future to repeal, or roll back, his biggest political accomplishment.


SEE RELATED: Repeal or defund Obamacare: Time is running out


Obamacare will be fully implemented on January 1, 2014. If it is not stopped before then, it never will be.

Defunding Obamacare, and the likely temporary government shutdown that would follow, will be the most important fight that this Congress will undertake. All the speeches, press releases and symbolic votes opposing Obamacare are meaningless if Republicans refuse to stand and fight for principle when the heat is on.

Obama has tacitly admitted that Obamacare is an utter failure by doing two things: giving a waiver to every member of Congress and his or her staff members; and giving an exemption to Big Business by waiving the employer mandate for the upcoming year for companies with more than 50 employees.

Essentially, Obama has decided that big business and the ruling class do not have to comply with the job killing, expensive regulations of Obamacare, but he refuses to provide American families and individuals that same relief. This is a winning argument for Republicans.


SEE RELATED: Obamacare: Historic benefit or fiscal black hole?


Even Democrats and unions have joined in the growing chorus in opposition to Obamacare. Sen. Max Baucus, D- Mont., the lead author of Obamacare in the Senate, has called it “a complete train wreck,” and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., agreed with that comment.

The leaders of three major public sector unions, including the highly influential James Hoffa of the Teamsters, have written a letter to Democratic leaders in Congress stating that Obamacare will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class,” and that it will “destroy the very health and well-being of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.”

Even the head of the IRS has requested that he and the rest of the IRS employees be granted a waiver from the very program that they are tasked to enforce!

The wheels are coming off of this train wreck, providing even more of a reason to draw a line in the sand. The strategy is not complicated and the good news is that it can be accomplished without any Democratic support.

Since a full repeal of Obamacare at this time is impossible, the plan is to permanently defund the program. This would have the same effect as repeal, except that the law would still be on the books. The only way it would ever get implemented is if a future Congress voted to fund it and the sitting president signed it into law. 

The Constitution requires all bills dealing with spending or taxes to originate in the House of Representatives. This provides the House with the task of appropriating money for usage by the federal government and this can act as a very effective check against an overreaching President.

The current bill that funds the federal government, referred to as a “continuing resolution,” expires on September 30, 2013. Therefore, to keep all government services operating, Congress must pass another continuing resolution prior to that date or a temporary government shutdown will ensue.

The first step of the plan is to have the Republican controlled House of Representatives pass a continuing resolution that does not fund one penny of Obamacare, but still funds all of the rest of the federal government.

This would then force the Democratically-controlled Senate either to pass the same bill funding the government minus Obamacare, or to vote down the continuing resolution to force a shutdown. If the Senate passed it, Obama would either have to sign that bill into law, or prompt a temporary government shutdown.

The Republicans would then go into full campaign mode on the fact that they are not trying to shut down the government and have in fact, passed a bill to fund the government. It is Harry Reid and Obama who want to shut down the government so they can shove socialized medicine down the throats of the American people. That is a winnable argument.

As long as Republicans don’t blink, and hold their ground at this point, the Senate will pass the resolution and Obama will sign it into law, effectively stopping Obamacare in its tracks forever.

During a temporary government shutdown, the President has considerable leverage over allocating how the $200-300 billion in tax money that the federal government takes in every month gets spent. That amount of money can easily cover all of the essential government services, such as avoiding default on debt payments, maintaining and paying our military personnel, sending out Social Security checks, and maintaining Medicare and Medicaid.

During the two government shutdowns in 1995, President Clinton easily made sure that these essential services remained funded. It would be President Obama’s personal choice if any of those essential services was not funded this time.

Many Republicans in the House and Senate have not agreed to this plan. The only way to encourage the rest of the Republicans to get involved is if the American people make it more politically beneficial for Republicans to do the right thing than it is for them to do the wrong thing.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, have set up an online petition to encourage their fellow Republicans to take a stand. Within five days, it had garnered over 250,000 online signatures. It can be found at www.DontFundIt.com.

Politicians who vote to fund Obamacare own it. Every single Republican who does not stand for principle against Obamacare should be severely punished come election time.

John Boehner and the Republican Party should remember that it was the Tea Party movement in 2010 that provided them with 66 new Republicans, and control of the House of Representatives, strongly due to the candidates’ fierce opposition to Obamacare. It took Obamacare to awaken the sleeping giant; the Republicans should be very careful taking that giant for granted.


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James Richard Edwards

James R. Edwards is a medical malpractice defense attorney in Houston, Tx. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in Psychology and subsequently went on to attend the University of Houston Law Center. James became interested in politics in law school because of the consistent and oppressive disgust and revulsion shown by the staff and Professors for the Constitution and for America in general. He is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives. 

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