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The GOP’s Alamo for Obamacare

Will shutting down the government in order to defund Obamacare work?

by
Rick Moran

Bio

July 26, 2013 - 12:13 am
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There has never been an entitlement that, once implemented, has ever been repealed. This is the sad history that Republicans have to deal with. Once that cash starts to flow — Medicaid expansion too — a constituency for the law will form. Along with that constituency will come lobbyists, advocates, PACs — the whole rotten Washington infrastructure of influence all geared toward protecting the entitlement.

How will defunding Obamacare by shutting down the government stop that? One alternate plan being advanced would have Republicans agreeing to fund most government functions, but not appropriate any funds for Obamacare implementation. Even if Senate Democrats went along with this scheme, President Obama would veto any such plan that reached his desk and the government would shut down anyway.

There is no doubt the ACA is a horrible piece of legislation for all the reasons with which you’re familiar. But the government has already spent $3.8 billion in implementing it, and expects to spend $5 billion by October 1 when the official rollout of the insurance exchanges occur. The government can’t write that $5 billion off like a business would write off a loss. The money has already been spent, mostly on infrastructure for the state insurance exchanges. And the Republicans are on the hook for approving those appropriations because they voted for previous continuing resolutions containing the implementation funds.

Regardless, the GOP is playing into the hands of Democrats by pursuing this course of action. Republicans are dreaming if they think that they won’t be blamed for a government shutdown. And by trying to defund Obamacare, it is likely that they will be blamed for all the ill effects that implementation of the law will bring.

Norm Ornstein writes in the National Journal:

For three years, Republicans in the Senate refused to confirm anybody to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the post that McClellan had held in 2003-04—in order to damage the possibility of a smooth rollout of the health reform plan. Guerrilla efforts to cut off funding, dozens of votes to repeal, abusive comments by leaders, attempts to discourage states from participating in Medicaid expansion or crafting exchanges, threatening letters to associations that might publicize the availability of insurance on exchanges, and now a new set of threats—to have a government shutdown, or to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, unless the president agrees to stop all funding for implementation of the plan.

Of course, almost all of the problems with Obamacare have nothing to do with Republicans blocking implementation of the program and everything to do with the way the law is written, and what’s in it. But who is going to make that case? Which Republicans have the credibility and can command the attention of the nation? This will be especially difficult because many of the problems engendered by Obamacare won’t present themselves immediately. Explaining why the government must be shut down in order to save the economy or prevent the loss of jobs will be a hard sell when the dislocations caused by Obamacare are not immediately apparent.

There are many on the right who see the vote on the continuing resolution as the last stand against Obamacare. This is an illusion. Shutting down the government will not prevent the state exchanges from working. It won’t prevent the individual mandate from being enforced by the IRS — unless the GOP wants to permanently shutter the government. Nor will it prevent the subsidies from eventually flowing.

Simply, it’s not going to work unless Republicans are prepared to shut down the government until after the 2016 election when they might possibly win control of the government. Since that is not going to happen, shutting down the government now looks more like a fit of pique rather than the actions of principled legislators.

And voters don’t reward politicians for throwing tantrums.

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Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   
Unlike you, Rick, I can't think of a more productive move for the good of the nation than to shut the government down for the next two years if that's what it takes to stop Obamacare. You acknowledge it is a disaster and will ruin the best healthcare system in the world, but you're not willing to fight to stop it. Typical RINO. How's that go along to get along mentality working out for the Republicans these days, Rick? Not very well I would contend. The American people are hungry for someone who will do the right thing regardless of the consequences, and that's what this defunding of Obamacare would do. Why don't you join us and advocate doing the right thing instead of kicking against the goads?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The right wing doesn’t like to hear it, but the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It can’t be repealed as long as Obama sits in the White House and Democrats control the Senate (or nearly so)."

If it's the law of the land, what law authorizes the President to delay its implementation?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Moran,

I actually agree that cutting off funding is the worse possible alternative politically, but if you're going to pose yourself as counsel and critic, then it is time you fulfill the counsel part and step up to provide an alternative path. And I've noticed you never do that. Frankly, I find that pretty empty rhetoric and not terribly impressive.

I am left to conclude you believe the best path for Republicans and the public at large is more hand wringing about Obamacare and biting the proverbial s___ sandwich when implemented.

So tell me. What does your solution of bowing out and agreeing to the law of the land get us besides inadequate healthcare and a bankrupt system enforced by the Gestapo, formerly known as the IRS?

Obama's plan all along has been single payer. You aren't really naive enough to believe it was Obama's intent to leave Obamacare as is, do you?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (44)
All Comments   (44)
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You all might not want to hear this, but do you really think that the CEO's of GlaxoSmithKline, HoffmannLaRoche, Cigna, United Health, are reading PJMedia, or even caring about all this nattering and scheming and dreaming y'all are doing about the revival of some grand Pre-Industrial Constitutional Confederacy? I have to admit it's entertaining to watch you whip yourselves into a lather. But (aw heck, I don't know what to tell you).
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know how many are like me but the Repubs are on probation with me. If they don't kill Obamacare in any way possible, NHS here we come because the Dems got a half a loaf and the full loaf is their goal- single payer. Dems know what they want- Repubs wring their hands. Me? I'll just sit on mine- they won't deserve my vote.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The GOP's Alamo"

...Texians lost the Battle for the Alamo, but it set us up to win San Jacinto and a Republic for ourselves. Not all losses are bad losses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's the law of the land. It was approved. A lot of people think it will be great. You know, looking through history I see lots of other laws and policies that are now thought contemptible or even a few that are banned by treaties. Being made a law doesn't make wrong good.

BTW, it is commendable that you listen to our congressmen and senators so closely—you repeated what a few of them said yesterday almost word for word.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's certainly easier to defund and kill a bad law before it's implemented than sometime in the future when everyone is dependent or entwined in its nonsense. I say move ahead, fight it, don't stop, don't capitulate "because it's the law of the land." It's own senate democrat sponsor called it a "train wreck."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure I would miss the government should it shut down for awhile. Essential services still get funded and they are about all we really need anyway. My family won't let anyone go hungry should the checks stop coming. My grandparents fed a lot of people through the depression with the little they had, it can be done again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, that's cool, put the military on hiatus for a couple years. I'm sure that among the million or so active duty and civilian employees there are a few that can get along without paychecks for a while. I'm sure their landlords will cut them some slack, along with the phone company, the electric, gas, etc. After all, your grandparents did it.
52 weeks ago
52 weeks ago Link To Comment
We've reached the point where we really can't count on our elected 'so called representatives' to do what is right and constitutional. I think we may need a real tea party event - perhaps the computer files/softwares being used to run Obamacare could be 'deleted' or 'hacked' - accidentally of course.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Progressive Socialist Lie #1

"Why is it the position of so many on the right that blowing up the government will accomplish something?"

See kids, Rick Moran has explained to you carefully that Republicans are "blowing up the government". Thanks, Rick, for your insightful and well-reasoned critique of our philosophical world-view.

Of course, the United States Federal Government, tasked in Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States is tasked with "providing for the common defense" and "postal service". Everything else it's doing is outside of its mandate, but hey, that shouldn't stop Rick Moran from demonizing Constitutionalists, should it?

Heck, Tea Partiers are yet again victims of the Progressive Socialist meme that we're terrorists. Rick says we're going to "blow up the government". Maybe we'll wear suicide vests when we do it, yeah?

Some of you read farther than this, but I figured I could stop at the first ad hominem attack. God bless you, Rick, your supply of logical fallacies is overflowing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Listen, for those of you who argue with Rick regarding "the right-wing" - you guys are wasting your time. Rick's one of those guys who believes Nazis were "right-wing".

Rick's political spectrum has Communists on one side and Nazis on the other end. So, in reality, Rick's world-view is just 50 shades of Statism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Defunding Obamacare won't shrink the government? I stopped reading at that point. I have no time for fools.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was thinking that if Obama won't sign any spending legislation sent to him, that finally we've found a way to make real, meaningful cuts in federal spending—not just cutting margins and rates of expansion and all the other faux cuts politicians brag about. Eventually someone will compromise or we can quit playing games and draw guns, either way the masks would come off.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I couldn't get through it either. My head started pounded after a couple paragraphs in. Moran's message is always the same: be nice, listen to *reason* as to why we need to set aside our beliefs and concerns, and accept the fact that we will not and cannot get what we want. Just roll over.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was wondering at his argument that this tactic would make the Republicans look bad—how can they look worse than the spineless cowards they have been? It may be stupid bravado, but at least they would be standing for something for a change.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thank you, Chief Justice Roberts. ... I support this move to defund a catastrophic, and still largely unread, "law" that not one single Republican voted in favor of. I stand on the side of the "young firebrands"; and to Hell with the RINOs and statists. This sends a much-needed message to the party base: We hear you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This topic was on the radio this morning (I live in the DC metro area) and people were calling up and telling them to shut it down. Just shut the government down to kill the beast.

These are people who would be directly affected should the government be shut down and they were all willing to take one for the team. THAT's how much obamacare is hated!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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