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Matt Vespa


September 24, 2013 - 6:02 pm

I love Sen. Ted Cruz. I’m a huge fan of Sen. Rand Paul as well. I’m not one who cozies up with establishment Republicans. In fact, I find – at times – moderate Republicans to be more spineless than liberals. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I need to agree with everything the Tea Party does concerning fighting Obamacare. We’re heading for rocky shoals with this defund effort, and we can kill this massive federal power grab if we delay the individual mandate.

As we speak, Sen. Cruz is speaking about his opposition to Obamacare. He’ll be going on for a while about this subject. Yet, it’s not a real filibuster. Democrats have the sixty votes for cloture. They have a vote set for Wednesday. This will be the definition of anti-climatic.

As Byron York of the Washington Examiner noted on September 19:

Senate rules, which Reid will enforce, will limit the debate on the measure to 30 hours, divided evenly between the parties. That gives Republicans 15 hours, to be divided between 46 GOP senators. That’s not a lot of time. It’s possible the Republican caucus could decide to allow Cruz to filibuster for an extended period of time. But it’s unlikely, given the other senators who will likely want to speak out on the issue. In March, the Rand Paul filibuster went on for nearly 13 hours; don’t look for something like that to happen this time.

So Republicans don’t have the votes to actually filibuster a continuing resolution, and they don’t have the rules on their side to stage a talking filibuster. Supporters of defunding are bound to be disappointed. But the Senate aide says no one should be surprised. “This is not a gimmick or a scheme,” says the aide. “It is Rule 22 of the U.S. Senate. Everybody knew this. This is an existing rule. It is taught in Senate class when you do your orientation. It is not a surprise. Nobody sprung it on him [Sen. Cruz].”

Guy Benson at Townhall had a good piece on how “winning elections is the only way Obamacare will ever be dismantled.”

Additionally, Sen. Coburn noted that even if this trips a government shutdown, which would be disastrous for Republicans, Obamacare will still be funded:

The CRS [Congressional Research Service] report notes that much of the administration’s implementation funding comes from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) itself — not from the spending bills some conservatives are threatening to defeat.

Right now, the House is safe in Republicans hands. The U.S. Senate is also winnable. Democrats have zero heavyweight candidates in any of the 2014 races next year. Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina are all up for grabs. A government shutdown will change the whole game, and could make Republican-leaning independents change their minds about next year’s midterms. Obama and the Democrats are salivating over this scenario. In fact, I suspect they’re lusting for it. Let’s not give them the satisfaction.

By delaying Obamacare, we let this issue bleed into 2014 and possibly 2016. The Urban Institute noted yesterday that:

[D]elaying the individual mandate would cause serious disruption to the health-care system and make it difficult for President Obama’s health-care overhaul to get back on track if the mandate were later put back in place. House Republicans recently passed a resolution that would delay the individual mandate by a year.

As Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal wrote last August:

The political calculus is that delay, unlike defund, pushes Democrats to do something that many are already inclined to do. The president himself has endorsed delay for key parts of the bill—the employer mandate, out-of-pocket-caps, income verification requirements. Unions, the bedrock of the liberal base, are demanding wholesale changes in the law. Vulnerable Senate Democrats know the ObamaCare exchanges are a pending disaster, and they are terrified of political fallout. Twenty-two House Democrats in July voted with Republicans to delay the individual mandate.

Let the infection grow:

  1. We have a software program that can’t accurately determine an enrollee’s eligibility for Obamacare subsidies.
  2. There is a “family glitch” that could leave up to 500,000 kids without health insurance.
  3. Thirty-one million Americans will remain uninsured by 2023.
  4. Politico admitted that Obamacare is “one blow after another.”
  5. The New York Times reported that lower premiums could come with limits on access to care.
  6. Medicaid fraud, which will occur in other states, is hitting Maryland.
  7. There is the chilling fact that people on Medicaid are 13% more likely to die than those who are uninsured. Are we seriously expanding this program?
  8. A typical family of four will see their health care spending increase by $7,450.
  9. The list of companies cutting hours, or jobs, due to Obamacare is growing. Check out the butcher’s bill here.
  10. Seventy-seven percent of Americans want the individual mandate to be delayed. Broken down along party lines, we have 65% of Democrats agreeing – with 43% opposing the mandate outright.

Democrats will have to defend the ongoing train wreck this new health care law is becoming next year. The Democratic nominee for 2016 will have to defend its so-called merits, which is hard since there are none. The people are growing uneasy about government-run health care. The perfect storm for ripping this bill to shreds is formulating. Yet, Cruz’s well-intentioned, but poorly timed, effort to “defund” Obamacare could put all of this in jeopardy. Sen. Cruz, I respect and admire you, but I can’t support you in this endeavor.

Matt Vespa is a web editor at and occasional writer for Hot Air, RedState, and Townhall Magazine.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
There are smart people like Charles Krauthammer who adhere to the idea that Obama Care will crash and burn on its' own. What big government program has ever gone away on its' own? Ronald Reagan once said the nearest thing to eternal life is a government program .

Cruz is more realistic than these wishful thinkers that Obamacare will some disappear after the mess is implemented. When the media trots out pitiful poor people benefitting from "free" healthcare, it's over. We will be at the whim of emotional imbeciles who will feel good about themselves who intend to vote for Hillary in 2016.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, the strategy of the 'wet noodle' Republicans is so effective. Just ask John McCain. Republicans need more principled freedom-fighters like Cruz and Sarah Palin, and less big government soviet politburo types.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
everyone is missing the point.
1. after the senate votes cloture, amends the bill and passes it, then, the bill goes to a conference committee where boehner has an effective veto.
2. cruz's effort is a political one not a legislative one. for boehner to win the conference showdown obamacare funding must first become a cause celebre. that is what cruz is doing. preparing the battlespace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (27)
All Comments   (27)
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Almost every comment in this forum indicates that each writer opposes one or more features within the 2,200+ pages of Obamacare.

May I suggest that Obamacare is actually NOT the problem, but an unfortunately over-sized symptom of the real problem all citizens face from their currently elected representatives?

Some writers are more astute to the real problem, i.e. carve-outs, exemptions, partial delays and other preferential treatment for SOME (but not all) citizens is an odd way to garner political support for the otherwise withering public support for Obamacare.

However, even those objections are only sniffing up the skirt of what we have done to ourselves by accepting the notion that legislators, the president and even the courts can LEGALLY take any federal law and apply it, or not, to specific groups, individuals, associations, corporations from whom they then, in turn, garner favor.

Ever wonder why a candidate for U.S. Senate would collect and spend tens of millions of dollars to take a six-year job that pays around $200,000 annually? Or maybe it should be rephrased as to why would individual voters, unions, companies, PACs and associations PAY a candidate those same millions?

Answer- we have allowed the entire federal government to bestow and enforce rights, taxes, benefits, regulations, exemptions, and even laws that do not apply equally to all citizens.

There can be, and there is no equal protection under the law when the law, its application or its interpretation, favors some over others. Obamacare is only the latest over-sized example of how modern government has transformed into a self-impowering growth industry at the expense of less individual freedom for the citizens.What does happen in that beggar-thy-neighbor environment is that special interests fester and grow and wrangle special treatment to benefit their own narrow interests. At this stage, human nature takes over and all bets are off... as Pogo once famously declared, "We has met the enemy, and they are us!"

Only by retrenchment in federal powers as assumed, though constitutionally-enforced language declaring any feature of any federal law, regulation, tax, benefit, exemption that does not apply equally to each and every U.S. citizen as null and void can we even begin to think about reversing the trend to more government, more federal debt and less individual freedom. Pray, please, for this great country!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution."

Ulysses S. Grant

While I'm no fan of Grant, his observation was entirely accurate and perhaps what the GOP should do is force Obamacare to be implemented exactly as it is written.

At the very least, force through a law that eliminates all indulgences, excuse me - waivers - and requires EVERYONE from the highest government official to the lowliest unionized sanitation worker to have to participate equally in this monstrosity.

When all is said and done, the democrat party may become extinct as a result, or at the very least impotent as a political force.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So your argument is, let the people get what they voted for good and hard because only then will they realize how bad it is and repeal it altogether? And is not the purpose of Senate floor "debate" to try to convince your colleagues to adopt your position? Why don't all Republicans just vacate Washington D.C. until the 2016 election?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just recently I made the determination that from here forward no Repub will get my vote and I'll vote a straight Libertarian ticket regardless of how looney a particular candidate might be. The only way....ONLY WAY....the Repubs get my vote back is if they start acting like small-government types again. Defunding or repealing Obamacare would be a start. Balancing the budget would ensure my vote for the foreseeable future. So in the case of THIS right-leaning independent, the Rs would likely WIN a vote by doing everything they could--including defunding--to block this piece of garbage from doing any more harm than it has already done (to members of my own family, as it happens).

So I guess I'll most likely be voting Libertarian for the foreseeable future....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If delay is such a wonderful strategy, why did Obama (et al) reject the House attempt to legalize it? The House was only trying to legalize the arbitrariness of Obama's exemptions, but got shot down and villified all over the Left for it.

Bush Derangement Syndrome has morphed and expanded into a more general hatred of anyone and anything that dares to suggest Obama might not be correct. Haters gonna hate, aren't they?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Labeling is all we are seeing here. I remember "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". Sometime you just have to keep pushing not matter the cost.

I think Vespa should stick to motor scooters...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Does the author of this piece even realize what 'implement and let it collapse on it's own' means? When I hear that, including out of Charles Krauthammer I want to slap the snot out of them. Millions of people will be hurt in that collapse on it's own scenario. People who figured out the collapse just left them twisting in the wind on their medical treatment that they are probably in the process of receiving. The outcries over it would be deafening and the continual addiction and propping it up will go on as political prostitutes campaign on 'the fix' and what ails this country.

People will get hurt and no entitlement program once enacted, because enactment is addiction, has ever gone away.

Also take note that in every country that socialized medicine has been enacted the status of the country, the standard of living of the people within the country, and overall economic health has diminished greatly.

And far too many pundits and political prostitutes are stuck on procedure and their feathers ruffled due to that. I'm sick to death of the political caste system in place.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why do so many people say no to defund, yes to delay? Why not yes to both? Keep hammering them wherever and whenever it can be done?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The problem with the "implement it and let it collapse on its own" argument is that you assume that the American people will actually realize that it has collapsed. Look at how Obama escapes blame for the state of the economy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
...and wait until the money starts to flow
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Republicans should draft a new law requiring that Obamacare, when and if eventually implemented, MUST be implemented in its original unexempted form. Any and all carveouts or modifications for special interest groups, ie., Congress, government employees, unions, certain types of business, specific companies, etc. will be voided. The only way to modify the original legislation should be through the legislative process itself wherein the modifying legislation passes both houses of Congress and is signed into law by the President.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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