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GOP Aims for a Multifaceted Strike on Obamacare

Boehner says he'll move ahead on the trying to defund Obamacare in CR negotiations as House conservatives introduce their own replacement bill.

Bill Straub


September 19, 2013 - 3:56 pm
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WASHINGTON – With a nasty showdown looming, congressional Republicans are broadening their assault on Obamacare, offering up their own less costly plan as an alternative while insisting the massive healthcare program championed by the White House presents a golden opportunity for scammers.

Implementation of critical aspects of the Affordable Health Care Act are slated to occur on Oct. 1, the beginning of the federal fiscal year, and GOP lawmakers are pulling out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to see that it never happens.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who consistently maintained it would be a mistake for Republicans to initiate a confrontation that could force a shutdown of the federal government, has acquiesced to House conservatives and will now move ahead with a plan to defund the broad healthcare reform program as a part of negotiations over a continuing resolution to fund the entire government.

Several committees controlled by the GOP are now contributing to that defunding effort.

-       The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee released a report asserting that the opportunities for fraud in a significant part of the AHCA dealing with navigators are rampant. Navigators, also known as assisters, are those individuals hired to encourage and facilitate enrollment in health insurance exchanges.

-       The Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus composed of House Republicans, released a competing healthcare measure — the American Health Care Reform Act — that would attempt to expand health insurance coverage through tax deductions and a program to provide federal assistance for those with pre-existing conditions.

-       The House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law held a hearing on the anti-trust issues involving Obamacare, with several witnesses maintaining that the ACHA will worsen the already problematic issue of monopolies within the healthcare market place, thus permitting costs to rise.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, said recent GOP efforts are not “designed to improve implementation of the law at all, but rather to bring it down. Worse, this appears to be part of a broader, coordinated campaign by House Republicans to take the unprecedented step of shutting down the federal government unless the Affordable Care Act is completely defunded through the continuing resolution.”

“We will not be complicit in efforts to throw sand in the gears of this program as part of a broader campaign to take away health insurance coverage for tens of millions of Americans,” Cummings said.

But Boehner counters that the American public “continues to adamantly oppose the healthcare law,” citing several recent surveys showing disapproval at a record high. With Obamacare’s implementation set to begin in just two weeks, Boehner said, families and small-business owners are right to be concerned.

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to repeal the president’s failed healthcare law,” Boehner said.

On the fraud front, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee contends in its report that the navigator and assister programs lack basic safeguards against fraud and abuse.

The navigator program was created by Obamacare as an outreach program to encourage and facilitate enrollment in health insurance exchanges. Navigators were intended to be funded through the operating funds of state exchanges but several states objected, leading the Obama administration to create a twin program — the In-Person Assistance Program — which fulfills the same function but uses federal monies and identifies its representatives as assisters.

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Conservatives? Replacement Bill?

This is acceptance of this PPACA AND the gangsterish way it was whipped through the House and Senate.

But what else can be expected of the "conservatives" in government. Doesn't boo-hoo John Boehner represent them as Speaker in the House?

As replacement of that earlier Speaker N. Pelosi who at least fought her corner, Even if with tactics that reprehensibel even in primary school playground power plays.

The one thing we do not and clearly cannot expect is a display of the "Riight Stuff" for REPEAL of the entire Bill. To remove the entire nine yards off the books of law.

Not least because of the way it was enacted. Over the vociferous objections of masses of citizens who clearly were not in the club given the relentless insults and slanders by the "public servants" of the People. For DARING to object to actions proposed by the royalty of Congress/Senate, government, for example the House Whip Nancy Pelosi. Of the "Revenge is best served hot" school of office.

AND of course the fact that it is more than 2000 pages of what? So many pages that even according to the main "pusher" they "had to pass it to know what's in it".

Does any rational person think that any of the representatives of the People now in place have read those entire 2000 plus pages and KNOW what 's in them?

A lot of things can be hidden in that many pages. To be sprung on citizens at some future date as expedient for the powers that be in their "Big Government".

Doesn't that worry any of the "conservatives" grandstanding for a replacement Bill?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can only continue to say it is up to individuals--in mass--to "just say no".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I wish we had someone that truly believed in TEA Party fiscal responsibility, as Speaker of the house. Every victory the Republican party has enjoyed since 2008, was TEA Party inspired. While the Republican Establishment is responsible for all the worst losses, John "Amnesty and stab a conservative in the Back" McCain, Mitt "Romneycare" Romney, TARP, Obamacare, they don't win elections and they don't stop bad un-American legislation.
Why are these boobs still in charge? In a Parliamentary system they would have taken responsibility for their failures and resigned. If they were the Generals in a war, and they lost as many battles as they have, they would have been fired long ago. They have no belly for the fight, they just want to go along to get along, they went Washington long ago. They are now principle less political opportunists, only interested in retaining their jobs no matter the cost to the Americans they're there to serve.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A statist is a statist, regardless of their uniform.

And, statists on the one side make a move, the statists on the other side feel obligated to make a counter-move, albeit with deaf ears to the people who elected them.

It's a very curious phenomenon and has more to do with feeling important and actually being looked upon as an "action-taker" than one who sits and watches things happen.

A statist will always believe that the only way to get things done is through legislation; It's the affliction of spending years doing nothing but campaigning and attending meetings where it's all gamesmanship and move/counter-move.

In other words, to those of us work-a-day types, it's pure unadulterated crap.

We happen to know that the world will continue to turn, the sun will rise and set and people will go about their business if congress ceased to exist. But the thing that gets our goat the most is that they cannot, for one nanosecond, understand that being an effective government leader means to either do NOTHING or eliminate the government from meddling in our lives.

I recall still when GHW Bush was flamed for saying that he wanted to take a "wait-and-see" attitude over events in the middle east.

Part of the problem is our own impatient society which is fostered by our own entertainment (so-called "news") industry and all the ways that Americans do things; Right now, immediately, self-gratification above all else and be a "mover" and a "shaker".


Why replace it? Clearly it needs to be removed but replace? Unless the republican plan is to put in place laws that strictly FORBID the government from meddling then it's going to be another legislative cancer that destroys the lives of Americans.

Or is it that republicans think they have to "out-do" the democrats in public manipulation? They already gerrymandered the insurance industry by prohibiting interstate commerce of health-insurance, and people have said for years that by eliminating competition, the public suffers.

Regardless, one can be absolutely certain that although the democrats' plan sucks, whatever the republicans come up with to "replace" it will suck as well. Death by asphyxiation or death by poisoning. As my granddad used to say, "OY, such a choice I have."
1 year ago
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