The Struggle Over Defunding Obamacare
At the end of this week, the House of Representatives will take up the Continuing Resolution to fund the government. It is unclear whether they will choose to defund Obamacare through the CR, rather than through a symbolic separate resolution, but if they are serious about stopping the law, they must.
Obamacare has been described as a “train wreck” by Senator Max Baucus, one of Obamacare’s main architects. President Obama has again moved beyond the limits of his office to delay a mandate on businesses to provide health coverage for one year. However, the mandate on individuals to either join the government-run insurance exchanges or pay a fine stands, and these exchanges, though not ready, are scheduled to open on October 1.
Speaker of the House John Boehner and Congressman Kevin Brady prefer not to use the spending bill to draw a line in the sand. Beyond the CR, in October lies a debt-ceiling increase that the House GOP has long planned to use as leverage. But high-stakes fights have not been successful for Republicans. They only result is each side becoming more polarized and nobody being persuaded by principled arguments.
Congress should serve the people, and when enough of the people speak with one voice, Congress will follow. Many in Washington struggle to see a realistic path to legislative fruition for defunding Obamacare, and if Washington decides this on its own, Obamacare will be funded. The divide between Republican leadership and the grassroots is the difference between prioritizing the short term versus long term implications of a vote. The American people, as reflected in our recent townhall with Congressman Brady, perceive themselves as voiceless because those in Washington seem more influenced by immediate pain than by the long term catastrophic effects on our children and grandchildren.
But this debate over funding Obamacare is primarily about what action you, the American voter, will take. We belief in an individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our healthcare system should be consistent with these beliefs. There is no reason that we cannot devise a health care system that places responsibility for medical choices with the individual while still providing for those who cannot take care of themselves. We were never allowed the debate to devise such a system, and we must push back on all actions that will allow Obamacare to take root. Defunding Obamacare through the Continuing Resolution represents this stance.
Whoever pays, chooses. We do not want a government-run healthcare system in the United States because bureaucrats will choose who will receive treatment and what kind of treatment they will receive.
Congress works for us, though many in Washington have forgotten that relationship, and your actions can strengthen the resolve and influence of those who will vote our values. In fact, your united voices will remove high-stakes negotiations from political discourse, because both sides will be clear about where you stand.
If you agree that the American health care system needs reform but must be built around individual responsibility and competition, please contact Congressman Brady this week and politely ask him to defund Obamacare through the Continuing Resolution. His office numbers are:
Washington, DC: 202-225-4901