Part 3 – Thorner: GOP straw-man arguments against defunding Obamacare display cowardliness
August 11, 2013
A number of straw-man arguments have surfaced in the last few weeks as to why Republican senators and representatives are unwilling to join the on-going mobilization of members in the House and Senate to defund Obamacare through a Ryder to the must-pass Continuing Resolution, expiring on September 30, to fund the government.
What does it say about Republicans, many of whom are already assuming that it will be they who would blink and back down and that Democrats won’t be under any pressure to blink and retreat?
Following are three of the most recent straw-man arguments against defunding ObamaCare. Each argument is eviscerated:
Eviscerating Straw-man excuses:
1. Some members of Congress, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been spreading the idea that it would be better to delay key parts of the law. However, the “delay” messaging shifts the focus away from a defund fight in the context of a “must-pass” bill to fund the government, where it matters most and has the most teeth. Focusing on only the individual and employer mandates risks not enough opposition against the two main ObamaCare entitlements coming on-line October 1 — Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies.
2. Others legislators are promoting a Congressional Research Service study which says that shutting down the government will not defund Obamacare, but none of the defund proponents are suggesting that it does. The strategy is to fund the government and defund Obamacare. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/08/04/defund-obamacare-sen-mike-lee-editorials-debates/2617319/
To those establishment Republicans who say that ObamaCare largely can’t be defunded and that the funds to implement are already baked into the care, nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Heritage Foundation, the $1 billion in mandatory implementation money has already been spent, meaning that ObamaCare’s administrative costs will have to be funded through the annual discretionary appropriation. According to the federal Antideficiency Act (ADA), it is illegal to spend money in excess of appropriations. http://www.gao.gov/legal/lawresources/antideficiencybackground.html
Illinois Republican Congressman Aaron Schock (18th Congressional District) used this straw-man argument at a town hall meeting on Monday, August 5th, when implying that the effort to defund ObamaCare “wouldn’t necessarily stop the Affordable Care Act from being implemented”. To Representative Schock, ObamaCare’s mandatory spending can be held up in the continuing resolution which will fund the government after September 30th. http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/rep-aaron-schock-defunding-wouldnt-necessarily-stop-the-affordable-care-act.html#more
3. Finally, we continue to hear pundits declare that it is political suicide for the Republicans to take a stand on the continuing resolution, but history reveals that the government slowdown of the 1990’s resulted in a pick-up of Republican seats in the Senate, as well as the GOP maintaining control of the House.
Closing down the government would not be the end of the world. Because of the two shutdowns in 1995, with Republicans standing up to Bill Clinton, some fiscal responsibility was achieved through a balanced budget. Why then do so many Republicans live in fear of being blamed for any shutdown? Although their concerns are not unreasonable, they do reflect the all too common short-view mindset of too many Republicans.
Consider how every weekend the non-essential services of the government are temporarily and partially shut down, which is what would happen in a potential temporary shutdown. Not even President Obama would allow the government to go unfunded for any significant amount of time to result in a long term shut down of government.
Rational people would understand that a government shutdown would be equally the fault of President Obama for his refusal to compromise on a budget unless his pet health care project was funded.
Do Republicans really lack the where-with-all to get a unified and targeted message out in defense of defunding the monstrosity that is ObamaCare, which no Republican voted for back in March of 2010, and which all claim to dislike? At the moment this seems to be so. Repealing is impossible with a Senate and the presidency both controlled by Democrats.
It must also be remembered that the messiah edifice of ObamCare has begun to crumble even among dyed-in-the-wool Democratic supporters and legislators.
On October 1st, just 52 days from today (August 10), the ObamaCare health insurance exchanges are set to open. The Heritage Foundation’s “Morning Bell” on Friday, August 9, noted two data security threats facing the American people on October because of the shoddy, slapdash approach the government has taken in the implementation of ObamaCare.
These two security threats alone should serve as wake-up calls to legislators in the Senate and House who continue to use discredited straw-man arguments as reasons not to commit to the ObamaCare defunding push in their respective chambers. Furthermore, they offer proof of why the House should refuse to spend a single dime to implement this unfair, unworkable, and unpopular law. http://blog.heritage.org/2013/08/09/morning-bell-obamacare-the-next-threat-to-your-privacy/
1. Threat #1: ObamaCare “Navigators”: HHS will not require navigators to undergo “minimum eligibility criteria and background checks,” nor must they participate in anti-fraud classes. This laxness will more than likely produce scam artists who pose as navigators to get access to applicants’ personal information.
2. Threat #2: ObamaCare’s Data Hub: This massive compilation of tax filings, Social Security reports and other government date used to determine eligibility for subsidized insurance isn’t scheduled to be certified as secure until September 30, only one day before the exchanges open for business. As the Administration has been cutting corners on data privacy for the exchanges, this raises the issue of whether the data on the hub can ever be certified as secure.
Part 4: Will explore current citizen action to defund ObamaCare across this nation and what action must be taken here in IL to get our six U.S. congressmen and Senator Mark Kirk on board with defunding ObamaCare.