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April 12, 2010

The ABCs of Repealing ObamaCare

By

Conservatives want to repeal every single word of ObamaCare.  They want ObamaCare euthanized so Congress can start over with true healthcare reform that lowers prices, restores free markets and gets the government out of the decision-making process.

Three Approaches

ObamaCare was an intolerable act of government.  Luckily, there are three ways to repeal it:
 
*  First is a legal fight.  Florida Atty. Gen. Bill McCollum is leading a group of 18 states in suing the federal government.  Their case argues it’s unconstitutional for Washington to mandate that citizens buy health insurance, because such power isn’t authorized by either the Commerce or Taxing Clauses in the U.S. Constitution.  If the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, then ObamaCare may collapse.  Congress may be forced to repeal the whole bill, or the courts may have to craft a remedy that could include striking down the whole law.  The timeline for this scenario is uncertain.

*  Second is a procedural approach within Congress.  The elections this fall will be a referendum on ObamaCare.  Democratic supporters of the president may be sent packing because of their support for the unpopular ObamaCare.  A new Congress is likely to be friendly to the idea of using the appropriations process to chip away at ObamaCare in anticipation of full repeal in 2013, once Obama is gone and no longer can veto a full repeal bill.  Congress can bury provisions in next year’s appropriations bills to defund the new bureaucracies needed to implement the law’s new regulatory powers over healthcare.

According to a CBS News poll, “more Americans now disapprove of the legislation, and many expect their costs to rise and the quality of their care to worsen.  Few expect the reforms to help them.”  The CBS poll indicated that 53% of Americans disapprove of the new law and 32% approve.  People are right to worry that ObamaCare is going to force changes in coverage for all Americans  AT&T announced that it will have to set aside $1 billion to cover a tax in ObamaCare on retiree drug coverage.  The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced $202 billion in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program required by ObamaCare.  The Associated Press reported that ObamaCare will raise premiums for young adults an average of $500 per year.  Young and old have strong reasons to rebel against the new law. 

*  Third is by selecting new leaders at the ballot box.  ObamaCare can always be repealed in full by a friendly Congress and a new President who is opposed to government-run healthcare. The biggest provisions of the new law won’t be implemented until 2014.  That includes the unconstitutional individual mandate, new regulations on insurance companies, creation of heavily regulated state-based exchanges and new tax credits for low-income individuals. 

Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.) and 15 colleagues have introduced one-sentence bills to repeal ObamaCare.  These bills will become the conservative battle cry this fall in federal races, because full repeal of ObamaCare is the only acceptable message for many Americans.  Joining DeMint in supporting S.3152 are Republican Senators Vitter (La.), Graham (S.C.), Bennett (Utah), Bond (Mo.), Chambliss (Ga.), Crapo (Idaho), Ensign (Nev.), Hutchinson (Tex.), Inhofe (Okla.), LeMieux (Fla.), Risch (Idaho), Roberts (Kan.), Cornyn (Tex.), Coburn (R-Okla.) and Kyl (R-Ariz.). A full repeal isn’t likely to pass this year, yet it’s important to build support as more bad news comes out every day about Americans who are being harmed by ObamaCare.

In the House there are four bills to repeal ObamaCare.  Republican Representatives Jerry Moran (Kan.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Steve King (Iowa) have introduced bills with a combined 40 cosponsors.  Some Republican Party “leaders” are calling for half-measures, arguing the best conservatives can wish for is to undo parts of ObamaCare after the fall elections.  Although that may be true, these same leaders so far have not shown strong support for any of the bills to repeal ObamaCare.

The message from the leadership of the Republican Party right now is “Repeal and Replace.”  But conservatives are willing to fight in three ways to repeal every word of ObamaCare.  Activists should ignore defeatists who are pleading for compromise and appeasement.  ObamaCare should die within the next few years from severe trauma to the very heart of the law, as Americans and the courts reject big-government health care.


Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation.

First appeared in Human Events

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