Repeal Obamacare and Go Home

COMMENTARY Health Care Reform

Repeal Obamacare and Go Home

Sep 27, 2010 3 min read

Policy Analyst

As senior fellow in government studies at The Heritage Foundation, Brian Darling...

If Congress wants to do something useful before the fall elections, they should merely repeal Obamacare then go home. Every second Congress is in session, they do more damage to America. They tried to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” force military hospitals to perform abortions and pass a TARP for small businesses. They did not pass an extension of tax cuts for all Americans, they never passed a budget and they have not cut any spending. These incumbents need to get out of town—many of them are not coming back.

Happy Anniversary Obamacare

Last week marked the six-month anniversary of Obamacare. President Obama tried his hardest to put a good face on an unpopular plan. The problem with the plan is that, yet again, our President promised things that he could not deliver.

The polling data indicates that the American people still oppose Obamacare. According to Conn Carroll of The Heritage Foundation, “Rasmussen Reports, Gallup and CNN all put opposition to Obamacare somewhere between 56% and 61%. The law is so toxic that hardcore leftists locked in tough election fights like Sens. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) and Michael Bennet (D.-Colo.) ignore the law altogether in the healthcare section of their campaign websites.” Even the left is running scared from this terrible law. 

The President promised that people would be allowed to keep coverage. Carroll argues that “studies show that Obamacare’s regulations are likely to incentivize employers to dump 35 million Americans out of their current health careplan. Premiums for many consumers have already gone up." Carroll isn’t the only skeptic. 

Michael Cannon of the CATO Institute argues in the Washington Times that “this healthcare law offers neither patient protection nor affordable health care—in fact, quite the opposite. Obamacare’s greatest selling point was that it would guarantee health insurance coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, starting with children, through government price controls that would prohibit insurers from charging higher premiums to those patients. Unfortunately, the only thing price controls guarantee is misery.” This plan is a disaster for consumers, and Rep. Steve King's (R.-Iowa) plan to repeal it should be on the front burner in the next Congress.

Tax Cuts

On January 1, 2011, every taxpaying American’s tax rates are scheduled for a hike. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) have been talking about the possibility of a vote before Congress breaks for the November elections. Liberals want to push a plan to only extend a small portion of the tax cuts while conservatives want all the tax cuts to be extended. It appears that a vote may happen this week. If these tax cuts are not extended, then expect to be giving more money next year to an irresponsible federal government.

It would be possible for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) to go rogue and use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on his plan, S.3773, the Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010. He could gather the signatures of 15 of his colleagues and file cloture on his bill that sits on the Senate Calendar. This tricky maneuver would force Democrats to filibuster the idea of a permanent extension of all the tax cuts. It would keep liberal senators in the Capitol when the desperately want to get out of town to save their jobs.

A Conservative Continuing Resolution

Rep. Tom Price (R.-Ga.), chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, has an appropriations plan that conservatives should love. Congress has to pass a Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running into next year. Price’s plan would cut back spending to fiscal 2008 levels, an amount that would end the Obama spending spree.

The plan holds non-security discretionary spending down at 2008 levels, would defund Obamacare and end earmarks. Furthermore, the plan would protect defense spending and protect pro-life values measures that would not allow federal funds to pay for abortions. This plan is in stark contrast to the pork-filled Continuing Resolution that Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Reid are expected to roll out this week.

Liberal Obstructionism

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Reid used a procedural tactic to block amendments to the Defense Authorization bill. Republicans and two Democrats successfully blocked consideration of this measure. Senators were concerned that the controversial issues of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” abortions in military hospitals and the DREAM Act (an immigration proposal) would have had full debate, while other issues, like extension of tax cuts, would be excluded from the amendment process.

Even Sen. Olympia Snowe (R.-Maine) was angry about this abuse of the rules and traditions of the Senate. Snowe released a statement of opposition to debating the Defense Authorization bill without the opportunity for more amendments. 

The tactic Reid used is called “Filling the Amendment Tree,” and Reid has used it approximately 40 times since he was elected leader according to Senator John McCain (R.-Ariz.). Snowe and other members of the Senate stood up for the idea that members of the minority party should be allowed to offer amendments and participate in the deliberations over the defense authorization bill.

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

First appeared in Human Events

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