Defunding ObamaCare: A modern-day Bunker Hill?




Imagine if  Samuel Adams had said: “What’s the point to standing up to the British?  I mean, King George is the king.  He’s in control.  He’s got a lot of soldiers with guns.  King George and Lord Cornwallis will never allow us to be independent.  Why bother?  Those taxes are the law of the land.  Throwing the tea in the harbor is only going to make the king upset and get us some bad publicity. “   Where would we be today?

In June, 1775, a group of colonists took up arms in response to an aggressive military response from the  government.  British troops had been kicking in colonists’ doors, confiscating weapons, and occupying colonists’ homes.  Government tyranny was on the march.  The lightly-armed colonial force stood up to a numerically-superior British force at Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill outside Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The colonists inflicted enormous casualties on the larger British force — retreating only when they ran out of ammo.  This skirmish kicked off the American Revolution and sent a clear message to the oppressive, over-reaching, unresponsive, arrogant  government that Americans were no longer going to tolerate being stomped on and bled dry. 

(We’re certainly not advocating taking up arms against the government.)  But when will Americans finally reach the point where they’ve had enough?  

I thought we made it clear in 2010 when we gave the GOP the US House majority and closed the partisan gap in the Senate.  A message was sent loud and clear to those folks elected that year that ObamaCare needs to be eviscerated.  

We got a few symbolic repeal votes that went nowhere.  We got told to wait for the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional.  THAT didn’t happen.  Republicans in Congress have helped pass spending measure after spending measure that includes funding for the looming ObamaCare fiasco.  

We’ve learned that Congress has worked out a special deal on ObamaCare for the benefit of themselves and their aides. Some large companies — who have been very generous with campaign contributions — have won waivers and exemptions from ObamaCare.  But NO ONE seems to be worried about US and the effect of this new law on our families, our fortunes, and our futures.  

Republicans tell us on one hand that they think ObamaCare has got to go.  But when they get the opportunity to actually cripple it — they won’t.  We get told that stripping ObamaCare funding from a stop-gap spending bill — of questionable constitutionality in itself  —  is “the dumbest idea.”  Another Republican who made it to Washington thanks to The Tea Party asks why we’d want to trade “one economic disaster for another.”

Jim Demint and Mike Needham of The Heritage Foundation have a great response to all of this GOP wobbliness and weasel-like behavior:

Few Americans are clamoring to shut down the federal government, but polls indicate that a majority of Americans agree that ObamaCare will be a disaster for their family’s health care and for the nation’s economy. So why is President Obama threatening to shut down the government if Congress sends him a year-end spending bill to fully support government operations but without funding for his (unfair, unworkable and unaffordable) health-care law?

This question is not being addressed fairly by the media, so the American people are not being told the truth about the coming political showdown over ObamaCare. Here’s what’s really happening.

The full implementation of the federal takeover of America’s health-care system is approaching the point of no return, when tens of millions of Americans will be forced to sign up for government-controlled health care beginning this fall. Virtually all Republicans in Congress have run their election campaigns promising to stop ObamaCare, and every one of them has voted to repeal it.

Democrats should have supported repeal as well, because the president’s new system will be unaffordable and unfair for many of the nation’s low-income and younger Americans. ObamaCare will likely cause insurance premiums to double or triple for the young and healthy, and lead to a decline in wages for low-income Americans due to compliance regulations and penalties on their employers.

Yet despite all the grand speeches, votes and chest-pounding by Republicans promising to try to stop this destructive new law, none of this has required much courage so far—nor has it been effective. ObamaCare can be stopped only if Congress denies funding for it in the next spending bill, which must be passed in September. That would immediately halt the implementation of ObamaCare and fulfill a defining GOP promise to the American people. Voting for a spending bill that excludes ObamaCare will take courage and integrity..

[…]There are some who argue that ObamaCare can’t be defunded because most of its spending is deemed “mandatory.” Their assertions are wrong. According to the Congressional Research Service, ObamaCare “administrative costs will have to be funded through the annual discretionary appropriations.” Furthermore, annual appropriations bills routinely carry funding limitations to mandatory spending and often block a wide range of potential government activities. The Hyde Amendment to a 1976 appropriation bill, for example, blocked all taxpayer funding of abortion, and has every year since 1976. Congress can disallow funding for ObamaCare and effectively stop the implementation of the law.


Yet doing that will require resolve. President Obama, along with all the Democrats, will accuse Republicans of trying to shut down the government by giving the president a spending bill that he must veto. But there is no “must” about it. If the president opts to shut down all of government instead of just ObamaCare, that will be his choice, not the wish of conservatives.

The truth is rarely a factor in today’s political battles, though. Much of the media will echo the White House talking points about Republicans shutting down the government. Seniors will be told that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy if ObamaCare is not funded, the poor will be threatened with loss of benefits—well, you know the rest.

This is why some Republican leaders and consultants are pleading with conservatives in the House and Senate not to pick a fight with the president over ObamaCare. The Republican old guard warns that any fight could jeopardize the GOP’s chances of taking the majority in the Senate in 2014 and keeping the House majority. Their do-nothing strategy? Allow ObamaCare to be fully implemented so the American people will see what a mess it is.

The problem with this logic is that once ObamaCare is fully implemented, it will destroy what’s left of our personalized, free-market health system and make it very challenging to bring affordable, high-quality health care to Americans. The bureaucracy and the costs of national health care will grow dramatically, becoming increasingly difficult to dismantle as they grow.

ObamaCare will destroy the private-insurance market, incentivize businesses to cancel current health coverage for their employees, create physician shortages, and force Americans and states into total dependency on the federal government. After all that, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the free market to resurrect a private health-care system built on doctor/patient decision-making.

So the fight to stop ObamaCare now is an urgent matter. Elected leaders in both parties should summon the courage to put their political futures on the line, because the future of America is truly on the line. Politicians who oppose ObamaCare should not vote to fund it. Those who want a socialized health-care system should vote to fund it. There is no middle ground and no place to hide.

Republicans could lose the national debate. But a failure of Republicans to show the courage of their convictions on such a fundamental issue will inspire no one and will further alienate the American people from their government. This carries far greater risks to the nation’s future than the threat of a government shutdown or the risk of losing the next election.

 ObamaCare is already damaging our economy and our health care system.  If it is allowed to be fully implemented, our nation will face a setback that will be nearly impossible to recover from.  When is the last time you heard about a federal entitlement being canceled out?  Social security was initially implemented as a crutch to help people make it through The Great Depression.  Nearly a century later, it’s still here and breaking our nation. 

Some of the greatest positive changes in American history have been sparked by courageous people putting life and limb at risk — whether it’s throwing tea into Boston Harbor or simply sitting down to have lunch at the whites-only lunch counter. It’s time once again to step forward and show some courage.