Push to defund Obamacare is bad for Republican Party
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 23:09
I am as opposed to the Affordable Care Act as any of the Republicans currently in Congress. From a policy perspective, I do not think the law is going to accomplish its own goals, and I do not like the way it goes about trying to accomplish those goals. I also think the law is morally perverse. The government has no business getting in between my insurance provider and myself. When I negotiate for insurance, it should be up to me how much I pay, and what level of coverage I receive. Most of all, my insurance prices should not be subject to the costs of other people. I am not against charity, but I think that charity should be charity and insurance should be insurance. Another thing I do not support is the current strategy being employed to defund Obamacare. I may not like the law, but I do not support strategies that will do more harm than good.
There is a lot to be done, and I think the quasi-filibuster performed by Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday was a good thing. That is to say on its own, and separated from the context of everything else that is going on. A filibuster event to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have been fantastic. Even if the point had been to persuade the public that defunding the Obamacare was a good idea, I would have supported it. That is not what it was about though. This talking filibuster was in support of a silent filibuster. The most important thing we can do right now is stay on topic, and focus on the problems with Obamacare, but that is not what a 40 vote procedural filibuster would do.
This whole “defund Obamacare” push has amounted to a distraction, and if it continues, it will amount to an even larger distraction. It would be one thing if we had the votes to defund in the Senate. At least then we could lay the full weight of responsibility at the feet of the President and his veto, and in that case a shutdown really would be of the President’s own doing. It’s a nice thought but we have to play with the cards we have been dealt, and right now we have to live with the fact that we do not have the votes to defund. Short of sending the continuing resolution to the President in its current form what could we do? Well, we could have opposed the resolution by withholding 40 votes in the Senate. Senate Republicans could then refuse to proceed until the Democrats in the Senate agreed to the resolution in its current form. What an insane idea. We would never be able to trust that Democrats wouldn’t just strip the language, and send it back to the house. Face it, the Senate Democrats will send the Resolution back to the house, and make no mistake, it will contain funding for Obamacare.
With this strategy, the best we could hope for is a 40-vote filibuster in the Senate. Even if this was an obtainable goal, and I see no reason to think it is, what strategic sense could it possibly make? I know I am young, but I remember what it felt like to be winning in 2009 and 2010, and it actually feels like we are winning again. Americans seem to be coming to the conclusion that the Affordable Care Act is going to be bad for the economy, bad for their pocketbooks and bad for the middle class. The law is unpopular, so then why should we pursue a strategy that is also bad for the economy, bad for people’s pocketbooks, bad for the middle class, and is at least as unpopular as Obamacare? Why would we want to change the subject from the Democrat’s health care law to a Republican government shutdown?
Even less sensible is the rhetoric being used. According to those in the defund crowd, anyone who does not support this shortsighted attack on the Affordable Care Act somehow supports the law. We can’t even disagree about tactics any more without being labeled RINOs? We need to stay on topic, and stay united. There is no need for making cheap shots at each other, and there is definitely no need for a government shutdown.