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07.10.2012 1

The difficulty of repealing ObamaCare

Repeal ObamaCareBy Adam Bitely — The process to repeal ObamaCare has been underway since the day it was signed in to law. So far, the results indicate that much must change before there is any actual repealing of ObamaCare.

The reality of the situation is that the only hope of repealing ObamaCare is in the hands of the worst possible group: establishment D.C. politicians.

Tomorrow, the House will vote again on repealing ObamaCare—which they have done successfully in this same session of Congress on January 19, 2011. There is no reason to think that the House GOP is doing anything more that putting on more theater of “attempting” to repeal ObamaCare. The fact is there are many more things that House Republicans could be doing to actually repeal or dilute the bill that they seem to have little stomach for actually doing.

First, they could be voting to completely defund any action that is involved with implementing ObamaCare. Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Michele Bachmann are circulating a letter to their fellow members of Congress calling on them to vote to defund all actions implementing ObamaCare.

As the letter states, “Since much of the implementation of ObamaCare is a function of the discretionary appropriations process, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that ObamaCare should never go into effect, we urge you not to bring to the House floor in the 112th Congress any legislation that provides or allows funds to implement ObamaCare through the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other federal entity.  We also urge you to take legislative steps necessary to immediately rescind all ObamaCare-implementation funds.”

Second, they could be using the reconciliation process in the Senate to repeal ObamaCare. As former Bush administration official James Capretta wrote in 2011, “a reconciliation bill cannot be filibustered — and therefore can pass in the Senate with a simple majority, normally 51 votes, when all time for debate has expired.”

Capretta goes further and lays out a realistic scenario:

“If, in the 2012 election, Republicans are able to maintain control of the House, pick up the majority in the Senate (a real possibility) but not a 60-vote supermajority, and win the White House (looking more possible by the day), the GOP would be in position to set in motion a reconciliation bill to repeal and replace Obamacare — and they wouldn’t need any Democratic cooperation to make it happen. The fact that leading Republican presidential candidates have now said that reconciliation is an option is a big deal, as it makes it very clear to all concerned that there is a clear path to victory for Obamacare opponents.”

But the real problem in all of this is that we have to rely on politicians to handle the repeal of ObamaCare. The incentive structure for politicians is based upon receiving political donations and votes in the ballot box. Politicians make most (and I believe all) decisions based on those incentives. Therefore, if you want politicians to behave in such a way, such as to repeal ObamaCare, then you must provide them with the incentives to behave in certain ways.

Unfortunately though, House Republican leadership publicly announced in the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections that they would “repeal and replace” ObamaCare if given the opportunity. The “replace” portion is where the real danger lies. The House GOP governing document the Pledge to America as well as many other Republicans in Congress who have publicly supported the politically popular provisions of ObamaCare such as allowing “kids” to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old as well as guaranteeing insurance for those with pre-existing conditions, indicate that the Congressional GOP is in no hurry to completely dismantle ObamaCare. If those items are implemented through the “repeal and replace” method as suggested by many of the congressional GOP constituents, House GOP will be looking for ways to come up with the revenue to pay for them.

Those that truly support repealing ObamaCare and doing away with government interference in medicine would be wise to consider other options for repealing ObamaCare than rallying to elect Republicans to political office. So far, Republicans and Democrats as well as Judges have done nothing but grease the wheels for ObamaCare to become law.

The latest effort by House Republicans to conduct another orchestrated “repeal” vote of ObamaCare does not indicate that Republicans really want to repeal it.  If they are really serious this time, they need to prove it by actually defunding its implementation and forcing Obama and the Senate to explain to their constituents why they want to fund the law at all.

Only when they take this step should anyone believe that Republicans are treating the takeover of health care markets by the federal government as a serious threat to liberty and freedom.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

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