Freedomworks’ Dean Clancy explains the path to health care reform.
This past weekend I had the privilege to attend a FreedomWorks confab with other bloggers and activists at its D.C. office to discuss tactics and messaging in the fight to defund/delay/repeal ObamaCare.
Poll after poll after poll shows that Americans do not like and do not want ObamaCare. They don’t like the individual mandate and they don’t trust the government – especially the IRS enforcement arm of it.
But as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has stated: “On Jan. 1, the exchanges kick in and the subsidies kick in. Once those kick in, it’s going to prove almost impossible to undo Obamacare. The administration’s plan is very simple: Get enough people addicted to the sugar that Obamacare remains a permanent feature of our society.
We need to use every constitutional resource at our disposal to prevent that from happening.
Defund ObamaCare proponents have no interest in shutting down the government. They are demanding an ObamaCare shutdown, We can fund the government without ObamaCare. The ball is in the Democrats’ court to see if they think preserving Obama’s legacy is worth shutting the government down.
Freedomworks’ Josh Withrow
Here are some frequently asked questions about defunding ObamaCare, answered by Freedomworks’ Josh Withrow.
Q: Since much of ObamaCare’s funding is on autopilot, will defunding it actually stop it from taking effect?
A: As FreedomWorks has explained at length elsewhere, the Karl Rove / Mitch McConnell argument that “A shutdown won’t actually stop ObamaCare” is incorrect and misleading. While much of ObamaCare is indeed “permanent law,” the Congressional Research Service hasconfirmed that federal agencies like HHS and the IRS still require annually appropriated funds to be able to spend “permanent law” funds, and therefore defunding ObamaCare would in fact shut down ObamaCare. Defunding ObamaCare would also stop the ObamaCare taxes from being collected, for the same reason it would stop ObamaCare’s “permanent law” funding.
To be clear, defunders are insisting the CR include the language from the Cruz-Graves bills, which ould bring ObamaCare implementation and enforcement to a complete and permanent halt. Incidentally, ObamaCare’s main auto-pilot spending — the exchange premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion funding — aren’t scheduled to begin until January 1st. The CR fight will take place prior to that time, in September and October. So a budget standoff can result in defunding.
Q: Since there weren’t enough votes to repeal ObamaCare, what makes you think we can find the votes to defund or delay?
A: It’s true that Democrats have been unwilling to vote for repeal. But in July 22 House Democrats supported a one-year delay of the employer and individual mandates, despite frantic pressure from their party leaders to vote “no.” This shows we can attract Democratic votes with the right message. Recent polling suggests a majority of Americans, regardless of party, support a delay of ObamaCare, either because they oppose it, or because they support it but want to “fix” it. Delay is thus the policy and political sweet spot. But the only way to achieve delay is to maximize leverage via a united push, and the best “opening bid” is to insist on complete defunding.
Q: Why are you insisting upon “defund” even though it’s unpopular?
A: It’s true that “delay” polls better than “defund.” But it’s not true that “defund” is “unpopular.” The contention that it is, is based on misleading poll wording. For example, a poll by Karl Rove’s group tries to stack the deck by making it sound like “defund” means stopping “health care reform.” A more accurate poll question in the above-mentioned Basswood poll finds the idea of defunding Obamacare is broadly supported. Independents in the survey strongly supported defunding Obamacare by a margin of 57 percent to 34 percent. Only 20 percent of those polled supported going forward with Obamacare unchanged.
Q: Doesn’t pushing for defund make it harder to achieve a delay?
A: On the contrary, as we’ve already explained, pushing for defunding makes it more likely we will achieve a delay. But Republicans must unite for this strategy to work. If you start a negotiation with the bare minimum that you’re willing to accept (delay), you will inevitably fail to receive even that.
Q: Aren’t piecemeal attacks more likely to work than a frontal assault?
A: Piecemeal attacks — such as repealing the IPAB (“death panels”), the medical device tax, or even the Medicaid expansion – are a time-wasting distraction from the larger problem of stopping the government takeover of our health care. Even Democrats have already been willing to strip away several portions of the law (1099 reporting, the CLASS Act), but none of these small victories matter if the mandates and subsidies that are the heart of ObamaCare are allowed to kick in.
Q: Can an appropriations bill actually be used to block mandatory (autopilot) spending?
A: Sure it can – Congress does it all the time. When Congress alters the spending in an auto-pilot program such as food stamps or Medicare, it is scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as CHanges in Mandatory Program Spending (CHiMPS).
US Senate candidate from Maryland, Dan Bongino addressed the activists and bloggers during their lunch break on Saturday.
More videos soon to come.