Originally published August 10 2013
Congress exempts itself from Obamacare
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) I wish I could say I was shocked by President Obama's decision to exempt lawmakers and their staffs from the ravages of his signature "healthcare reform" law, but I'm not.
For one, the president has issued so many waivers and exemptions to political allies since the U.S. Supreme Court mistakenly upheld the law as constitutional that it figured he would do the same for Congress. And two, back in May, the leaders of both parties were caught negotiating in secret to find a way to exempt themselves from a law the Legislative Branch passed [http://www.naturalnews.com].
Granted, the decision to largely exempt lawmakers "officially" came from a "ruling" issued by the Office of Personnel Management. But the OPM is part of the federal bureaucracy, and the federal bureaucracy is managed by the Executive Branch, which is headed by the president. Plus, it's being reported that Obama personally intervened to ensure this "ruling" was issued.
Now that lawmakers, who have touted this law as the end-all, be-all of healthcare reform, have successfully managed to exempt themselves from its ravages, what about the rest of us? What recourse do we have?
The argument to defund
The answer lies in the House's so-called power of the purse. Lawmakers can vote to defund Obamacare, because it really is the only way to keep this disastrous law from destroying what's left of our healthcare system.
I know, many of the talking heads have pooh-poohed this idea as political suicide. They argue, and rightfully so, that proponents of defunding Obamacare will be pilloried by the ruling class and savaged by the mainstream media.
But what is better - taking flack for doing the right thing, or allowing this law to ravage our healthcare and health insurance industries (because it will)?
Plus, there are arguments to be made for defunding - arguments that cannot be refuted if articulated well.
First, lawmakers - most of whom happen to be Republicans - arguing to defund Obamacare are talking only about defunding Obamacare, not shutting down the government, as has been widely reported. If the House votes to defund only Obamacare and the Democrat-controlled Senate and its majority leader, Obama sycophant Harry Reid of Nevada, refuse to consider the House-passed budget bill, it will be difficult for them to spin that. They will try to blame Republicans for "shutting down the government," but the simple retort is to explain that, hey, 'The GOP has funded everything but Obamacare. Reid is the one preventing passage of the rest of the budget.'
They can use the non-construction of a border fence along the U.S. southwest border as an example. A 700-mile border fence was mandated in a 2006 law signed by President George W. Bush. But most of it was never built because Congress didn't fund it. And guess what? The government didn't shut down over it. The same principle applies here; if Reid and Obama won't approve a budget minus Obamacare funding, that's on them.
Further, an argument can be made that defunding Obamacare will play into the president's push to create more jobs.
Obamacare is also a job killer
"...[P]lenty of [Congress'] anti-Obamacare efforts - such as the proposal by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to defund Obamacare - actually would help create jobs, and the president has hardly rushed to embrace them," writes Michael D. Tanner at the CATO Institute.
On average, it costs an American employer $4,644 to provide health insurance to a worker. For a worker earning the U.S. median annual wage of $40,300, that amounts to an 11.5 percent hike in the cost of employing him. Alternatively, the employer could pay a penalty of $2,000 per worker. That would hike the cost of employing a median-wage worker by only roughly 5 percent, but that money has to come from somewhere, too. (The president recently delayed enforcement of this mandate for a year, but this probably won't change the decisions of most employers, since they'll have to come into compliance soon enough anyway.)
Plus, as Natural News has reported, Obamacare - before it is even fully implemented - is already causing job losses, despite the president's denials [http://www.naturalnews.com].
The answer to all of these problems is simple: Defund this turkey.
"Businesses don't like it. Individuals hate it. Union leaders say it will be bad for workers," says U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. "The law is certainly not ready to implement, and we shouldn't fund it."
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