The Long Game On Obamacare Repeal
posted at 2:14 pm on November 26, 2012 by Duane Patterson
Last week, when John Boehner proclaimed Obamacare the “law of the land,” conservatives reacted with the same off-with-his-head comments they do whenever they perceive caving to be taking place. But Boehner and the Republicans in the House don’t seem to be caving on their view of Obamacare. They just seem to be altering their tactics, considering the political landscape that the country faces now.
Whether we want to believe it or not, Barack Obama will be president for four more years, and will not sign any repeal that makes it through the House and Senate. And believing that any repeal bill would even get brought up for a vote in a Senate is a bigger fantasy than believing the Arab Spring will turn out just fine. So how do we continue to fight this battle, knowing as we do that Obamacare is bad law, bad policy, bad health care, and bad, bad, bad for the U.S. economy? Two fronts.
First, the House Ways And Means Committee will have to take a large role in the next few years overseeing the implementation process. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has already balked at providing information and documentation to the committee, and hearings are going to have to ramp up. In a Politico article this morning, Speaker Boehner is quoted as saying in a letter to fellow Republicans earlier this month, “I’ve long maintained there are three possible routes to repeal of ObamaCare: the courts, the presidential election, and our constitutional responsibility for oversight,” Boehner wrote in a letter to House Republicans earlier this month. “With two of them having come up short, the third and final of these becomes more important than ever.”
He’s right. Stunt votes of repeal, knowing it will go nowhere in the Senate, will not do this time. The bill is 2,000 pages of fraud and bureaucracy, and Congress has to do the best they can to pick away at it, and the Caucus has to continue making the case to the American people that the program will eventually collapse under its own weight, and we’ve said all along there’s a better way, and this is what that way forward should be. Unless, of course, the Supreme Court takes another bite at the Obamacare apple and strikes it down.
As Ed wrote earlier on Hot Air, just because the election is over, the legal challenges to Obamacare have not gone away at all, and with a piece of legislation this massive, that is this overarching, it can’t help but raise significant Constitutional challenges the deeper you get into the implementation process. It’s a rotten onion, and it stinks more with every layer you peel back. Alliance Defending Freedom has at least one challenge pending that has a pathway to the Supreme Court regarding the HHS regulations, and Fox News talked to Jordan Sekulow about another similar challenge coming, this time from Hobby Lobby.
The road to repeal has gotten considerably longer and narrower. But this is another battle on which conservatives, despite the odds, should stand their ground and fight. Either we believe in our core principles of adherence to the 1st Amendment, and limited government, and individual choice, or we don’t. And if we don’t, we’re not a serious political movement any longer.