“Could Obamacare Be Defunded?”
by Donna Garner
On Monday, 9.30.13, Obama stated, “The Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] is moving forward. That funding is already in place. You can’t shut it down…”
Other pundits have picked up the same chant so as to make the Republicans’ efforts to defund Obamacare look foolish and stupid since obviously Obamacare will keep right on moving ahead anyway.
Is this accurate? Could Obamacare be defunded?
Here is a report written by Chris Jacobs of The Heritage Foundation on 7.30.13 (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/07/defunding-obamacare-the-next-best-option ) that undoubtedly Sen. Ted Cruz and others used to launch their attempts to defund Obamacare.
Here is my summary of this article.
Bottom line: “Yes, Obamacare can be defunded.”
No doubt about it: Repealing Obamacare is the best answer; but short of that, defunding could stop Obamacare in its tracks. Congress has the ultimate “power of the purse.” Congress can refuse to implement Obamacare for the upcoming fiscal year. Amendments can be added by Congress to its annual appropriation bills that would prohibit Obama’s executive actions.
These limitation-of-funds amendments can apply to both mandatory (i.e., entitlement) and discretionary spending. For instance, the Hyde Amendment restricting the use of federal funding for abortions in the Medicaid entitlement has been passed each year since 1976.
The defunding law can prevent enforcement of Obamacare’s mandates, regulations and tax increases for as long as the defunding provision states.
Senator Ted Cruz (R–TX) introduced the Defund Obamacare Act (S. 1292), and Representative Tom Graves (R–GA) introduced the same legislation in the House as H.R. 2682. Each version permanently defunds the law’s new entitlements and prohibits the Obama administration bureaucrats from advancing their objectives. There are three basic provisions of S. 1292 and H. R. 2682.
The first provision says, “no federal funds shall be made available to carry out any provisions” of the law. This provision would stop the appropriation of funds involving both mandatory
discretionary spending. This would stop the spending of federal money by the Obama administration to issue rules, meet with special interest groups, engage in public relations events, etc.The second provision says “no entitlement to benefits under any provision of [Obamacare] shall remain in effect on and after the date of enactment.” This would stop the appropriation of the new entitlement spending for the law’s Medicaid expansion and exchange insurance subsidies.
The third provision rescinds all unobligated balances related to Obamacare. This provision would return to the Treasury all funds previously appropriated but not yet spent on Obamacare implementation.
Projects that could have their funding revoked under this third provision include the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on “navigators” to enroll individuals in Obamacare programs and promotional activities related to the law that include questionable sponsorships and appearances.
Based upon this article, the Republican conservatives have been doing exactly the right thing. Defunding of Obamacare would and could work.