The Mike Lee/Mark Meadows-led effort to delay Obamacare has engendered a tremendous reaction across the political spectrum. It has garnered, of course, a great deal of support from fiscally conservative organizations. However, it has also failed to gain support from several, including the growing Coalition to Reduce Spending (CRS).
Earlier this week, CRS’ Director of Outreach, Rebekah Johansen, launched a discussion on her Facebook page about the delay effort. In the conversation that followed, CRS President Jonathan Bydlak declared “the strategy is a waste of time,” and Johansen posted the following commentary:
What would be the end goal, though? It’s a no-win situation. Attach the rider, and it almost certainly fails, and Obamacare remains funded. Don’t attach the rider, and it’s mostly unaffected anyway.
This is a question many have asked since Tea Party Patriots backed the Lee/Meadows effort. It is a good one that has three simple answers:
First, the goal isn’t to repeal Obamacare. This is not a “be-all, end-all” strategy insofar as what fiscal conservatives in Congress are asking Republican colleagues to do. There is no full defund or full repeal being requested or demanded in the Lee/Meadows letters. The goal is to delay Obamacare by one year, giving average Americans the same regulatory and tax relief special interests are receiving. With the unilateral delays granted in recent months, the President clearly believes one-year delays are good for his health care law.
Second, it’s about messaging. The President has admitted the law isn’t ready. There have been twelve delays, defunds, or repeals of various components of Obamacare, most of them benefiting gigantic special interests (think employer mandate delay). The mainstream media and establishment Republican message to the American people is fiscal conservatives want to shut down the government; the truth is we want the entire government except for Obamacare funded. This Administration has admitted vast components of the law aren’t ready for implementation, yet President Obama is willing to burden Average Joe and Jane American with Obamacare while giving special interests relief.
Third, this is a great chance for Republicans – who have done far too much capitulating on tax reform, immigration, spending, and other matters in recent years and decades – to finally stand up for constitutionally limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. True, they might lose, but their play-dead tactics have lost the last two Presidential elections, they can’t fail worse than they already have.
The GOP is constantly being told what’s best for itself by Democrats and the mainstream media, but you couldn’t find a bigger conflict of interest if you tried. Democrats and the media have no reason to support the GOP, so if Republicans want support from the American people, standing on principle would do a great deal to help their party flourish. Furthermore, such a stand would provide the opportunity to show how being fiscally responsible isn’t extreme; it’s necessary and just, despite what certain talking heads and big government backers claim.
The concerns voiced by Johansen and Bydlak are well taken; however, they ignore the devastation Obamacare will deliver unto America should it be fully implemented. Better to take a stand now, when delay is still a distinct possibility, than wait until Obamacare is nearly untouchable in January.