In 2012, Republicans often said defunding or repealing Obamacare wasn’t critical for Congress to do – the Supreme Court would take care of things. That strategy flopped.
Others said really holding strong could wait until 2013 – they assumed they would hold Congress and the Presidency, and thus repeal would be a relative cakewalk.
Well, that didn’t happen, either. Now, Byron York has a warning for Republicans if they want to wait until 2014 stand and fight (emphasis added):
On the other hand, a lot of thoughtful conservatives are looking beyond Oct. 1 to Jan. 1, the day the law (except for the parts the president has unilaterally postponed) is scheduled to go fully into effect. On that day the government will begin subsidizing health insurance for millions of Americans. (A family of four with income as high as $88,000 will be eligible for subsidies.) When people begin receiving that entitlement, the dynamics of the Obamacare debate will change.
At that point, the Republican mantra of total repeal will become obsolete. The administration will mount a huge public relations campaign to highlight individuals who have received government assistance to help them afford, say, chemotherapy, or dialysis, or some other life-saving treatment. Will Republicans advocate cutting off the funds that help pay for such care?
The answer is no. Facing that reality, the GOP is likely to change its approach, arguing that those people should be helped while the rest of Obamacare is somehow dismantled.
This is exactly right. Look at the battles over food stamps, Medicaid expansion, minor changes to Social Security and Medicare, etc. Once the dollars start flowing, it is extremely difficult to reverse course.
This is why the Cruz/Lee defunding effort is so critical. These Senators are leading the charge to defund Obamacare as part of budget negotiations this fall. Should their colleagues back them, defunding is a possibility. If they stand alone, Obamacare will likely become politically safe, and the federal behemoth will continue to grow and prosper as America weakens and fails.