Thursday, January 6, 2011

Whose Afraid of Defunding Obamacare?

Light blogging of late as I am suffering from a cold and exigencies at work caused late night reading of "root cause analysis" documentation on a subject where I have prior expertise. I can only say I am thankful I am no longer in that particular line of work.

Word on the street is that Republicans will not de-fund Obamacare, because they are too afraid of losing a confrontation over a "government shut down" as in 1995 with Clinton. O'Reilly has been so opining, although Dick Morris thinks otherwise.

However, I don't think anyone has thought it through. By not taking the Senate, the Republicans actually gain the upper hand in this little confrontation, and they have a very nice fall back position. Since the appropriations bills must originate in the House of Representatives, the Republicans can send over all manner of appropriations that prohibit the funding of various aspects of Obamacare. Then Harry Reid will have a tough call to make. He will likely amend the appropriation and send it back to the House. A conference committee would then have to resolve differences. Now it is equally on the Senate whether particular agencies get shut down. (Remember that most agencies operate on their own appropriations bill, so the whole government doesn't really get shut down at once.)

Meanwhile, if the Republicans find that they don't want to take the heat, they can just pass what are known as "continuing resolutions." These fund the government at the same level as the prior year, and have the advantage of not building an inflation factor into the funding. Further, because Obamacare was not funded under the previous appropriations, the heads of agencies, like Sebelius at HHS, will have to cut other programs if they are to fund the various commissions, studies and assorted hoopla associate with the bill. Further, some of the shifting of funds is of questionable constitutionality. (Article 1, Section 9, No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.) This will give Darell Issa further opportunity to haul heads of agencies in front of his committee.

The Republicans could actually just continue in this vain until 2012, and keep making a big deal out of it, making Obamacare a big part of the next Presidential election. Since the bill never really caught on, and none of the commissions, death panels or societies of experts intended to rule your life are popular, their is really no down side to this plan. I double-dog-dare the President to veto an appropriations bill or continuing resolution that funds things like medicare reimbursement, over the failure to get his commissions set up.

Now it's up to the man of the hour to see this baby through.


Forgot to mention that KBWD has a nice video round up of yesterday's festivities at the change of command swearing in of the new of the new Speaker.


  1. They need to use every means at hand to kill this thing.

  2. Thanks for the link, dude.

    I was not thinking specifically about ObamaCare but others wrt why there are many upsides to gaining the House but not the Senate. Add one more.