Starving the ObamaCare Beast

It’s time for House Republicans to discharge a duty their Democrat predecessors shamefully failed to address, and prepare a budget.  The continuing resolutions which popped out of the lame-duck legislative toaster in December are due to expire in March.  Americans are clamoring for spending cuts.  If only there was a huge, deeply unpopular, economy-crushing offense to the Constitution that could be defunded…

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor noticed the slimy tentacles of such a program wrapped around the Capitol, and decided it was time to starve the ObamaCare beast.  Fox News quotes him saying, “I expect to see, one way or the other, the product to reflect that [hideous monstrosity] and preclude any funding to be used for that [mind-shattering horror from beyond space and time].”  Hey, if you’re going to use editorial brackets, you might as well have some fun with them.

Politico notes the current strategy is to have Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, to take the floor and throw a defunding amendment harpoon into ObamaCare’s pulsating brain.  Supposedly Iowa’s Steve King, who forged that harpoon, is feeling “slighted” that he isn’t receiving due credit for his contributions, especially since he’s already taken a lot of political heat for his leading role as an advocate of defunding.  However, he recognizes that Rehberg’s position as subcommittee chair makes him a logical choice to introduce the amendment.

Another part of the strategy is to cut funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS – which, as you’ll recall, is set to receive thousands of new agents to enforce ObamaCare mandates, a much higher priority of the health-care scheme than providing more doctors to deliver health care.  Maybe if the effort to cut IRS funding succeeds, all those new agents could be re-tasked to help clear up the enormous backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests that Oversight chairman Darell Issa has been complaining about. 

The GOP is under enormous pressure from the Tea Party movement to cut spending in general, and ObamaCare spending in particular.  They want more than symbolic gestures, or a half-hearted floor fight.  There’s no reason to commit huge amounts of money in support of a program that has already been struck down by a federal judge, with no guarantee that the Supreme Court will revive it.  This is not a season for trillion-dollar waves of legislative inertia.  If there’s one thing Americans are utterly sick of, it’s a mindless Congress feeding vast amounts of tax money to feral beasts it claims it doesn’t have the heart to put down, no matter how much freedom and prosperity is crushed beneath their bulk.

The latest Rasmussen poll says 58% of Americans want ObamaCare repealed, while only 37% want to keep it.  Congress works for the American people, and they are clearly telling it they want this monster killed, and the carcass removed from Capitol Hill, so a discussion of real health reforms can begin.  The Democrat Party is a lost cause, but Republicans who fear doing battle with the beast should take a moment and remember who they are fighting for.