Mark Caserta: Budget deal outlines repeal of Obamacare

7 May

This isn’t a settled deal…if the GOP keeps their promise.

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Mark Caserta:  Editor, Free State Patriot

May. 07, 2015 @ 12:01 AM
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For the first time since 2009, both chambers of Congress have reached an agreement on a combined budget, setting the stage for financially curbing critical components of President Obama’s liberal agenda – including Obamacare.

Last week a budget proposal was agreed upon which would boost military spending while outlining a path to end deficits over the coming decade by cutting some $5 trillion in spending. And, to the chagrin of many Democrats, the budget does not include any additional taxes on the American people.

Additionally, this budget resolution would unlock a procedural tool that Republicans say they will use to send the White House a repeal of Obamacare. The process known as “reconciliation” allows legislation to pass Congress with a simple majority. Some may recall in 2009, Democrats wrote into its budget rules that they could use the reconciliation maneuver to pass the president’s healthcare reform bill. At that time, many warned this could come back to bite Democrats should they lose power in Congress, so it only seems poetic justice that the process be used to begin the repealing and replacing of Obamacare.

Yes, President Obama still wields the veto pen, but the case for moving forward on Obamacare’s repeal is still very straightforward. Nearly every poll shows that most Americans dislike the law and want more freedom in their health insurance choices. A recent Rasmussen Poll shows that 54 percent of likely U.S. voters view the national health care law unfavorably while 37 percent have a “very” unfavorable opinion of it.

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For many voters, ridding our country of this healthcare abomination will be a litmus test for a presidential candidate. Astute voters realize the GOP does not yet have a veto-proof majority in Congress. Forcing a presidential veto of a bill repealing Obamacare will force every 2016 presidential candidate to respond as to whether they would have signed or vetoed a similar bill.

Politically speaking, the process of drafting and passing the reconciliation measure through both chambers will serve as an effective trial run, and affirm the GOP-controlled Congress’s commitment to sending a bill repealing Obamacare to the president’s desk in 2017. This will ensure that every insurance company or industry with a vested interest in the Affordable Care Act realize the law remains very unsettled rendering them less likely to make changes permanently embedding the job-killing law into our lives.

The leveraging of reconciliation also will prompt the GOP to offer a viable healthcare alternative which no doubt will impact the pending Supreme Court’s ruling on whether to strike down subsidies received by millions of Americans who purchased health insurance through a federally run exchange. Such a decision would dramatically increase the cost for many potential 2016 voters and further fan the flames of discontent.

Five years into this healthcare debacle, Americans are still learning of its adverse impact on their lives. And frankly, it’s a huge reason we have a GOP majority in Congress.

Republicans must pass this budget and follow through with their pledge to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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