Senator Richard Shelby Scared to Repeal Obamacare

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 and is filed under Blog

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Here we go – the trickle of Republican lawmakers who are squeamish of full repeal of Obamacare will now begin to surface.  The Hill reports that Alabama Republican Richard Shelby is raising some concerns about the effect of repealing Obamacare on the funding sources of other programs he deems worthy:

“The administration has used the Affordable Care Act’s mandatory spending, which is not subject to a vote by Congress every year, to backfill key discretionary programs,” Shelby said in his opening remarks.

“The administration then diverts discretionary dollars to fund new programs. When the Affordable Care Act is repealed, many important programs like Community Health Centers and the [federal] Immunization program at the Centers for Disease Control will be in jeopardy because their base funding … has been so significantly reduced.”

Shelby also raised concerns with the budget’s flat-funding of medical research at the National Institutes of Health, at $31 billion. The administration says it is overhauling its NIH grant-making process in order to increase the number of new research grants.

Anyone with any understanding of the healthcare sector knows that if the law is fully implemented, our entire healthcare system will collapse, engendering the ultimate single-payer system.  Yet, Shelby is concerned about the technicality of funding other healthcare programs, which shouldn’t exits anyway, in the event that the Obamacare funding is rescinded.

Folks, this is what we’re up against.  Believe it or not, the Republican establishment has no intention of fully repealing Obamacare.  That is why they are relying on the Supreme Court so much and that is why they are constantly talking about waivers and exemptions.  But rest assured, if Republicans gain at least 51 seats in the Senate next year, there will be some members who will drag their feet on using reconciliation to fully repeal the healthcare behemoth, even though it was originally passed through reconciliation.

Remember earlier this year when Romney surrogate Norm Coleman declared that we would never repeal Obamacare “in its entirety.”  We all know that Coleman would play a prominent role an a perspective Romney administration, so this sentiment is not just a lonely view within the margins of the Republican Party.  Also, Mitch McConnell intimated that he really has no interest in pursuing full repeal this year.  He didn’t back-peddle from those comments until Erick Erickson called him out.

We seriously have a fight on our hands in the event that Republicans take back the Senate.  Sadly, it will be an intra-party battle.