Republicans are set to begin debate on a bill (H.R. 452) that will abolish the 15-member Obamacare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), better known as the Medicare death panel. In case you were perplexed as to why Republicans are targeting one portion of Obamacare instead of holding a vote on full repeal, you are not missing anything.
There has been a disturbing trend on the part of Republicans to advance piecemeal legislation to repeal Obamacare. They are picking the worst aspects of the law, such as the death panel, in an attempt to get Democrats on board. But therein lies the problem. This vote will give many democrats, particularly, the blue dogs who voted for Obamacare, the cover to say that they oppose the law. This in turn will help them win reelection and undermine our effort to repeal the entire law.
We must remember that while there is currently a broad majority coalition to repeal Obamacare, not everyone understands the full implications of the law if it is allowed to take effect. Some special interest groups only find parts of the law to be offensive. If we follow this strategy of repealing the most unpopular parts, we will be left with a minority coalition pursuing full repeal. Moreover, with Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, we will never repeal the death panel anyway. All this vote accomplishes is allowing blue dog Democrats, the ones who we need to defeat in order to hold the House, to go on record as opposing Obamacare.
If we are going to pursue a vote that will fail for the time being, why not vote on full repeal and place the blue dogs in a box? Let’s divide their coalition instead of ours.
There is also another important point that we must address on the heels of the Supreme Court’s opening arguments in the case against Obamacare next week. One of the likely outcomes of the Supreme Court decision is that they will rule the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, but maintain the severability of the rest of the bill. Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that the Democrats will admit defeat and help us get rid of the remaining parts of the bill. They will dig in their heels. If we implant the idea in the minds of the political players and the American people that partial repeal is palatable, we might have a difficult time neutralizing the remainder of Obamacare in the event that the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate. Hence, the partial repeal strategy must come to an end now.
On Saturday, there will be a coalition rally/Tea Party at the steps of the Capitol calling for full repeal of Obamacare. You can go here to learn about the details and scheduling. Also, please read the coalition letter against partial repeal. It was proudly signed by our political director, Drew Ryun.
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