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The current Continuing Resolution (CR), which allows funding for the one-third of federal spending that is annually appropriated, expires on September 30, and Congress is debating its renewal in order for the doors to stay fully open in Washington. FreedomWorks strongly believes that no lawmaker should vote for a continuing resolution that does not defund ObamaCare and urges all Senators to sign onto the letter by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) to make that promise to the American people. Lawmakers should reject the scaremongering surrounding a so-called “government shutdown” that will occur if a CR is not passed by October 1. Here are the top ten reasons why Congress should stand strong for fiscal responsibility and individual liberty by defunding ObamaCare through the CR.
1. A “Government Shutdown” Will Not Put Our National Security at Risk
The goal is to pass a CR that defunds ObamaCare before the September 30 deadline. However, there are dishonest claims circulating about a “government shutdown” that should be corrected. During a so-called government shutdown, federal functions and personnel deemed “essential” are required to resume as normal. The first item on the White House Office of Management and Budget list of “essential” functions is: “provide for the national security, including the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life.” National security would not be jeopardized and overseas military operations would continue as planned.
2. A “Government Shutdown” Will Not Hurt Military Personnel
There has been deceitful fear mongering surrounding military pay and a potential government shutdown. A so-called government shutdown would not affect the employment or pay of military personnel. The House Committee on Armed Services has clearly stated that “in any shutdown plan, all military personnel would be deemed exempt and would not be subject to furlough.” Military pay is not dependent on the passage of a CR. According to MilitaryAdvantage.com, “Military pay was specifically exempted from the ten shutdowns that occurred between 1980 and 1996.” Congress can ensure military pay by passing a standalone appropriation and all military personnel will be paid in full. If history is any indication, military personnel will likely not miss any paychecks in the event of a “government shutdown.”
3. A “Government Shutdown” Will Not Hurt Veterans
In the event of a so-called government shutdown, veterans’ payments and health facilities will not be affected. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs has specifically stated that, “[In any shutdown plan,] disabled veterans in receipt of disability compensation or pension checks should continue to receive those payments,” as will “survivors currently in receipt of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.” The Department of Veterans Affairs has released a statement announcing that veterans’ health care services would not be impacted by a shutdown and VA hospitals would continue to process claims.
4. Time is Running Out
Key ObamaCare provisions such as health insurance exchanges and the individual mandate go into effect on January 1, 2014. More representatives in Congress need to take the threat of ObamaCare seriously, especially since the law has been enforced so selectively and unfairly, with exemptions being granted to hundreds of labor unions, large employers, and recently Congress itself! Meanwhile, income-verification checks in the government exchanges have been set aside, paving the way to massive fraud, and more than 150,000 “navigators” – volunteers paid to help people enroll and receive government subsidies in the new system – will have access to massive amounts of our personal information through a new Federal Health Care Data Hub, setting up enormous potential for identify theft. Surely even strong supporters of government-run health care agree that subsidy fraud and identity theft should play no part in the new system. Meanwhile, the law’s implementation is deeply unfair, with large employers receiving an illegal exemption from the employer mandate, while the rest of us are left on the hook to obey the individual mandate. At root, ObamaCare represents a massive instance of intergenerational unfairness, transferring wealth from young adults under age 40 to older folks – all in the name of “social justice.” This law is deeply harmful and unfair. The CR legislation may be the last chance to defund ObamaCare before its harmful and unfair provisions go into effect. The time to take action is now.
5. It Will Show Congressional Spine
A common complaint among grassroots activists is that not enough members of Congress have a spine. Too many representatives compromise their principles and allow pro-ObamaCare lawmakers to walk all over them. Standing up and refusing to vote for a CR that does not defund ObamaCare will show bravery and make it clear that we are willing to take a hard stance. The result of showing a spine won’t be a political backlash against Republicans and conservatives – it will be a renewal of respect by all Americans. That will make it easier for liberty-minded elected officials to make further gains in the future.
6. ObamaCare is Unpopular
Lawmakers would be wise to listen to their constituents. Since the ObamaCare debate began in the spring of 2009, polls have consistently shown that the Washington health care takeover is unpopular with the American public. The most recent Rasmussen poll shows that 53 percent of Americans view the law unfavorably. Congress should immediately defund this costly legislation that the people do not want or need. A June 2013 tracking poll by The Morning Consult shows that the individual mandate at the heart of ObamaCare is opposed by overwhelming majorities of Americans (between 70 and 80 percent, in every case): blacks, Hispanics, women, independents, and registered voters all hate the mandate. Even two-thirds of Democrats oppose it!
7. ObamaCare Will Cost Taxpayers Trillions of Dollars
President Obama has promised that the so-called Affordable Care Act would cost $900 billion over ten years following enactment. However, a recent Senate Budget Committee analysis has found that ObamaCare will cost nearly $2.6 trillion over its first ten years of full implementation. With so many families struggling to make ends meet during these difficult economic times, Americans simply cannot afford the massive cost of ObamaCare. It must be defunded as soon as possible.
8. ObamaCare Will Increase Health Insurance Premiums
President Obama pledged that his health care bill would reduce the cost of health insurance by $2,500 per family by the end of his first term; but the price has actually risen significantly. Under the Obama administration, the price of family health insurance policies has increased by more than $3,000, with $2,000 of this increase has occurred since ObamaCare was enacted in 2010. Insurance companies have already warned that premiums could rise by 20 percent or more in 2014. Overall, in 2014 premiums are expected to be about 30 percent higher in the government exchanges than they would have been absent ObamaCare. The costly unintended consequences of ObamaCare offer yet further reason that the law must be defunded.
9. ObamaCare Will Kill Jobs
ObamaCare is causing employers to fire workers, cut their hours, and stop hiring any new workers. The law’s vastly unpopular employer mandate was recently suspended by the president, without legal authority. Because the president claims the suspension is “temporary,” its negative effects remain in place. The vastly unpopular employer mandate penalizes employers that have 50 or more full-time employees by forcing them to offer expensive, government-regulated health insurance. Many entrepreneurs cannot afford this new expense and will have to reduce their workers’ weekly hours to 29 hours or below, in order to avoid the fee and stay in business. ObamaCare’s employer mandate makes it harder for people to get and keep full-time jobs that they need to provide for their families. We must make ensure that this unaffordable mandate will not go into effect.
10. ObamaCare Will Explode the National Debt
The current U.S. annual deficit is about $642 billion and the accumulated national debt is $16.7 trillion. (That’s not counting the nearly $100 trillion in long-term unfunded liabilities the government has racked up by making Social Security and Medicare promises it cannot keep.) ObamaCare will likely drive the deficit up by more than $700 billion over the next decade. As a result, the federal government will drive up the national debt by borrowing money to pay for the unworkable health care bureaucracy. Future generations will be on the hook to pay back the massive national debt that they had no part in. This is simply inexcusable. ObamaCare needs to go, and defunding is the best available means for ensuring that it does.