Twelve Ways to Stop Obamacare
History in the making, indeed. The 40,000 constituents who signed the Senate Conservatives Fund’s Repeal ObamaCare Pledge in the first 24 hours since the House passed Obamacare suggest that historic efforts are about to be made to kill this bill before it can inflict its intended and unintended damage.
Here’s a roadmap of priorities for Obamacare opponents in and out of Washington, to get us from this dispiriting week to January 2013:
1. Challenge the constitutionality of H.R. 3962. Work to invalidate its requirement that all individuals purchase a good or service—in this case, health care—as a condition of being alive, something the federal government has never forced its citizens to do. Contest the federal government’s ability to unload an unfunded mandate onto states, many of which are experiencing budgetary crises and couldn’t afford a new permanent entitlement even if they wanted one.
2. Encourage states to file lawsuits against the bill. Twelve states have already pledged to do so, including Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Alabama, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. H.R. 3962, unlike many other comprehensive bills passed before by Congress, fortunately contains no severability clause that leaves the remainder of the bill intact if one part is struck down in court. Thus, getting a court to nullify just one part of this bill would overturn the entire thing. Take these court challenges all the way to the Supreme Court.
3. Encourage states to pass laws preventing residents from being required to buy insurance. Thirty-eight states are considering passing such legislation, and 33 have already introduced bills. These 33 states include Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, all large states that went for Obama in 2008, which disproves liberals’ inevitable charge that rebel states are just rural flyover country filled with racist rednecks. Virginia (another Obama state) is the first state to have passed such legislation, through an effort led by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Idaho has also passed legislation protecting its residents from the federal mandate.
4. Encourage states to block enforcement of the bill. Refuse to fund it. How can states that are billions of dollars in the red pay for a massive new program dumped on them by the Fed?
5. Give Congressmen an earful during their spring Congressional recess. Make last summer’s townhalls look like giddy autograph signings. Jam Congressmen’s schedules with meetings; pressure Senators not to sign the House’s reconciliation measure; pressure House members not to sign any reconciliation measure revised by the Senate.
6. Challenge the reconciliation process. Get the Senate parliamentarian to rule (correctly) that the House’s Social Security-related provision is inappropriate for inclusion in a reconciliation bill, per the Byrd Rule, and must be removed.
7. Change the reconciliation bill. Force the Senate to make changes to the reconciliation bill before voting on it, so that the House has to vote again on the Senate’s version; then force the House to make changes so the Senate has to vote again; and back and forth. Strip away enough dissatisfied votes from at least one chamber to prevent the reconciliation measure from being passed, thus letting the ugly Senate bill with its backroom deals and tax on costly union health plans stand intact and paving the way for repeal.
8. Hold up the reconciliation process. Encourage GOP Senators to tie up voting on the reconciliation bill in the Senate by proposing an indefinite number of amendments. Although debate on a reconciliation bill is limited to 20 hours (about one second per 43,000 citizens affected by the legislation, by the way), there are no limitations on the number of amendments that may be proposed.
9. Take over the House and Senate. Vote Democrats out of Congress in 2010 and 2012. Vote Obama out of office in 2012 and elect a conservative Republican who promises to repeal Obamacare. Support candidates who campaign on the promise to repeal Obamacare as their first act of the 113th Congress in January 2013. In the same way that Scott Brown annihilated his opponent in Massachusetts by campaigning on one promise—to vote against the Senate health care bill—all Republican Congressional candidates in November 2010 and 2012 should campaign on the sole promise to repeal Obamacare. Dozens of Representatives and Senators have already pledged to repeal the bill, as have hundreds of 2010 Congressional candidates, including Senate hopefuls Marco Rubio in Florida, Chuck DeVore in California, Michael Williams in Texas, and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania.
10. Repeal H.R. 3962.
11. Amend the Constitution. If necessary, get three-quarters of the states—perhaps the same 38 considering legislation banning the mandate—to amend the U.S. Constitution to prohibit the federal mandate, thus invalidating the bill.
12. Encourage noncompliance with the bill as a form of civil disobedience. There may be 17,000 new IRS agents under H.R. 3962, but there are about 170,000,000 of us who oppose the bill.
As Paul Ryan said in the House Sunday night: “If this passes, the quest to reclaim the American idea is not over. The fight to reapply our founding principles is not finished; it’s just a steeper climb. And it is a climb that we will make.”
Let’s give ourselves a boost on the backs of the complacent and wholly unprepared socialized health care supporters who think the fight is over and they have won.