Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Defunding Obamacare Before It’s Too Late

Obamacare has already been a scourge to the American people.  Costs are skyrocketing and the Congressional Budget Office recently reported that it will force 7 million Americans out of their existing health insurance.  Congress passed the bill, and only now are we finding out what is in Obamacare.  This downward spiral can and must be prevented, though.  Although many of Obamacare’s provisions are now the law of the land, many of the law’s most damaging and irreversible provisions do not take effect until 2014.

If lawmakers fail to defund Obamacare, it will cost the American people an estimated $2.6 trillion over ten years, increasing the federal government’s health spending by 15 percent.  The window of opportunity to stop the implementation of these massive new subsidies is closing.  On October 1, 2013, open enrollment begins for the federally backed health care exchanges. On January 1, 2014, new money from Washington will begin flowing to states and individuals, all but ensuring that these new entitlements will become a permanent fixture of life in America.

When Congress returns from the President’s Day recess, they will face immense pressure to pass another continuing resolution (CR) before current government funding expires on March 27.  The CR is the appropriate legislative vehicle by which to reverse course on Obamacare.  It is not rocket science –it is easily done though a series of appropriations riders – but it does require political courage. 

By talking about the sequester, President Obama wants to distract us from Obamacare. Over the next month, we have an opportunity to defund Obamacare – resulting in massive savings for Americans – and stopping the further destruction of America’s health care system.

Conservatives should not approve the forthcoming CR unless it defunds Obamacare; and we’re not talking about a half-hearted effort and fig leaf accomplishment.  Real defunding includes Obamacare’s unworkable exchanges, unsustainable Medicaid expansion, and the myriad of new programs created by the law.  In addition to reversing Obamacare’s financial damages through the series of appropriations riders, there must be an appropriations rider to repeal the HHS mandate that attcks the religious values and principles of countless Americans.

If lawmakers genuinely believe Obamacare is a threat to the very fabric of America, they must fight to defund it on the upcoming CR.  Congress knows conservative opposition to Obamacare is still strong and growing.  Congress must be held accountable.  The Obama administration will of course argue that the CR is not an appropriate legislative vehicle to defund Obamacare.  That’s a foolish political ploy and a means of deferring defunding until all the damage is done.  Now more than ever before, timing is critical and your voices are crucial.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Message for the Republican Party

By Bryan Baumgart

Chairman, Douglas County Republican Party

With the ever increasing numbers of Americans forced to live off of the government dole, the Republican Party needs to confirm a vision for those living in poverty. A vision of empowerment, rather than entitlement. The vision should have nothing to do with any specific language group, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation or gender. It should just be about people, and all people deserve more than they are currently getting from their government.

The message of the Republican Party must have the capacity to be delivered in any community at any time by those who are willing to go and serve every resident of that community.

The GOP was created to battle slavery over 150 years ago. Today, the Republican Party continues to battle slavery; the slavery of dependence. The slavery of creating a majority class of Americans so completely dependent on government for their basic needs, that they are terrified to take a stand against it. The Republican Party continues to stand up as the party of independence and freedom. The GOP remains true to its intent 150 years ago. We believe in the mantra of: “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.”

But if we want a truly appealing message, we can’t let our focus be directed at the former. Our message can’t be: “We oppose giving away fish.”

If we want to truly appeal to people, and more importantly…if we want to truly make a difference, we must instead focus our message on the latter part of that saying. “Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.”  Our message must be one of compassion and hope. It must be one of the freedom and self-reliance we can help Americans achieve; and we must have a plan to help them achieve it.

It’s true that it isn’t the duty of government to provide charity; but it is the moral responsibility of each one of us.  Charity must not be forced, but in everything we say and do; in every issue we debate and every law we introduce…we must ask ourselves…”How can we best help our fellow man.”

We must keep in mind, the virtue of compassion. That message will return American’s faith in the Republican Party. And it will bring back the prosperity that makes this country that “shining city on a hill.”