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Options for preventing the implementation of Obamacare are diminishing as Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans appear to have given up on a full repeal of the health care law. Boehner is now considering gutting particular aspects of the law by applying pressure on Obama and working with moderate Democrats.
But, the failure of Boehner and House Republicans to defund Obamacare back in In April 2011, during the first budget battle, leaves some to doubt their dedication to continuing the fight against Obamacare.
According to Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Republican Conference, the components of the law targeted for dissolution include a tax on medical devices, the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the individual mandate requiring people to buy insurance.
At the same time, House Republicans have been attempting to put their stamp on the law. The Oversight and Government Reform and Ways and Means committees have sent subpoenas to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, over the past few weeks, demanding information that committee leaders say she has refused to provide.
Far from being an easy endeavor, Randy Barnett, the Georgetown University law professor who assisted in constructing the Supreme Court argument against Obamacare earlier this year, said that, “it’s going to become increasingly difficult because courts are much less willing to overturn something that’s already entrenched.”
So, time is of the essence because though some court challenges remain, as parts of the law are implemented, the harder it will be to fight it. “There’s no question that one of the reasons why we had as much room to run as we did is we had a two-year delay in implementing most of the law,” Barnett said. “That opening is closing.”
One of the pending court cases is an Oklahoma lawsuit which maintains that insurance can be subsidized only through state-run exchanges and not by the federally-backed ones that Obamacare enacts.
At the same time, Paul Howard, director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress and Stephen Parente, director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, explain on Real Clear Politics that Obamacare faces a number of obstacles:
“‘Delaying implementation [of Obamacare] until 2014 helped the president win re-election, but now the bill is coming due,’ the duo says. ‘The administration can’t forestall Obamacare’s massive regulatory impact any longer, and the result will keep Congress and the media occupied for months and years to come.’”
Boehner has also pointed to governors who may be able to thwart the establishment of insurance exchanges in their respective states.
Republicans should continue to work diligently towards this effort because fully implemented Obamacare will represent over 1/6 of our economy. The Heritage Foundation has compiled an Obamacare guide, demonstrating how it will affect specific groups of individuals: