“If and when defunding has 60 votes in the Senate, we will absolutely deliver more than 218 votes in the House.”
That was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in an Aug. 9 interview with the National Review, essentially telling the nation that there will never be the votes in the U.S. Senate to support a continuing resolution that defunds the health care law.
And so the House will never attempt to pass one. Why?
“I am not aware of a single Democrat in the Senate who would join us,” Cantor said.
And none likely ever will. Indeed, after campaigning for more than a generation for universal health care, when the so-called “Affordable Care Act” finally passed in 2010, every single Democrat in the Senate voted for it.
Moreover, since the advent of Rule XXII in the Senate 96 years ago, Republicans have never had a filibuster-proof majority in that house of Congress. And barring a miracle performance in 2014, they likely never will.
They’d have to knock Democrats out of seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. Meanwhile not lose a single seat of their own, excepting New Jersey that Republicans have briefly picked up via appointment but are not very likely to keep in a special election later this year.
Meaning, if Republicans are waiting to reach 60 votes in the Senate to defund or repeal the health care law, the outcome is all but set in stone.
Obamacare will neither be defunded nor repealed.
And Cantor knows it.
Meanwhile, fuller implementation of the law is set to begin in 2014 when the individual mandate and the expansion of Medicaid kicks in. Kaiser Family Foundation estimates as many as 23 million could be added to the Medicaid rolls. Another 50 million or so will be subsidized via the insurance exchanges, according to an Americans for Limited Government analysis.
Once the benefits kick in, the political will on the right to roll them back will be even less than it is today. It will become permanent. All told, up to 193 million Americans will qualify for taxpayer funded health insurance, whether through Medicaid, the exchanges, or Medicare — a super majority of the entire population dependent on the government for all issues regarding life and death. Over the coming decades, this will cost taxpayers tens of trillions of dollars and eventually break the bank.
So, the law must be dismantled before it is too late.
The only alternative for the GOP is to attach a legislative rider defunding the entire law in an upcoming vote on the continuing resolution — such as HR 2682 by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) and then simply refuse to cave-in to the threats and intimidation of the Obama storm troopers. Oh, there will be screams of “You are shutting down the government” to be sure. But just keep passing budgets that fund all essential items except Obamacare. Day in and day out, pass budgets and make Obama and this cronies scream. It will not take long for the American people to see who is hurting them in order to get what he wants.
You can hear the weak-sisters of the GOP establishment cringe at the thought! “The media will kill us,” they will say. To which the reply has to be “So what?” They will attack and denigrate conservatives and Republicans (the two are not the same by the way) anyway. And increasingly nobody except the mindless zombies of the cultural left pay them any heed anyway.
The House leadership is nowhere to be found supporting this stance, perhaps the only one that can stop the law before it’s implemented. “No one is advocating a government shutdown,” Majority Leader Cantor said in his National Review interview.
So fearful of the myths of 1995 is Cantor and his ilk that he ignores one of the great lessons of history, a lesson made so pointedly in “Night” by Elie Wiesel. The GOP needs to remember “It is the Cringing Dog that gets kicked”. My apologies to PETA but not to the weak and facilitating “leadership” of the House.
Bill Wilson is a member of the board of directors of Americans for Limited Government.