GOP attempts to defund, block Obamacare

Republicans in Congress are continuing to try everything possible to obstruct, delay or outright prevent the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare.


Aside from the merely symbolic “repeal” votes taken in the House of Representatives, now up to 37 and counting, the GOP is trying to forestall the nitty-gritty process of implementation by attempting to block funding of the administrative costs of various agencies involved in rolling out the program.


For example, as reported on his website May 15, Republican Sen. Dean Heller  of Nevada has introduced an amendment to the Senate farm bill that would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from receiving funds to implement Obamacare.


Earlier this month, Speaker John A. Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced they would ignore a provision in the health care law calling on each leader to pick a person for a new panel with the power to dictate Medicare spending reductions without fear of congressional reversal.


As Jamelle Bouie reported in the Washington Post April 26:

“Republicans aren’t just opposed to the Affordable Care Act; they disagree with the whole notion of universal insurance, and health care as a right, not a privilege. There’s no possible configuration of health care reform that could have preempted Republican attempts to repeal the law, and barring that, undermine its implementation.”  


It is clear from these recent attempts at obstruction that implementation of the ACA is going to be hotly contested every step of the way by opponents who simply do not believe in health care for all.  Workers without sufficient health care benefits, the unemployed and the marginalized along with their allies and advocates will need to be vigilant and ready to apply pressure politically, in the media and in the streets as necessary to ensure that this landmark (if imperfect) legislation is fully implemented as scheduled in 2014.

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