Bill Kristol has about had it with Ted Cruz.
In a radio conversation Thursday morning, the Weekly Standard founder and multi-platform pundit made sure to establish a base coat of respect, even admiration for the energetic and courageous conservatism of Texas’ freshman Senator.
But he grows weary of what he perceives as attacks from the Defund Obamacare chorus that anyone preferring another path must be an unfit warrior in the battle against the fraudulently-named Affordable Care Act.
The community distancing from the Defund movement contains people I have long respected, from Bill Bennett to Charles Krauthammer to Texas’ other Senator, John Cornyn.
All point to the near certainty that the defund effort will fail on the Senate floor, and succeed only in marginalizing the Republican party with another government shutdown PR disaster.
They have a point. And it’s probably not helpful to refer to them as members of a “surrender caucus.”
But rather than quibble over the word choices of Cruz, Utah Senator Mike Lee and others rallying around them, I prefer to examine why I will stand with the defund effort until it breathes its last.
Massive tyranny requires bold response. Obamacare is not just another big-government bad idea that can be whittled and trifled with by detail guys like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. It is a scourge of epic proportions, the most stunning hijacking of our economy and our liberties in modern times.
Parsing the poisonous pages of the Affordable Care Act gives the impression that this is just another in a series of noble pushbacks that Republicans will mount in the Obama era.
It is no such thing. It is an attack that necessitates a reply that reflects our outrage.
We all know it passed, and that it is “the law of the land.” Well, here’s another matter of law– Congress holds the purse strings, even to measures that have passed. If they can legally turn off the money spigot to fend off this nightmare, that is as legitimate an exercise of public will as its hasty, ramshackle passage in March 2010.
Now to the skeptics’ points:
Not all the pro-life victories are coming from Texas. Friday in Oklahoma City, a federal judge awarded the Christian-owned arts and crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby an exemption from the Obamacare abortion pill mandate, which would require the company to violate its religious faith by offering its employees contraceptives.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued the preliminary injunction for Hobby Lobby and its sister company, the Mardel Christian bookstore chain, and granted the case a stay until October 1, giving the federal government time to mull over an appeal. The judge’s decision comes just a month after the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the companies were likely to prevail.
Back in November, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green penned a letter challenging the Health and Human Services birth control mandate, explaining how it would jeopardize his company’s religious conscience. Here is his last powerful paragraph:
Apologies for the Obamacare saturation coverage today, but news is news — and the news is still terrible for Obamacare. Katie underscored the Associated Press’ fact check of Obama’s latest round of perfidious healthcare assertions earlier. Now McClatchy’s getting in on the act with the unsparing headline, “Obama boasts of health care savings, but costs likely to rise for many.” Yup:
President Barack Obama assailed Republicans on Thursday for trying to dismantle his signature health care law, saying it’s already providing a benefit of one kind or another to millions of Americans, including a drop in projected premium costs in nearly a dozen states. But experts predict that premiums on individual plans will increase in most states because of the new consumer protections the sweeping legislation requires. The impact on premiums will vary across states depending on geographic location, the type of coverage and the individual characteristics of the enrollee.
The White House held a background briefing Friday to discuss Obamacare implementation with a handful of journalists from liberal and progressive outlets.
Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias posted a photograph to Instagram Friday featuring himself and other liberal journalists at the White House, with the caption “#thistown.”
Yglesias’ photograph features American Prospect staff writer Jamelle Bouie and MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin attending the briefing.
The announced one-year delay in enforcement brings with it an immediate revenue loss. But by further encouraging firms to drop coverage now—allowing businesses to privatize gains and socialize losses—the change could cause federal spending on Obamacare exchange subsidies to soar.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in May that the employer mandate would raise $10 billion in revenue in its first year. (Because the employer mandate is a tax penalty, firms will pay the penalties the following year—penalties for 2014 will be paid in 2015; penalties for 2015 will be paid in 2016, etc.) That $10 billion in employer mandate revenue projected for fiscal year 2015 will almost certainly disappear.
Then there’s the separate question of whether, when, and how employers will drop their health insurance plans and dump their workers on the exchanges. Here’s what we know on that front: