Conservatives Focus on Killing Budget as Health Care Law Weapon

06 October 2013 |permalink | email article

Soon after President Obama started a second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in Washington to plot strategy.Their push was to repeal Obama’s health care law which was going nowhere and needed a new plan. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups came up with a little noticed “blue-print to defund Obamacare.“It articulated a take-no prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles, as the New York Times reported Sunday. The Republican goal could derail the health care law overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans—including their cautious lawmakers—into cutting off financing for the entire federal government. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, speaking to a group in Dallas in August, said “now is the single best time to defund Obama. This is a fight we can win.” One sample Twitter offering—“Obamacare is a train wreck”—is a common refrain from Republican Speaker John A. Boehner. But the Speaker, a weak leader, seeks a grand bargain with the president which he will never get. Cruz is calling the shots. Last Tuesday, the new online health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, were set to open. If the law took full effect as planned, many conservatives feared, it would be nearly impossible to repeal.

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