Since January 2011, Republicans have tried to repeal Obamacare, in whole or in part, more than 40 times. That number is recited with a predictable sneer by congressional Democrats and the Washington press corps each time a new vote is held. The mockery is meant to obscure the fact that Obamacare is a dysfunctional and unpopular law. It’s supposed to make you forget that Republican efforts have actually succeeded in repealing parts of the law, such as the boondoggle known as the CLASS Act. The sneers are supposed to convince Republicans and the majority of Americans who oppose Obamacare that their efforts are futile.
Republicans shouldn’t give up the fight. With the weight of Obamacare set to crash down on the country in the coming year, now is a perfect time for members of Congress to try again to protect the American people from all or some the law’s harmful effects. Republicans may lack control of the Senate and the White House, but they should continue to fight for whatever they might be able to achieve, such as attaching anti-fraud measures to Obamacare or delaying the individual mandate so long as the business mandate is delayed.
Some in the GOP have unfortunately embraced a fatalistic view of Obamacare this summer. “The surrender caucus” is what Senator Ted Cruz calls his colleagues who oppose a plan to defund Obamacare by threatening to force a government shutdown. But in reality, skeptics of the defund-or-shutdown plan didn’t spend the past two months raising the white flag in the battle against Obamacare. The freshman senator from Texas did.
“If this goes into effect on January 1, we will never, ever, ever get rid of it,” Cruz told the audience of the Laura Ingraham radio show. “We either do it now or we surrender entirely,” he warned on Sean Hannity’s program.