Our View: Congress should respect Obamacare

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:50 PM

Editorial Board

On the day this editorial was drafted, The Drudge Report, using its regular hyperbole, headline-yelled “Shutdown looms over Obamacare.” The news articles invariably include quotes from Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee on his support of a plan to have senators filibuster any continuing-resolution funding for Obamacare.

Lee, on the politically friendly Fox News Network, said: “If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it, we can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.” (The video of Lee can be seen here).

Senator Lee makes it seem very easy to stop the implementation of an enacted law from taking effect. However, Republicans in the U.S. Congress should not engage in this kind of “guerrilla legislating.” Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, is the law. It passed both houses of Congress and was signed by the president.

The law needs to be respected. To use a tactic such as a filibuster to try to kill a law is wrong; it’s beneath the dignity of the Congress. Frankly, we don’t think most Americans will put up with the filibuster nonsense that Senator Lee is advocating.

We have problems with the health care law. The delay of the employer mandate, as well as concerns that health insurance exchanges are far behind schedule, underscore Americans’ uneasiness with Obamacare.

The new law may need serious revisions over the next few years. It’s even possible it could be repealed by a Republican Party-dominated Congress some day, although currently that is impossible, given Democratic Party control of the presidency and the U.S. Senate.

However, it may also succeed, and prove to be a positive for many Americans. Its lawful implementation should not be hijacked through the inappropriate use of a filibuster, or the House refusing to vote for its funding.

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