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Washington Has It Backward on Defunding ObamaCare

Posted: October 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm   /   by

Defunding ObamaCare does not really require an active decision by the U.S. House of Representatives. It is the default option—as in what happens if you don’t do something.

Constitutionally, the people’s House holds the government’s purse strings. It does not need to pass a law requiring an agency to stop spending money. It can simply withhold authorization to spend it. That is, the House can simply refuse to act.

Suppose you have a child who is profligately spending your money on things that you disapprove of and that are very harmful—by charging them to your credit card. If the card is about to expire, you don’t have to use force to restrain the child, you could simply decline to renew it.

The government would grind to a halt if the House did not appropriate any money. After passing a Continuing Resolution to continue all spending except for ObamaCare all the House has to do is stand firm.

There are two men in our “democratic” government with the power to stop a law single-handedly: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, by refusing to bring it to a vote, and Barack Obama, who can veto it.

But neither or both of them have the power to force 218 members of the House to vote for funding ObamaCare. Remember, it is funding that requires affirmative action, not defunding. Obama, Reid, and their allies in the government and in the press can remonstrate, argue, plead, bully, and threaten. But if 218 Representatives refuse to capitulate, ObamaCare does not get funding. That means that implementation of ObamaCare cannot continue to defund other government agencies, the taxpayers, and the future generations responsible for paying the debt—and of course businessmen and workers who are being hammered by the unworkable regime.

So what will the Obamacarians do? Will they refuse to spend money that has been appropriated, holding the military, air traffic control, firefighters, food stamp recipients, and millions of other federal workers and recipients of federal benefits hostage to their signature program? If HHS bureaucrats, navigators, and exchanges don’t get their checks, will everyone else have to suffer?

If the ObamaCare zealots inflict this disaster on the nation to save their much-hated program, how do they imagine that people will blame the 218 for the refusal of the two to let the voice of the people, as expressed by the people’s House, prevail?

With the complicity of the media, this could possibly occur, a testament to the power of indoctrination of masses who are dependent on government and bereft of any understanding of how it operates.

But as their increasing shrillness suggests, the Obamacarians have cause to worry. They rammed the law through with parliamentary skullduggery and bribes, despite massive opposition in townhalls, marches, and jammed telephone lines. They apparently thought people would accept the law once passed. But now that people are learning what it really means to them, opposition is growing, not dying down. Some polls show that Americas who disapprove of the law outnumber those who approve by a margin of 2 to 1.

In a Sept 18 press release, the Oregon Republican Party wrote:

“Our nation, our people, our doctors, and our entire medical industry are seriously threatened by the misguided program known as Obamacare. With our political institutions divided by special interests, our nation’s last line of defense is the Constitutional authority granted to the House of Representatives to control our national expenditures.

“We call upon all Republican Congressional Representatives and all Democrat Congressional Representatives, who are concerned about truly representing their constituents, to use their authority to stop Obamacare by withholding funding of the program.”

In petitions circulated by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, doctors state that the law “makes it impossible for me to fully fulfill my obligations.” Patients state that “I rely on the patient physician relationship to serve my best interests, but Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, forces the physician-government relationship to be placed ahead of me in the exam room.

This debate shows how far we have come toward inverting the relationship between American citizens and their government, putting government on top of subservient subjects.


By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

Jane Orient

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has been in solo practice of general internal medicine since 1981 and is a clinical lecturer in medicine at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is the author of Sapira’s Art and Science of Bedside Diagnosis; the fourth edition has just been published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. She also authored YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Health Care, published by Crown. She is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a voice for patients’ and physicians’ independence since 1943. Additional information on health-related issues: and

Dr. Orient’s position on Obama’s healthcare reform: “The Obama plan will increase individual health insurance costs, and if the federal government puts price controls on the premiums, the companies will simply have to go out of business. The plan will deliver higher costs, more hassles, fewer choices, less innovation, and less patient care.”

Doctor Orient can be contacted for interviews and further information at: (520) 323-3110 or

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  1. Dr Butler says:

    Thank you, Dr. Orient.

    Funding medicine will remain a problem after repeal or defunding of Obamacare.

    One approach might be to legislate a tax-credit for doctors’ charity-care.  After all, the law grants a tax-exemption to our “not-for-profit” hospitals. 

    Such an exemption could start in the several states and eventually apply to federal taxation. 

    H.E. Butler III M.D., FACS

Washington Has It Backward on Defunding ObamaCare