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Why Conservatives Won’t Back Down On Obamacare

Posted: October 19, 2013 at 7:00 am   /   by

Throughout the long struggle to defund or delay Obamacare, there was no stronger voice than that of former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint and Heritage never faltered in the fight against Obamacare.

Now that Congress has ended the government shutdown and saved Obamacare for the time being, DeMint explains in a Wall Street Journal article why conservatives chose to wage the Obamacare fight and why the fight will continue – “The reason is simple: To protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.”

DeMint is no newcomer to the Obamacare fight. He knows from experience so many Americans are alarmed by the disastrous effects of the law.

“I spent a good part of my summer traveling around the country with the Heritage Foundation’s sister organization, Heritage Action, and I heard firsthand from many Americans being harmed by Obamacare,” DeMint writes.” More and more people have had their work hours cut, their jobs eliminated and their coverage taken away as a result of this law.”

DeMint has three responses to fellow conservatives who agree that Obamacare will wreck the country, but point out to him that elections have consequences.

  • “The first is that Obamacare was not the central fight in 2012, much to the disappointment of conservatives. Republicans hoped that negative economic news would sweep them to victory, and exit polls confirmed that the economy, not health care, was the top issue. The best thing is to declare last year’s election a mistrial on Obamacare.”
  • “Second, the lives of most Americans are not dominated by the electoral cycle. They shouldn’t have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law, especially when the president has so frequently given waivers to his friends. Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight.”
  • “There’s a third reason not to stop fighting. Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on Obamacare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months Obamacare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate. Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend. With a revived and engaged electorate, Obamacare will now be the issue for the next few years.”

Conservatives should be encouraged by DeMint’s message. They should continue to listen to Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and conservatives in the House of Representatives, all of whom DeMint praises for their courageous leadership.

The fight against Obamacare has only just begun. It will be front and center in 2014 and 2016. Jim DeMint is right.