Republicans are launching a new offensive against President Obama’s healthcare law, hoping flaws in the implementation will help undermine public confidence in the Democrats who passed it.
Republicans’ anti-ObamaCare sentiments have ratcheted up to a fever pitch since the administration announced last week that it would delay a provision of the healthcare law requiring large employers to offer healthcare coverage to their workers or pay a penalty.
“The law is unraveling, and one of the threads to that was the delay,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said at a news conference Wednesday.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers have quickly put together a slew of hearings, press events and other messaging opportunities to beat up on the healthcare law. And GOP campaign committees have launched fresh attacks on vulnerable Democrats who supported the reforms.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee targeted eight senators over ObamaCare on Wednesday, including Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska).
“Now that Democrats admit what a disaster ObamaCare is to implement, Begich is running as fast as he can from the taxes, mandates, and fees imposed by his deciding vote,” the NRSC said in a release.
The administration’s decision to delay the law’s employer mandate handed Republicans a hook to focus on attacking the Affordable Care Act, an issue they believe will work to their favor in 2014, just as it did in 2010.John Fund writes at National Review Online:
Ultimately, the greatest damage from delaying the employer mandate may come in the way it solidifies House Republican doubts about the immigration bill. Representative Phil Roe (R., Tenn.), chairman of an Education and Workforce subcommittee, says that he doubts the administration can be trusted to enforce the will of Congress when it comes to border security or any other part of the immigration bill. “They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers, and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like,” he tells me. The Obama administration has not hesitated to simply ignore the clear language of Obamacare. Why wouldn’t it disregard the immigration bill in the same way? In addition, the Gang of Eight bill is stuffed with instances of discretion – in other words, opportunities for administrative meddling. It includes 222 mentions of the word “may” and 153 uses of “waive.” That’s an awful lot of discretion to hand to an administration that is expert at interpreting laws creatively to suit whatever political advantage it desires.