The revelations about ObamaCare seem to come on almost a daily basis. One of the most recent issues to come to light demonstrates the critical importance of stopping ObamaCare as a part of dealing with our country's spending and debt crisis. Representatives Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Steve King (R-IA) have recently publicized the fact that hidden within the ObamaCare laws are approximately $105 billion dollars in already appropriated funds. For that, we owe them a debt of gratitude. The reason this story is so important is that this cash represents the seed money for the actual implementation of ObamaCare.
The first hint of this funding problem came right after ObamaCare was passed. Throughout the law one could find numerous examples of appropriations that allowed various agencies and programs to start work right away. A few examples of this include $4 billion dollars to fund high risk pools; $200 million dollars to fund school-based primary care programs; $5 billion to reinsure private company retiree benefits; $6 billion to create health care CO-OPs, etc. Then, last month, the Congressional Research Service updated a report entitled, Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This straightforward document produced by the Library of Congress's research arm lists seven full pages of appropriations for ObamaCare that total approximately $105 billion dollars. Anyone who wants to read a liberal wish list of health care programs would be well served to review this report.
Every time the Federal Government creates a new agency, hires a bureaucrat, or publishes a new regulation, the funding must first have been appropriated by Congress. That's why the “defund” portion of “defund, repeal, and replace” is such an important element of the strategy to protect us from ObamaCare. Unfortunately, we now see that the authors of ObamaCare anticipated a Republican House might attempt to starve their health care law. As a result, they were careful to preload ObamaCare with money borrowed from our children and grandchildren. While eliminating future funding has some value, ObamaCare is so well nourished with cash that a great deal amount of damage will be done unless more drastic action is taken.
At a time when we are seeing Congress fighting over $61 billion in cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year, the truth remains that ObamaCare represents the biggest budget buster of them all. Clawing back the $105 billion of already appropriated ObamaCare funds needs to be made a high priority. Otherwise, we have little hope of preventing the implementation of this dangerous, freedom robbing, and deeply unpopular health care law. If the Republicans in Congress are successful, they will have accomplished the two noble goals of both stalling ObamaCare and cutting federal spending by a truly meaningful amount. Until ObamaCare is truly defunded, it will remain a dual threat to our liberty and our economic survival.
Dr. Friedman practices general pediatrics in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and is a member of the Northwestern Medical School teaching faculty. Among his various extracurricular activities, Dr. Friedman currently serves as the Director of Illinois Docs 4 Patient Care, the National Director of Physician Outreach for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Director of Health Care Coalitions for the Illinois Republican Party.