Prominent Conservatives Demand One-Year Delay on Obamacare

Image: Prominent Conservatives Demand One-Year Delay on Obamacare

Wednesday, 07 Aug 2013 03:12 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A group of key conservatives sent a letter Wednesday to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to ask that lawmakers delay Obamacare for another year.

"With the clock ticking to open enrollment on October 1, it is abundantly clear to members of the Repeal Coalition that the structure at the heart of PPACA is simply not ready," said the conservatives, led by Americans For Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.

The group referred to Sen. Max Baucus' comments that Obamacare is "a huge train wreck coming down," and urged Boehner and McConnell "to insist on, at minimum as part of any final deal, a one-year delay of all 2014 provisions, including mandates, subsidies, and taxes."

The letter notes that President Barack Obama has "already delayed the mandate for the biggest corporations unilaterally, although his legal authority to do so is questionable," and calls on Congress to lift the legal cloud on the delay and offer the same relief to individuals and small businesses.

"It is wrong to force people to participate in a system that is simply not ready," said the letter.

The conservative coalition also claims, in the letter, that it is "reckless to allow tens of billions of taxpayer dollars" to flow in subsidies without a complete verification system to protect taxpayers.

"And there is a real risk that navigators, in their zeal to enroll people, will accidentally or even intentionally induce people to accept subsidies for which they do not qualify, risking steep IRS fines and audits," the letter says.

Further, the coalition claimed Americans should not be forced to pay higher taxes when the Obamacare system isn't ready, and said it will "strongly support" all efforts to include a delay on any long-term continuing resolution or extension package this fall.

The letter was signed by Norquist and members of key conservative groups including Independent Women’s Voice, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Galen Institute, 60 Plus Association, National Review, Concerned Women for America, Hoover Institution; and the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Even without the letter, McConnell and Boehner already have called not just to delay implementing Obamacare, but repealing it altogether.

"The obvious problem with the band aid approach is that without full repeal, there will never be an end to the number of problems that need to be fixed," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican said recently.

Boehner, an Ohio Republican, would also like to see Obamacare repealed, saying the program is "bad for America."

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that it never happens,” Boehner said on a recent edition of CBS' "Face the Nation."

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