Oct 21, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 07 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In response to these Obama-initiated developments, Republicans passed legislation on September 30 that would fund the federal government in the new fiscal year, delay the individual mandate for a year, and end the illegal congressional carve-out. Senate Democrats and Obama have subsequently refused to negotiate, and Obama insists he “will not negotiate” over the debt ceiling.
In the meantime, the Obamacare exchanges opened on October 1 with an embarrassing clunk. So the Democrats are requiring Americans to buy insurance that the Obama administration isn’t prepared to sell.
Polling by Rasmussen Reports indicates that Americans favor a delay of Obamacare’s individual mandate by 56 to 26 percent. A poll conducted by GEB International for Independent Women’s Voice says that Americans oppose preferential treatment for Congress under Obamacare by 94 to 4 percent. Meanwhile, CBS polling shows that only 23 percent of Americans agree with Obama that the debt ceiling should be “raised without conditions,” while 75 percent think it should either be raised in connection with spending cuts or else not raised at all.
In light of all this, why won’t Obama and the Democrats go along with the Republicans’ rather moderate proposal, or at least negotiate in response to it? The answer is that much of Obamacare cannot function without the individual mandate—its coercive core. Accordingly, Obama and his fellow Democrats think that even a one-year delay would be too dangerous—because it might open the door to further delays, and to further questioning of the whole structure of Obamacare.
The administration has been clear about this in the past. Here’s what Stephanie Cutter once wrote on the White House blog:
In other words, the individual mandate is one piece of Obamacare that can’t be removed. Without it—by the administration’s own admission—Obamacare would become “cost prohibitive.”
This means Americans ultimately have two choices: learn to live with the unprecedented mandate, or repeal Obama-care. The individual mandate is Obamacare’s cornerstone, and Obama is desperate to put it in place. That’s why Republicans should keep pushing as hard as they can to fend it off.
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