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Delay Is Better than Defund

12:00 AM, Jul 30, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Similarly, a Rasmussen poll taken earlier this month found that, by a margin of more than 2-to-1 (56 to 26 percent), Americans favored delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate—its requirement that, for the first time in United States history, private American citizens must buy a product or service of the federal government’s choosing.  That 30-point margin in favor of delaying the individual mandate was even greater than the 16-point margin (55 to 39 percent) by which respondents said they opposed Obamacare generally. 

In short, Americans don’t seem to have any problem with, and indeed seem to be supportive of, efforts to delay Obamacare (and ultimately to repeal it). 

The same Rasmussen poll cited above asked whether, to qualify for Obamacare’s taxpayer-funded exchange subsidies, people should “be forced to prove they are eligible by documenting their income and lack of access to insurance,” or whether it should “simply be assumed that all applicants are giving honest information on their applications.” By a margin of more than 10-to-1—86 percent to 8 percent—respondents rejected the idea of handing subsidies out on the “honor system.” That’s what is currently slated to happen, thanks to Obama’s lawless refusal to implement the legislation as written.  

Taken together, all of these polls suggest that an effort that is framed as defunding Obamacare is likely a political loser, while efforts to delay two of Obamacare’s most central and least popular provisions—its individual mandate and its fraud-friendly exchanges—would likely be embraced by all but the far left of the political spectrum.  If congressional Republicans decide to make approval of a continuing resolution or a debt-limit increase contingent upon anything relating to Obamacare, delay of these two central elements would seem to offer the best chance for rallying public support.  

Jeffrey H. Anderson is executive director of the newly formed 2017 Project, which is working to advance a conservative reform agenda.

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