What if House Republicans had made the government shutdown contingent on only delaying the Individual Mandate, and withdrawal of Congress’ subsidies and exemptions under Obamacare?
Imagine Ted Cruz and Mike Lee didn’t launch a war that couldn’t be won, and instead focused on one that could. Imagine the bright light that would have been shone onto the debacle that is Obamacare. The Republicans would have won that battle and been on the road to more victories, including potentially both the House and Senate in the 2014 elections.
Here are the 2 arguments they should have made, both of which they would have won, at least in the minds of the American voting public:
1. Delay the Individual Mandate until January of 2015.
The argument would go like this. President Obama, in deference to American businesses (read “special interests with lobbying groups in Washington”), already delayed the Corporate Mandate until January of 2015. Why, then, not do the same for the American citizenry (read “people without lobbyists in Washington”)? The Corporate Mandate fines companies of over 50 employees an amount of $2,000 for each employee not provided health insurance. The Individual Mandate fines (taxes) individuals who do not buy insurance. Republicans arguing that individuals should get the same time delay as corporations was a certain winner. Why didn’t they choose this path?
2. Require that all members of the House and Senate, and the President, use the Obamacare Exchanges without subsidies.
Once again, imagine the Republicans arguing “if the Exchanges are good enough for the American citizenry, why aren’t they good enough for those in government leadership?” What would be Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and Sebelius’ argument against such a policy? Of course, their unspoken argument would be “We don’t want to be subject to the Exchanges because they are more expensive out of pocket than the cushy Federal benefits we have today, and we probably won’t be able to keep our doctors, and the coverage is less comprehensive”. The fact is, in the minds of Democrat leaders in Washington, the Exchanges are good enough for the Proletariat, but not for the king and his subjects.
Republicans would have won in both arguments, and the hypocrisy and falsehoods of Obamacare would be much more well known by the public today, and a heavy dose of fairness would have been cast. Instead, Republicans chose the wrong path and lost in every category that matters.