Defunding Obamacare and the CR: Your Questions Answered

Dr. Tom Coburn
2013-09-26 23:35:18

Q: Does Dr. Coburn support defunding Obamacare?

A:  YES. Dr. Coburn has always supported efforts to delay, defund, and repeal Obamacare.  Dr. Coburn offered his free market alternative to Obamacare, the , but it was blocked by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Dr. Coburn has since conducted extensive oversight on Obamacare (See .   

Q: Does Dr. Coburn support the Continuing Resolution (Including both House and Senate versions as of September 26, 2013)?

A: NO.  Dr. Coburn has never supported continuing resolutions because they are short term budgetary band-aids that continue wasteful spending and duplication. Continuing Resolutions are an irresponsible way to fund the federal government.  Further, this particular Continuing Resolution sets the fiscal year 2014 spending level at $20 billion more than the spending level promised in the Budget Control Act - the 2011 bipartisan agreement to reduce government spending - plus an additional $18 billion in short-term accounting gimmicks.  This bill violates the spending restraint laid out in the Budget Control Act and increases government spending at a time when we are nearly $17 trillion in debt and borrowing 19 cents for every dollar we spend and adding to our debt nearly $26,000 every single second.

Q: Why doesn’t Dr. Coburn support the “Defund Obamacare Campaign” associated with the current CR?

A: Because attaching it to the CR is not achievable or strategically smart.  Dr. Coburn has and will continue to support defunding Obamacare.   The current “Defund Obamacare” campaign, however, is based on a false promise that has been used by special interest groups to bolster political careers instead of focusing on smart strategies that can actually weaken and destroy Obamacare.  By coupling the issue with the CR, these groups are telling the American people that Republicans in Congress can actually defund Obamacare by not voting for the CR or by allowing the government to shut down.  This is simply not true.  Simply put: we cannot defund or replace Obamacare completely until we have a Republican supermajority in the House and Senate that can override a Presidential veto.  Even then, Dr. Coburn questions if we could obtain all 67 votes in the Senate needed to override a veto.   Additionally, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a Again, if a shutdown occurred, Obamacare would remain nearly fully funded and implementation of the exchanges would still continue on October 1, 2013.

Q:  How can Dr. Coburn support defunding Obamacare but not support the current  “Defund Obamacare” strategy with the CR?

A: Because it is not achievable and has actually allowed for focus to be taken away from increased spending Since there are not enough votes to secure defunding Obamacare and since Obamacare will live on even if a government shutdown occurs, conservatives should instead be focusing on the spending levels in the current CR.  The House CR actually busts the budget caps set forth in the Budget Control Act (BCA) by $20 billion and includes $18 billion more in short-term accounting gimmicks; negating much of the savings found through the sequester.

Q: But no one is talking about shutting down the government, so why is Dr. Coburn still against the “Defund Obamacare with the CR”?

A:  Because Dr. Coburn wants to shut down ALL wasteful and duplicative spending.  The “Defund Obamacare” campaign has distracted true fiscal conservatives from the fact that the current CR increases spending.  Dr. Coburn wants the debate surrounding the CR spending bill to focus on what is workable on spending, not misleading strategies meant to raise political profiles and campaign cash.

Just the Facts:

Dr. Coburn supports defunding Obamacare and is opposed to the CR, but Dr. Coburn disagrees with the misleading and ill-conceived “Defund Obamacare” strategy promulgated by special interest groups to bolster political careers and campaign coffers.  Dr. Coburn wants to cut through the smoke and mirrors of DC rhetoric to get something done: SHUTDOWN ALL WASTEFUL SPENDING. 

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