House proposes defunding much of Obamacare—including the HHS Mandate

Since the Supreme Court would not throw out Obamacare, the next best solution is to turn off the funds to it.  The House approved a bill that defunds much of Obamacare.  Without these funds, there will be no money to implement or enforce any of it.

People want to be in control of their own medical decisions.  Patients make smarter choices when their own funds are involved by using HSAs to pay cash for small services like office visits or medication.  MediBid helps these cash-paying patients save money and finds them doctors who wish to treat them without insurance restraints.

House proposes defunding much of Obamacare—including the HHS Mandate

http://netrightdaily.com/2012/07/house-proposes-defunding-much-of-obamacare-including-the-hhs-mandate/#ixzz21S3k9FCx

By John Vinci

On July 18, a House Appropriations subcommittee approved a funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services that would defund much of Obamacare. According to the Committee, the cuts will save $8.6 billion in 2013 and $123 billion in the next five years.

Wednesday, a House Appropriations subcommittee approved a funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services that would defund much of Obamacare. According to the Committee, the cuts will save $8.6 billion in 2013 and $123 billion in the next five years.[1]

With very limited exceptions, the bill would prevent any newly authorized funds from being “used to implement, administer, enforce, or further” the provisions of Obamacare.[2]

“This committee cannot repeal Obamacare directly,” explained subcommittee Chairman Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) in a statement. “But we can prevent it from being further implemented with taxpayer dollars we have jurisdiction over.  The legislation therefore prevents the Secretary of Health and Human Services from using any funding in this bill to continue to implement Obamacare. It also rescinds unspent funds that have already been made available in the health care law itself. These dollars are directed to other, higher priority programs.”[3]

The bill, then, also rescinds past funding authorizations—reducing funding for or completely eliminating the following programs:

The Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program ($3 billion)[4]
The CO-OP program gives grant loans to non-profit, consumer-controlled, startup insurance companies. But even the Obama Administration has had to admit that these loans are at high risk for default.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation ($1.6 billion)[5]
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) ($15 million)[6]
IPAB is sometimes referred to as the “Death Panel” because of its potential power to ration health care. More troubling is the level of independence this powerful agency will have from public oversight.
Community Health Centers Fund ($300 million)[7]
Prevention and Public Health Fund ($1 billion)[8]
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund ($150 million)[9]

Finally, the bill would eliminate HHS’s anti-religious liberty mandate. Under the mandate HHS will require employers to provide contraceptive drugs and services (including abortifacients) to their employees.

Many religious groups find this requirement forces them to act against their consciences. HHS has provided an exemption for “houses of worship” and an accommodation for religious non-profits. But the exemption is narrower than the liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and many religious organizations believe that the accommodation is not adequate. In addition HHS has done nothing to exempt for-profit religious employers.

The proposed bill would prohibit funds from being used to force coverage of “abortion or other items or services” that violate certain “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”[10]

In addition, the bill, would make it easier for conscientious objectors to sue the government for violating their rights under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. First, the bill authorizes individuals to sue even if they haven’t yet cleared the potential legal hurdle of first “exhaust[ing] available administrative remedies.”[11] Though this section probably will not affect the HHS mandate suits, it may shorten the length of time it takes for a court to hear a plaintiff’s case in other situations. And second, the proposed bill would require the government to pay the attorney’s fees of any successful plaintiffs. [12]

John Vinci is a staff attorney with Americans for Limited Government and is the editor in chief for the www.obamacarewatcher.org website.

[1] Press Release, U.S. House of Representatives Comm. on Appropriations, Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill (July 17, 2012) available at http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=303303.
[2] Id. at § 529.
[3] Statement, Rep. Denny Rehberg, Chairman Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Comm., Chairman Rehberg Opening Statement on FY 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill for Subcommittee Markup (July 18, 2012) available at http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=303464.
[4] Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013, H.R. ___, 112th Cong. § 530 (July 15, 2012) available at http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-112hr-sc-ap-fy13-lab….
[5] Id. at § 531.
[6] Id. at § 532.
[7] Id. at § 533.
[8] Id. at § 534.
[9] Id. at § 535.
[10] Id. at § 537.
[11] Id. at § 537(b)(2)
[12] Id. at § 537(b)(4)(B)

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