FROM DICK MORRIS

10/10/13
If the House Republicans come away from the shutdown exercise with only one accomplishment: the end to the taxpayer subsidy of health plans for Congress, its staff, and federal appointed officials, it will be a very, very big win which will resonate throughout the land. It will only work if the Continuing Resolution the House passes is totally clean except for the repeal of the subsidy.
Then, the House GOP should announce, even as it passes a clean CR, that it will battle over the debt limit and will not shy away from a government shut down over cutting spending before we incur more debt.
Boehner and McConnell need to show themselves more. And their message should be: We are not trying to close the exchanges. Buy all the insurance you want. We’ll even subsidize it. But we want to delay for a year the mandatory aspect of the bill. We don’t want you to have to get insurance. But most people don’t get that under the Republican plan to end the shutdown, the ObamaCare exchanges will remain open and will invite all who wish to come in and sign up. It is only the requirement that they do so that the Republicans are seeking to delay for a year.
We do not want to force people to sign up if they don’t want to. We want to wait a year before we impose that requirement. Just as we have delayed for a year the requirement that employers sign up their workers, we want to also delay the requirement that individuals sign up.”Republicans need to stress that the only difference between their position and the presidents’ is that he wants to force Americans to sign up and the Republicans want to encourage them to do so, but not make them do it. ObamaCare isn’t ready to require insurance anyway. The IRS does not have the teeth to enforce the requirement. The exchanges have to use the honor system to determine enrollee’s eligibility for subsidy and to figure out if they already have health insurance. The fact is that Republicans moved too quickly to shutdown. They should have fallen back and fought over the debt limit where their chances of success will be much greater.
The Republican Party should temporarily retreat from the brink of a government shutdown and retrench to wage a battle over the debt limit increase two weeks hence.It was unwise of House Speaker Boehner to insist on linking ObamaCare to the bill to keep the government open rather than to the debt limit increase in the first place. The public opposes the idea of shutting down the government but supports the idea of linking a debt limit increase to a cut in spending. a. The House should insist that no special subsidies be given to members of Congress for heath insurance. (They now get 3/4 of their cost paid by tax money); and b. That the continuing resolution not raise spending above the $966 billion agreed to in the last debt limit fight. The Senate is seeking to raise spending by $20 billion to avoid some of the cuts in the coming sequester.
Republicans need to recast their demands in the coming debt limit negotiations from total defunding or repeal of ObamaCare to a one year delay in the implementation of the individual mandate. The idea that a few hours from now, they will be asked to sign on to a health insurance plan when we still don’t know the premiums, the co-pays, the deductibles, which doctors and hospitals are in and which are out of the network is outrageous.A delay would also underscore that Obama has already granted delays to employers in meeting their mandate, so why not grant them to individuals as well?
The Administration will have no way of determining, without verifying the income claims of each applicant for subsidy, secure in the knowledge that nobody would low ball their income to get a larger subsidy. Obama calls this the “honor system.” Come on.
don’t allow the government to stay open unless the government subsidy for health care coverage for Congress is blocked.Will the Democrats close down the government to preserve this perk? Hey, bring that fight on! The Republicans should put all their other demands into the debt limit bill — delay of ObamaCare, approval of the Keystone pipeline, cuts in food stamps and, possibly tax reform. On that ground, we can win.
Obama’s argument that we should not default on our debts is purely specious since we get about $200 billion in tax revenue each month and our debt service spending each month is less than $30 billion. You don’t need to borrow money to pay your debts.Republicans have also to be on the guard against any increase in spending in the Continuing Resolution passed by the Senate. The debt limit deal cut two years ago limited discretionary spending for this year to $966 billion. But the continuing resolution about to be passed by the Senate permits it to grow to $986, with the extra $20 billion to offer some relief from sequester requirements built into the debt deal two years ago.The House Republicans should insist on these two points:
1. That the Congress does not get subsidies for health insurance coverage and;
2. That the debt deal of 2011 be honored and discretionary spending be held at the line set back then.
Keeping your word on spending and cutting special subsidies to members of Congress are both adequate casus belli for a government shutdown fight. Voters will rally to oppose the Senate and Obama on any fight along these lines. Delaying ObamaCare’s individual mandate for a year makes broad sense and will appeal to a great many voters. The chaos that is attending ObamaCare’s launch, the uncertainty about what the law provides in the minds of almost every American. So now, the Republican leaders have wisely decided where not to fight. Now they must decide — with equal wisdom — to stand and to fight for no additional debt without spending cuts.
The public does not like government shutdowns. For some it means a loss of services, for others the threat looms, and for still others it exemplifies the partisanship and self-destruction that epitomizes Washington in general and Congress in particular. There is a place for Republicans to stand and fight and that is over the debt limit. Voters do not want the government to borrow more money and buy into the idea that we should cut spending before we incur additional debt.
Sources—dick morris, ray kurzweil

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