Inside Politics

Ellmers, GOP leaders work to defund Obamacare, announce alternative

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On Capitol Hill, conservatives including North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers are making a major push to pull funding for Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act has been controversial from the outset, and now some opponents are talking about using the federal budget as leverage to do away with the law.

It's an idea supported by the entire Republican delegation in North Carolina, including Ellmers.

Wednesday, Ellmers and other Republicans introduced an alternative to Obamacare.

"We are now only days away from the implementation of Obamacare. But just last month, the administration announced another delay - this time in the implementation of cost savings for consumers," said Ellmers. "With the decisions to delay the law's implementation, the Obama administration is now conceding that this is not just a problem, but a nightmare for the U.S. economy. That's why today I'm happy to announce that we have a legislative answer that will repeal and replace Obamacare through the American Health Care Reform Act."

Their plan would first repeal the law then puts a new one in place. One they say allows purchases of health insurance across state lines, enables small businesses to pool insurance, expands health savings accounts, and safeguards pre-existing conditions.

Ellmers didn't weigh in on a possible government shutdown Wednesday, but many of her conservative colleagues are lobbying for just that if the Affordable Care Act isn't repealed. That could happen if a budget deal isn't reached by Oct. 1.

The last time something similar happened was back in the 1990s. As political observers remember, it didn't go well for Republicans who made it happen.

"It was the congressional Republicans who really lost the public opinion battle with President Clinton on that one," said N.C. State's Dr. Andy Taylor.

A lot of Republicans say they don't support a shutdown for precisely that reason. However, there is, among conservatives, the seemingly unanimous sense that the Affordable Care Act should be defunded.

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