August 14, 2013
Would defunding Obamacare actually stop the health care takeover from going into effect? Yes, it would.
Heritage Foundation legal expert Hans Van Spakovsky explains that the federal Antideficiency Act “makes it illegal to spend money in excess of appropriations.” He elaborates:
No one disputes that Obamacare would stay on the books and that defunding would not change the existing law. But all federal funds already appropriated for the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare could not be used by any federal agency to take any action—whether it is issuing new regulations or filing an enforcement action against an individual or an employer for not complying with the new health insurance mandates. The termination of all “entitlement to benefits” would stop the automatic appropriation of new entitlement spending for things like the law’s Medicaid expansion. The rescission of “unobligated benefits” would return to the Treasury appropriated funds that have not yet been spent on items such as the payment of outside contractors—navigators—for enrolling participants in Obamacare, although it would probably not relieve the government of the contractual obligation to pay for services already rendered.
Do you think Congress should push for defunding Obamacare as a first step towards repeal?