The GOP is now the majority in the House. Congratulations. The centerpiece of their new agenda? The repeal of the aptly named Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act. While they won’t be able to shelve the legislation entirely, they’re going to try and defund it to the point where it’ll have no teeth.
Congress sets the budget for the government every year. They have the right of saying what agencies get what money. And now there’s noises coming from the Hill that the GOP is not going to adequately fund the legislation in order to ensure that it has little to no effect.
And my response to that is this: what’s the difference between defunding a legally, democratically passed piece of legislation and not funding the war in Afghanistan or Iraq? Both actions would be morally reprehensible, of dubious legality and both measures would result in people unnecessarily dying. The bottom line is that there really is no distinction, and that any attempt at either should be viewed with the outrage that it deserves. We passed it, fair and square. And now we’re Constitutionally obligated to fund it.
This is another of the issues with which we ought to be pummeling the GOP over the head until they surrender. It’s undermining the rule of law, it’s damaging to the health of the nation and it’s a politically unnecessary course of action when there’s so many other issues on which we can focus (the budget, the deficit). Democrats would be nuts if they didn’t press this issue for the maximum effect. Plus, incidentally, it’s the right thing to do. It’s always nice when what you’re aiming for is not only politically beneficial, but also morally correct.