Thursday, September 19, 2013

GOP Threatens to Throw Down Gauntlet
When one knight wanted to cross swords with another, he issued a challenge by throwing down his mailed glove, or gauntlet, and his challenge was accepted if the other knight picked up the metal-plated leather glove.  This custom gave us the expression to throw down the gauntlet, “to make a serious challenge.”
Word and Phrase Origins, 2000, Checkmark Books

By threatening to pass a bill aimed at  keeping  across-the-board  sequestration cuts  in place, defunding  the Affordable Care Act, delaying  its implementation for at least a year, and forcing  the administration to capitulate if it wants new borrowing authority this fall, which will be necessary by mid-October or early November to avert a default on U.S. obligations,  House Republicans are throwing  down the gauntlet in a high stakes budget battle..
President Obama has said he will  pick up the gauntlet.  He made this statement this week to the Business Roundtable Group,

“We have not seen this in the past that a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being fully implemented and that helps 30 million people finally get health care coverage -- we've never seen that become the issue around a budget battle.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)  chimed in by saying  he was waiting for the House GOP to send over its “absurd” idea on how  to keep the government funded.
“We have a number of Republican senators and lots of Republican House members who don’t believe in government,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “They want to get rid of it and they’re doing everything they can to get rid of it.”
And so the gauntlet has been accepted, and the battle over ObamaCare is joined, two weeks before the health law begins its final push, signing up people for the health exchanges.    It promises to be a bruising and protracted battle, leading up to the November 2014 midterm elections.   Even then, if the GOP were to win both the House and Senate and to repeal ObamaCare,  the President would veto any repeal. 
Once in motion,  Obamacare will be difficult to reverse, even though all polls show the public is against by an average margin of 14% (52% to 38%).
To have any remote chance of successfully reversing the law, Republicans will have to offer credible, simplified alternatives to  ObamaCare that the public can understand in contrast to the confusion  wrought by the complicated health law.
Some of these alternatives might include:  ending many rules, regulations, and mandates of the law;  assuring  portability across state lines,  giving universal tax credits, preventing Medicare money from being used to fund ObamaCare, stopping exemptions  of Congress and staff from Obamacare, encouraging high-risk pools for small groups and individuals, promoting malpractice reform, eliminating ObamaCare's mandated benefits and letting  people decide what coverage they want by promoting more extensive use of health savings accounts with high deductibles.
Tweet:    The  GOP House  has thrown down the gauntlet to the Obama administration by threating to  pass a bill that would defund Obamacare and delay it for a year.

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