Repealing, Defunding, and Dismantling Obamacare

April 5, 2011

In addition to voting to repeal the president’s entire health care law, the Committee advanced several pieces of legislation that repeal, defund, and dismantle key components of the law.

H.R. 1213

In Section 1311(a) of the health care law, the Secretary of HHS is appropriated an unlimited tap on the U.S. Treasury to set up state-based exchanges without any further Congressional approval.

With the national debt above $15 trillion, we cannot afford to provide HHS with a blank check. H.R. 1213 repeals the unlimited funding; according to CBO, it will reduce the deficit by $14 billion.

H.R. 1213 received bipartisan approval by the House of Representatives on May 3, 2011, by a vote of 238 to 184.

H.R. 1214

Section 4101(a) of the health care law provides $200 million of mandatory spending for the construction of school-based health centers.

Between the stimulus and the health care law, $3 billion has already been made available for health center construction.

PPACA prohibits the funds from being used to staff the centers or to provide health care services. In addition, no funding was provided in either the health care law or the president’s budget to provide health care services. Providing funds for construction without funding to staff these centers and provide services is an incoherent and irresponsible policy.

H.R. 1214 repeals Section 4101(a) and rescinds any unobligated funds.

H.R. 1214 received bipartisan approval by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2011, by a vote of 235 to 191.

H.R. 1215

Section 2952 of the health care law establishes a state formula grant to support evidence-based and innovative Personal Responsibility Education Programs to educate adolescents about abstinence, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and adult preparation, including career development and financial literacy.  

To date, $320 million in obligated funds remain.

This legislation duplicates an existing federal program. H.R. 1215 would convert this new grant program into an authorization.  Supporters of the program would have the ability to ensure that it is funded but will have to demonstrate that it is not duplicative of other federal programs.

H.R. 1215 was approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee on April 5, 2011, by a vote of 25 to 17.

H.R. 1216

The health care law provides a $230 million direct appropriation – automatic spending – for residency programs at teaching health centers.

H.R. 1216 converts the direct appropriation into an authorization of appropriations. In other words, the bill would ensure all funding requests for this program must go through the normal appropriations process.

Current law actually puts other programs, such as Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education, at a disadvantage since the teaching health centers receive mandatory funding and children’s hospitals will have to go through the normal appropriation process.

It is imperative we restore Congress’ role and ensure funding priorities are examined and discussed through the normal process.

According to CBO, H.R. 1216 would save $220 million.

H.R. 1216 received bipartisan approval by the House of Representatives on May 25, 2011, by a vote of 234 to 185.

H.R. 1217

The Sebelius Slush Fund is a $17.75 billion prevention and public health fund created in Obamacare.

The law provides $17.75 billion for the next ten years (FY 2012-2021) and continues to appropriate $2 billion per year after 2015 with no sunset.

The secretary is authorized to administer and spend funds without any further Congressional approval. The money can be used for any prevention, wellness, and public health activities authorized in the Public Health Service Act.

Since no strings are tied to the funds, the money could be used for virtually any purpose described as benefiting prevention and public health – including jungle gyms and bike paths.

In practice, the committee has learned that the money is being used, among other purposes, to encourage tax hikes. Despite HHS rules that prohibit the use of federal dollars funding lobbying and political education, the CDC already used these funds to encourage states enact state tax increases on tobacco and sugar-sweetened products.

The slush fund abdicates the power of Congress’ purse strings to an unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat.

H.R. 1217 received bipartisan approval by the House of Representatives on April 13, 2011, by a vote of 236 to 183. While full repeal awaits action in the Senate, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, signed into law on February 22, 2012, removed $5 billion from the program.