Republicans Divided on Defunding Obamacare

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National polls continue to show strong opposition to Obamacare. But as it comes closer to taking effect, some leading Republicans are refusing to back the defunding of the president's health insurance law.

That hasn't stopped opponents such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who conducted a "Defund Obamacare" tour this week.

At a town hall gathering in Dallas, supporters of Cruz outnumbered a few protesters, as the senator told the cheering crowd, "having spent a little bit of time in Washington, DC, it's great to be back in America!"

As Americans fret over what is about to happen to their health care, Cruz said the money for Obamacare needs to be cut off. He calls the Affordable Care Act "the number one job killer in America."

While Cruz was listening to constituents' concerns about health care costs and legislation, Delta Airlines released a letter showing that Obamacare for its employees will cost the company $100 million, a price tag many fliers believe will be passed on to them.

Meanwhile, UPS announced it would stop insuring thousands of employee spouses who may be covered by other plans.

In Tennessee this week, the health care issue prompted state Rep. Joe Carr to take on U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in next year's GOP primary.

"They want to see a U.S. senator fight to defund Obamacare," Carr stated in his announcement.

But some Republicans in Washington aren't singing the same tune as Carr. Tennessee's other Sen. Bob Corker called the defunding effort "kind of sad," and said it was disingenuous because people are being sold on something that won't work.

Corker sides with fellow Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a medical doctor who criticized the plan to stop funding Obamacare on the Senate floor. 

"Most of the funding for the health care bill comes through mandatory spending, which is not even something we take up as part of the continuing resolutions," Corker said.

Sen. Cruz believes House Republicans actually could cut the funding, but what is really stopping the effort is that Republicans won't stand united.

Cruz and other conservatives such as Utah Sen. Mike Lee argue that the time is now to stop the plan that affects one-sixth of the nation's economy, even if it involves a government shutdown.

Democrats lost a whopping 63 House seats in 2010, largely due to Obamacare. If the plan is implemented, it could cost even more lawmakers their jobs. Only this time, some Republicans may find themselves out of work as well.

The individual mandate and many other provisions of Obamacare take effect on January 1, 2014.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.