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Miss. Republicans Split on How to Eliminate Affordable Care Act

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 13 Aug 2013 09:09am | comments

A growing campaign among some Republicans to quote 'defund obamacare' is splitting Mississippi's congressional delegation.  Mississippi's five Republicans agree that the law should go, its just a question of how.

 Earlier this month, fourth district congressman Steven Palazzo took to the floor of the United States House of Representatives to implore his fellow representatives to try one more time to stop the federal health care reform law before it takes full effect.

 "That is also why I firmly believe we must defund Obamacare in a continuing resolution this body will take up later this year. I believe this is a fight worth fighting for Mississippi. And I believe it is a fight worth fighting for the American people," Palazzo said.

 The campaign to 'defund obamacare' has gained traction with several high profile Republicans.

 The plan Congressman Palazzo is advocating is to refuse to pass a federal budget unless the federal government is prohibited from spending any money on implementing the Affordable Care Act.

 Senator Thad Cochran has also voted in favor of a bill to 'defund obamacare'.

 However, not all of Mississippi's congressional Republicans agree that this is the right or even an effective approach.

 Senator Roger Wicker says the big pieces of the law, Medicaid expansion and private insurance subsidies, are built into the law and not subject to annual budgetary review.

 "The Obamacare bill doesn't come back each year to the appropriations process. There is nothing in any appropration bill or continuing resolution that actually funds Obamacare. It is a mandatory program now. An entitlement as you were. The appropriation bill couldn't fund or defund Obamacare because it is automatic spending," Wicker said.

 Wicker says the way to change the law is for Republicans to win more elections.

 Wicker is joined by third district congressman Greg Harper who, while opposing the law, does not see the 'defund obamacare' movement as the way to dismantle it.

 "I think the overwhelming pubic support is let's get rid of Obamacare. Let's do what we have to do on that. What vehicle it will be on that still remains to be seen," Harper said.

 Mississippi's 1st District congressman Alan Nunnellee opposes the law and sees an opportunity this fall to reign in all federal spending but not at the risk of defaulting on the federal debt.

 This fight will likely play a major role this fall when congress returns to pass a federal budget and raise the debt ceiling.







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