Right Now

Q: Does Dr. Coburn support defunding Obamacare?

A:  YES. Dr. Coburn has always supported efforts to delay, defund, and repeal Obamacare.  Dr. Coburn offered his free market alternative to Obamacare, the Patient’s Choice Act, but it was blocked by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Dr. Coburn has since conducted extensive oversight on Obamacare (See here, here, here, and here.)  In fact, Dr. Coburn has been involved with amending or destroying certain provisions of Obamacare nine times.   

Q: Does Dr. Coburn support the Continuing Resolution (Including both House and Senate versions as of September 26, 2013)?

A: NO.  Dr. Coburn has never supported continuing resolutions because they are short term budgetary band-aids that continue wasteful spending and duplication. Continuing Resolutions are an irresponsible way to fund the federal government.  Further, this particular Continuing Resolution sets the fiscal year 2014 spending level at $20 billion more than the spending level promised in the Budget Control Act - the 2011 bipartisan agreement to reduce government spending - plus an additional $18 billion in short-term accounting gimmicks.  This bill violates the spending restraint laid out in the Budget Control Act and increases government spending at a time when we are nearly $17 trillion in debt and borrowing 19 cents for every dollar we spend and adding to our debt nearly $26,000 every single second.

Q: Why doesn’t Dr. Coburn support the “Defund Obamacare Campaign” associated with the current CR?

A: Because attaching it to the CR is not achievable or strategically smart.  Dr. Coburn has and will continue to support defunding Obamacare.   The current “Defund Obamacare” campaign, however, is based on a false promise that has been used by special interest groups to bolster political careers instead of focusing on smart strategies that can actually weaken and destroy Obamacare.  By coupling the issue with the CR, these groups are telling the American people that Republicans in Congress can actually defund Obamacare by not voting for the CR or by allowing the government to shut down.  This is simply not true.  Simply put: we cannot defund or replace Obamacare completely until we have a Republican supermajority in the House and Senate that can override a Presidential veto.  Even then, Dr. Coburn questions if we could obtain all 67 votes in the Senate needed to override a veto.   Additionally, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report which concluded that even if the government were to be shutdown, Obamacare would still live on, not least of because the power to continue its implementation would be given to President Obama.  Again, if a shutdown occurred, Obamacare would remain nearly fully funded and implementation of the exchanges would still continue on October 1, 2013.

Q:  How can Dr. Coburn support defunding Obamacare but not support the current  “Defund Obamacare” strategy with the CR?

A: Because it is not achievable and has actually allowed for focus to be taken away from increased spending.  Since there are not enough votes to secure defunding Obamacare and since Obamacare will live on even if a government shutdown occurs, conservatives should instead be focusing on the spending levels in the current CR.  The House CR actually busts the budget caps set forth in the Budget Control Act (BCA) by $20 billion and includes $18 billion more in short-term accounting gimmicks; negating much of the savings found through the sequester.

Q: But no one is talking about shutting down the government, so why is Dr. Coburn still against the “Defund Obamacare with the CR”?

A:  Because Dr. Coburn wants to shut down ALL wasteful and duplicative spending.  The “Defund Obamacare” campaign has distracted true fiscal conservatives from the fact that the current CR increases spending.  Dr. Coburn wants the debate surrounding the CR spending bill to focus on what is workable on spending, not misleading strategies meant to raise political profiles and campaign cash.

Just the Facts:

Dr. Coburn supports defunding Obamacare and is opposed to the CR, but Dr. Coburn disagrees with the misleading and ill-conceived “Defund Obamacare” strategy promulgated by special interest groups to bolster political careers and campaign coffers.  Dr. Coburn wants to cut through the smoke and mirrors of DC rhetoric to get something done: SHUTDOWN ALL WASTEFUL SPENDING. 

Supporting Documents:

Q and A 

Date Title
9/27/13 Coburn Calls for Shut Down of All Wasteful Spending in Statement on CR Vote
9/26/13 Current record
9/25/13 Ranking Member Coburn Issues Statement on Postal Service’s Rate Increase
9/24/13 Dr. Coburn Urges Institute of Museum and Library Services to Reconsider Role in Promoting Obamacare
9/24/13 17 Senators Call on HHS to Extend "Stage 2" for Health IT Meaningful Use Requirements
9/19/13 Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Continue Oversight in Wake of Navy Yard Shooting
9/19/13 Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Continue Oversight in Wake of Navy Yard Shooting
9/18/13 Coburn Introduces Bill to Restrict Professional Sports Leagues from Qualifying as Tax-Exempt
9/18/13 Bennet, Coburn Amendment Reduces Government Waste by Consolidating IT Infrastructure
9/17/13 Coburn, Manchin Drop Bipartisan Legislation to Hold Pentagon Accountable For Financial Audit
9/16/13 Senators Highlight GAO Report Detailing Improper Social Security Disability Insurance Payments
9/12/13 Dr. Coburn Urges Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid to Retain BCA Spending Restraints in New Letter
9/12/13 Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Highlight GAO Report on Duplicative IT Investments
9/12/13 Dr. Coburn Praises House Passage of Bill Requiring Income Verification for Obamacare Subsidies
9/11/13 Dr. Coburn Offers Amendments to the Energy Efficiency Bill
9/11/13 Sequester This: Dr. Coburn Asks OMB to Curtail Agencies' Spending Spree as Fiscal Year Ends
9/11/13 CRS Outlines Progress of Dismantling Obamacare
9/11/13 Ten Years Later—Ten Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security
9/11/13 New Report Shows DHS Procurement Practices Waste Millions
9/9/13 Timeline: Dr. Coburn's Effort to Eliminate the Bay State Bailout
9/6/13 Senators Question OPM Granting HHS Special Hiring Authority to Implement Health Reform Law
9/5/13 Medicare Actuary: Coburn-Lieberman Medicare Plan Saves $535 B, Could Extend Program’s Solvency for Decades