The fight over the Affordable Care Act has once again been put front-and-center in Washington, only this time, Republicans are taking opposing sides in the argument.
On Friday, the House approved a plan to fund federal agencies past Sept. 30, including a clause that would strip funding from the Affordable Care Act, according to the Washington Post.
Next week, House leaders will go a step further by advancing a measure that demands a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, according to the Post. In return, Republicans would agree to help avert the nation’s first-ever debt default sometime next month.
While neither of these plans are likely to pass through the Senate, for the first time there is a definitive split in the GOP stance on ‘Obamacare’, with some 2016 contenders begrudgingly accepting that the law is here to stay.
On Saturday, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul told a crowd in Michigan that the health care law isn’t likely be repealed or defunded. He also said there aren’t many options left for Republicans who want to put the brakes on its implementation.
That’s in contrast to fellow Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, who’ve repeatedly said that they support defunding the health care law, even if it leads to a partial government shutdown.
Writing at the conservative website Breitbart.com this weekend, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin rallied behind them, writing, “Right now, Ted Cruz is speaking for us in this Obamacare fight. God bless him for it.”
Meanwhile, GOP strategist Karl Rove told a Michigan crowd this weekend that Republicans have to offer an alternative to the health care law.
“We’re really good at describing what’s wrong with Obamacare,” Rove said, according to USA Today. “But there’s one thing that we’re lousy at and we need to get better at, and that is describing what we are for.”
Even Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain seems to have given up on the Obamacare fight, admitting on Friday that the Senate is not going to repeal or defund the health care. “And to think we can is not rational.”