Legal expert: Defunding ObamaCare can work

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Chris Woodward (

A legal expert and former Justice Department counsel says the effort to defund ObamaCare through a continuing resolution can work – regardless of what Democrats and Republicans may say.

Hans von Spakovsky of The Heritage Foundation tells American Family Radio that one of the things critics have mistakenly said is that what's coming up is a discretionary spending bill, and you can't use that to stop mandatory spending. In this case, the new healthcare law.

"Mandatory spending is stuff for entitlements, Social Security, things like that,” says von Spakovsky. “But that ignores the fact that the Hyde Amendment, which has been attached every year to discretionary budget spending, has been used for 40 years to prevent funding by Medicaid for abortions.”

Therefore the Hyde Amendment is a “great example” of how to use the bill to accomplish that, he says.

Spakovsky adds that the bill from Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and others might not stop all of the funding for all of the provisions in ObamaCare, but it will stop just about everything.

von Spakovsky, Hans (Heritage)

"The only thing it might not be able to stop are things that have already been done, but as we know, 90 percent of this has not yet gotten implemented,” says Spakovsky.

Meanwhile, Spakovsky rejects the idea that the Obama administration would keep implementing the healthcare law in the event the defund effort is not approved and there is a government shutdown. 

Spakovsky says a federal law known as the Antideficiency Act requires the government to only spend money on functions that are necessary to preserve property and human life, and makes it illegal for federal employees to spend money that has not been appropriated.

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