There have been, and still are, ways to avoid the government shutdown
As I write this post the House of Representatives is discussing what to do with the continuing resolution that was sent back to them from the Senate. As expected the Obamacare defunding language passed by the House was removed by Senator Reid. This would normally be the point where the two houses (and potentially the President) would come together and negotiate a compromise. That is not going to happen; our current President has said he will not negotiate. It is his prerogative to take this stance, and if Democrats don’t lose seats in 2014 due to Presidents lack of consideration for the others side I will be surprised.
There have been ways to avoid this whole shutdown. One of the best ways would have been for Senator Reid to allow a vote the two Obamacare mandate delays passed by the House. Specifically, allowing a vote on the individual mandate delay (HR 2668) would have allowed the average American person the same relief employers received when Obama illegally delayed the employer mandate for one year. Of course the employer delay could have been codified into law by allowing a vote on the employer mandate delay (HR 2667) passed by the House. Simply passing these two delays would have given more time to fix the many problems already discovered with Obamacare. Senator Reid and President Obama have said neither bill will be allowed.
Another option would be to follow the law and not exempt Congress and their staff from portions of Obamacare. Reid and Obama keep saying they are not exempting Congress. Yet if you actually look at the law it is quite clear that Congress and their staff must be on the health exchanges WITHOUT any employer subsidies (that would make it a qualified health plan, and cannot be done until 2017). Neither side of the debate want this to happen. However it is quite telling that Democrats have fought this option so hard. As a group the Democrats have been touting how great and cheap the healthcare insurance will be. Why are they so afraid to show they believe what is being said?
There are many other possible options. I feel either passing the delays or preventing a Congressional Obamacare exemption is the best of the available options. It would be hard for the Senate to vote against either option. It would also cost Obama what political power he has left if he chooses to veto either option. There is no way the Senate Democrats can say either option is repealing, replacing, or defunding Obamacare. I have heard some political ‘pundits’ say the House may simply vote on the bill sent back to them from Reid. I don’t think that will happen, if it does pass I believe Cruz and Lee will be pushed by American conservatives into performing a true filibuster (and make his 21 hour speech look like a small event).
PS. In unrelated Obamacare news: the government backed Healthy Young America Video contest ended this week. Reason and Remy have created the following video for the contest (I think its great, but doubt it will win).