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April 10, 2011
Budget deal a victory for openness and transparency
One little discussed benefit from the budget deal is that Speaker John Boehner wrung significant concessions from Democrats on investigating aspects of Obamacare:
The agreement will generate new tools for the fight to repeal Obamacare by requiring numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the true impact of the law's mandates, including a study of how individuals and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations - including unions - who can't meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what's happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was in Obamacare and the president's failed "stimulus" spending bill; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.
Various government agencies like the CBO, the GAO, and even Obama's own OMB have issued reports that are at odds with how the Democrats sold Obamacare - especially with regards to its cost to consumers. Those reports were buried by the press for the most part but congressional investigations into the soaring cost of premiums, for example, might build more support for repeal in 2013 - if the GOP can take control of the senate and the White House.
There will also be separate votes in the senate for repeal of Planned Parenthood funding and defunding Obamacare. For a guy who said 2 months ago that there would never be a vote in the senate to defund Planned Parenthood, Harry Reid caved rather easily.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky