Week ahead: GOP battles over ObamaCare strategy

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House Republicans have planned a vote against the Affordable Care Act this week even as members of the party are continuing to clash over whether to use a government shutdown threat to defund the law.

The shutdown issue will come to a head less than a month before the new ObamaCare insurance marketplaces open in all 50 states.

As the Oct. 1 launch date draws closer, Democrats and their allies are stepping up their outreach to try and encourage enrollment in the exchanges, while Republicans are redoubling efforts to stop the law from moving forward. 

House Republicans hope to draw attention this week to one of the delays in the reform law’s implementation. The House is scheduled to vote on a bill, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), that would prevent the administration from distributing ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies until it implements new verification systems.

The administration announced in July that it would temporarily ease part of the verification process when people apply for tax credits to help cover the cost of their premiums. Republicans say the delay puts the government at risk of massive fraud.

House Republicans will also take aim next week at the healthcare law’s economic effects. The Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the law’s “challenges for states and job creators.”

Also on Tuesday, conservatives and Tea Party activists are planning a rally at the Capitol to make the case for threatening a government shutdown over ObamaCare funding. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are all slated to attend.

Along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the three senators have all led the push to vote against any government funding bill that does not prevent President Obama from implementing his signature law. 

Cruz has said that if Republicans are willing to force a government shutdown, he believes Obama will “blink first” and agree to give up on the healthcare law.