Conservatives Press Their NoBamaCare Case with the President

By Susan Jones | October 10, 2013 | 8:35 AM EDT

Then-Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., joins other conservatives lawmakers to criticize President Obama’s national health care plan in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo, File)

( - In an open letter to President Obama posted early Thursday morning, the conservative Heritage Foundation explains why conservatives have insisted on making Obamacare "the prime source of contention" during the "temporary slowdown in government operations."

"At a time when so many Americans are suffering because of the rollout of this new law, I remain puzzled by your failure to acknowledge the faults caused by this unfair, unworkable, and unpopular measure," former Sen. Jim DeMint, now the Heritage Foundation president, wrote to Obama.

"We believe the law should be fully repealed, but at minimum, both sides should agree not to fund the law for one year -- a 'time-out' that would halt the law’s most harmful effects before they start -- "making it nearly impossible to balance the federal budget."

DeMint said that over the next decade, the Affordable Care Act will add nearly $1.8 trillion in new federal spending and cost taxpayers more than that.

He mentioned the pain for struggling Americans, who will lose jobs and work hours, even as they must pay higher insurance premiums.

And he singled out three Americans by name who are either losing their current health insurance or paying much higher premiums.

Obama already has granted numerous waivers and exemptions since the law was passed three years ago. And members of Congress have given themselves and their staffs special treatment by continuing taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies.

"Even though Democrats have thus far refused to negotiate on anything related to the current government slowdown, millions of citizens need relief from this law," DeMint said. I encourage you and your Administration to work with Congress on ways to stop Obamacare from harming the American people and the American economy."

DeMint's letter is not expected to draw a response.

President Obama repeatedly has blasted conservative Republicans, as he did on Oct. 1: "They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their job."

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is leading conservatives in their battle against Obamacare, told his constituents in an Oct. 9 newsletter that he hasn't given up: "I am working to restore essential government services and provide Americans with meaningful relief from Obamacare," he wrote.

Cruz also noted that "Republicans in the House of Representatives have passed multiple bills to fund critical operations that Democrats in the Senate refuse to consider."

Although Republicans have been unable to stop Obamacare, the Obama administration seems to be doing the job for them.

Enrollment in the health care exchanges remains difficult because of continuing computer problems. Many Americans can't log on, and Fox News reported that the technical problems may continue for months.

"How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn't work?" Speaker of the House John Boehner asked on Wednesday.