The Obama administration has yet again delayed the implementation of a portion of ObamaCare. This unilateral executive action has become an unprecedented pattern of lawlessness that threatens the integrity of our Constitution.
The delay announced yesterday is for businesses with 50 to 99 full-time workers. Businesses falling within this range will not have to comply with ObamaCare's mandate that they provide coverage to workers or face a fine until 2016. Also the employers will only be eligible for the delay if they do not lay off workers or reduce worker hours, unless those changes can be justified to the IRS.
The administration also gave some leeway to even larger companies, which will not be penalized until 2016 if they offer coverage to at least 70% of their full-time employees.
Administration officials claim that the delay was put in place as “a response to businesses' concerns,” and there was no one reason behind it. Give me a break. The reason why this was delayed until 2016 is transparently obvious: it will get the Democrats through the 2016 election. Even the AP described the move as “angling to avoid political peril.”
The Republican response has been somewhat united and that is to point out that Obama is, once again, delaying ObamaCare for corporations while continuing to force individuals to suffer under its weight. "If the administration doesn't believe employers can manage the burden of the law, how can struggling families be expected to?" You can read John Boehner's statement on the delay here.
Around the same time that the delay was announced, Barack Obama quipped to the press that “as a President, I can do whatever I want.” While he wasn't talking about ObamaCare, there is some truth behind that statement that can be applied. It appears as though Obama's role as president knows no bounds, even though it is explicitly outlined in the Constitution. Contrary to his claims, he can't do anything he wants, including unilaterally changing legislation that is the law of the land.
Now for some of the reaction.
Ron Fournier in the National Journal writes that ObamaCare is becoming impossible to defend: “It's getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act.” He later goes on to say that “the law may be getting stretched to the point of breaking. Think of the ACA as a game of Jenga: Adjust one piece and the rest are affected; adjust too many and it falls.” As well-intentioned as Obama and the Democrats may have been in their efforts to bring health insurance to the masses, “the president and his team are making their good intentions almost indefensible.”
Charles Krauthammer compares Barack Obama's actions to that of a banana republic: “Generally speaking you get past the next election by changing your policies, by announcing new initiatives, but not by wantonly changing the law lawlessly. This is stuff you do in a banana republic.” He's absolutely right. Presidents can't just go around changing laws for any purpose, regardless of intention or political purpose. If there is a problem with the law, it's the role of Congress to legislate.
While not in direct response to the latest delay, Thomas Sowell sums it up nicely on ObamaCare in his latest column: “With his decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F.A. Hayek called 'The Road to Serfdom' into a super highway. The government all but owns us now, and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do."
Now for some of the latest boondoggles associated with ObamaCare:
Cover Oregon Scandal Deepens: State officials reportedly lied about progress of site (Washington Free Beacon)
HealthCare.gov Will Shut Down for 2 1/2 Days (Breitbart)
Maryland’s ObamaCare Website Won’t Be Fixed Before The March 31 Deadline (Washington Free Beacon)
ObamaCare patients may encounter fewer doctors, longer wait times (Fox News)
ConsumerWatch: Some Doctors Surprised To Be On Covered California Provider List (CBS)
Report: ‘Avalanche’ of Regulations Still to Come Under ObamaCare (Washington Free Beacon)