Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Another O-care delay

Death. Taxes. President Obama delaying aspects of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

The Obama administration will allow some health plans that fall short of Obamacare coverage requirements to be offered for two more years, extending the coverage past the November elections and through President Barack Obama’s second term.

The decision, announced Wednesday by federal health officials, extends an earlier decision by the White House to let people keep their existing health plans through 2014, even if those plans fell short of the Affordable Care Act requirements. Under the new policy, some people could renew plans in 2016, meaning they would be covered into 2017.

Huh. I'm sure the year 2016 was chosen totally at random.

In any case, let me offer another reminder of what the White House's official Twitter feed tweeted out last year when there were continual drum beatings about doing away with the Obamacare monstrosity.

I guess it's time to update the signature page of the ACA law.

Unless our country is being led by a ruler instead of a democratically elected leader, Obama can't just change signed legislation at his whimsy. But when there's even the slightest objection from Congressional Republicans regarding an encroachment on that whole "Separation of Powers" thingy, the President is dismissive, even condescending.

Let's also go back to last July, when the first major delay (i.e. the employer mandate) was declared. The President had this to say (emphasis mine):

[W]here Congress is unwilling to act, I will take whatever administrative steps that I can in order to do right by the American people.

And if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case.

Hey, the President actually said something with which I agree!

The ACA disaster is the proverbial shooting-fish-in-a-barrel issue for Congressional Republicans. As such, they're likely to ride the issue to significant gains in the midterm elections. The GOP is pretty much a lock to maintain (and likely increase) their majority in the U.S. House and they have a fair chance to seize the Senate. With that in mind, part of me believes that they're hesitant to take substantive action against the President for what appears to be a blatant violation of the Separation of Powers. Quite simply, the Republicans are concerned about another public relations hit similar to what happened to them in last October's government shutdown. But unless GOP members of Congress do more than grandstand on the Obamacare issue, the President will continue to do whatever he feels is necessary to help his party at least maintain control of the Senate.

Alas, I don't have the impression there are nearly enough steel spines among the Republican caucus to "make that case." But for any of you who are on a GOP mailing list, let this be a fair warning. You're likely to receive letters/emails/phone calls on a daily basis emphasizing that with your campaign contribution(s), you can help the GOP take over the Senate. Once that happens, then you can count on them to go after the President over his mockery of the Constitution. No, really, they mean it this time. Scout's honor.


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