A Dozen Steps to an Obamacare Train Wreck (US News & World Report)
It’s one thing for the American people to have “buyer’s remorse” over Obamacare, but when even the seller has it, in this case the Obama White House, it may be time to scarp the whole thing and go back to square one. The new law isn’t even close to living up to the promises the president made. Instead, as retiring Montana Democrat Max Baucus forewarned just months ago, the new law’s implementation is becoming a “train wreck.”
It’s not that the president is backing down on his intentions; it’s just that he’s backing off. Despite what the new law requires, the administration admitted just days ago – in a blog post of all places – that things are not going as planned and that the imposition of the employer mandate, which is about as popular as a murder of crows at a popcorn festival, will be delayed until 2015.
The president seems to think that he can, simply by waving a magic wand or some other act of political prestidigitation, delay what a federal statute he himself pushed for and signed into law requires him to do. This is at least constitutionally questionable, if not a downright abuse of executive power.
For the moment, the president is being shielded from otherwise justifiable criticism of his actions by his fawning allies in the public arena because they like the new healthcare law. Image how aghast these same people would be, and the uproar it would cause, if a conservative president took the same step with a piece of liberal legislation. It would inaugurate a full-blown constitutional crisis complete with gavel-to-gavel coverage of the congressional hearings such a move would necessitate.
The Republicans have responded to the president’s move strategically, not with angry denunciations, but with delicious irony. As the Associated Press reported Tuesday, “House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama should grant individuals a reprieve from his health care law’s coverage requirement – just like the White House did last week for larger employers.” In a letter to the president, Boehner, the Ohio Republican, and other GOP leaders said “we also believe American families need the same relief.”
The bigger problem is that the waiver of the employer mandate is not the first the Obama administration has authorized in order to keep the new law from falling apart at the seams. On Monday, the Heritage Foundation released a list of “a dozen more Obamacare implementation failures”.