The serial delays of Obamacare are coming so rapidly and for such obviously political reasons that the White House is barely even trying to mask its real mission of protecting vulnerable Democrats in the mid-term elections.
In announcing the latest postponement this week — this one allowing individuals to keep their existing health insurance policies through 2016 — the Obama administration carefully credited Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Ron Barber of Arizona and 10 other vulnerable Democratic lawmakers.
All face tough reelection fights in the fall in races in which Obamacare is a key issue.
While it may be politically expedient, rewriting a law passed by Congress simply to avoid ballot box consequences is an outrageous abuse of executive power. Continue reading
Frontiers of Freedom has consistently maintained that the constitutional division and separation of powers explicitly prohibits the President of the United States from unilaterally rewriting laws and from selectively enforcing them. In fact, that has been the law of the land for more than 200 years. Yet, President Obama has made a habit of enforcing laws he likes, and openly refusing to enforce laws he doesn’t. If he doesn’t like a law, he can suggest Congress pass reform legislation through the House and the Senate and he can sign it and enforce it. But he cannot simply ignore the law or unilaterally alter it. Now even one of the leading defenders of the Obama administration and a predictable voice for the Left – The Washington Post –has written that the President is acting outside his constitutional authority. Here is what the editorial board of the Washington Post wrote:
The Obama administration on Monday announced that it was delaying, once again, enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “employer mandate.” Yes, Republicans have done everything they can to impede implementation of this law. Yes, their “solution” — gutting the individual mandate — is an awful idea. And, yes, their public response to the administration’s action was predictably over-the-top. But none of that excuses President Obama’s increasingly cavalier approach to picking and choosing how to enforce this law. Imagine how Democrats would respond if a President Rand Paul, say, moved into the White House in 2017 and announced he was going to put off provisions of Obamacare he thought might be too onerous to administer. Continue reading
During a visit to Monticello with the President of France on Monday, President Obama quipped, “That’s the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.” Some would argue that President Obama was simply joking. But more and more, it looks like the President believes he can do as he pleases and can enact and amend legislation all by himself. Also on Monday, the White House announced that Obama had changed the clear and unambiguous terms of the ObamaCare law and delayed the employer mandate yet again for certain select groups.
This is particularly odd because the President himself has repeatedly called ObamaCare the of the land and demanded that Republicans accept it and stop trying to reform it. Yet, the President doesn’t view the law of the land as any reason for him to respect the plain language of the law. Students of the Constitution find this usurpation of power deeply troubling. But it is also deeply cynical as the President continues to assure Americans that the roll out of ObamaCare is going well. Yet if it were, he would not be repeatedly postponing its mandates until after the next election cycle.
by Brett Logiurato
The Obama administration announced Monday that it will delay implementation of part of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate for the second consecutive year.
The Treasury Department said it will delay the mandate’s penalty another year for small businesses with 50-99 workers. It will also adjust some of the requirements for larger employers.
Under the new Treasury Department rules, businesses with 100 employees or more must offer coverage to at least 70% of full-time workers in 2015 and 95% in 2016, or face a penalty. Continue reading
by Linda Feldmann
Ju Hong’s voice rang out loud and clear, interrupting the most powerful man in the world.
“You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country!” the young South Korean man yelled at President Obama during a speech on immigration reform last November in San Francisco. Waving away security guards, Mr. Obama turned and addressed Mr. Hong, himself undocumented. “Actually, I don’t,” the president said. “And that’s why we’re here.”
“We’ve got this Constitution, we’ve got this whole thing about separation of powers,” Obama continued. “So there is no shortcut to politics, and there’s no shortcut to democracy.”
The reality isn’t so simple. Continue reading
It seems Nancy Pelosi was wrong when she said “we have to pass” ObamaCare to “find out what’s in it.” No one may ever know because the White House keeps treating the Affordable Care Act’s text as a mere suggestion subject to day-to-day revision. Its latest political retrofit is the most brazen: President Obama is partly suspending the individual mandate.
The White House argued at the Supreme Court that the insurance-purchase mandate was not only constitutional but essential to the law’s success, while refusing Republican demands to delay or repeal it. But late on Thursday, with only four days to go before the December enrollment deadline, the Health and Human Services Department decreed that millions of Americans are suddenly exempt. Continue reading
Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he has changed it five times. Most notably, he suspended the employer mandate last summer. This is widely known, but almost no one seems to have grasped its significance.
The Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation. It does not authorize him to change existing laws. The changes Mr. Obama ordered in Obamacare, therefore, are unconstitutional. This means that he does not accept some of the limitations that the Constitution places on his actions. We cannot know at this point what limitations, if any, he does accept.
By changing the law based solely on his wish, Mr. Obama acted on the principle that the President can rewrite laws and—since this is a principle—not just this law, but any law. Continue reading
Immediately following President Barack Obama’s press conference on yesterday — in which he proposed a one-year “fix” for Obamacare — former Democratic National Committee chairman and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean question if Obama actually could legally do what he had proposed.
“A) I wonder he had the legal authority to do this since this was a congressional bill that set this up,” Dean said. “And B) I stick to what I said before the president came on, which is if you want to make it work, you’ve got to get people in the system. And the website is not going to work for awhile — have a call center someplace.” Continue reading
British prime minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament from summer vacation for a special session on Thursday, where there will be “a clear government motion and vote on the United Kingdom’s response to chemical weapons attacks,” Cameron promised on Twitter.
President Obama has a different view. The U.S. government’s Voice of America reports: “Pressed about calls for congressional authorization, White House spokesman Jay Carney Tuesday indicated the president believes consulting with congressional leaders is enough.”
Oh my, how liberals have learned to love the imperial presidency they used to so scorn when Richard Nixon or George W. Bush was in office. Continue reading
by Mark Steyn
On his radio show the other day, Hugh Hewitt caught me by surprise and asked me about running for the United States Senate from New Hampshire. My various consultants, pollsters, PACs, and exploratory committees haven’t fine-tuned every detail of my platform just yet, but I can say this without a doubt: I will not vote for any “comprehensive” bill, whether on immigration, health care, or anything else. “Comprehensive” today is a euphemism for interminably long, poorly drafted, and entirely unread — not just by the people’s representatives but by our robed rulers, too (how many of those Supreme Court justices actually plowed through every page of Obamacare when its “constitutionality” came before them?). The 1862 Homestead Act, which is genuinely comprehensive, is two handwritten pages in clear English. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is 500 times as long, is not about patients or care, and neither protects the former nor makes the latter affordable.
So what is it about? Continue reading
Democrats strong-armed Obamacare into law three years ago. Now they’re busy flouting it.
The mandate that employers provide insurance next year or pay a penalty, as the law requires? Delayed for at least a year.
The law’s dictate that people applying for federal subsidies to buy insurance provide proof that they’re eligible for the government aid? Scaled back.
Sharp limits on Americans’ out-of-pocket costs for health care? Suspended for a year.
Providing members of Congress and more than 10,000 staff members with federal health care subsidies that the law does not allow? Done, via a deal brokered by President Barack Obama.
And on and on. Continue reading
As a reaction to the crack epidemic of the 1980s, many federal drug laws carry strict mandatory sentences. This has stirred unease in Congress and sparked a bipartisan effort to revise and relax some of the more draconian laws.
Traditionally — meaning before Barack Obama — that’s how laws were changed: We have a problem, we hold hearings, we find some new arrangement ratified by Congress and signed by the president.
That was then. Continue reading
If we learned anything about Barack Obama in his first term it is that when he starts repeating the same idea over and over, what’s on his mind is something else.
The first term’s over-and-over subject was “the wealthiest 1%.” Past some point, people wondered why he kept beating these half-dead horses. After the election, we knew. It was to propagandize the targeted voting base that would provide his 4% popular-vote margin of victory — very young voters and minorities. They believed. He won.
The second-term over-and-over, elevated in his summer speech tour, is the shafting of the middle class. But the real purpose here isn’t the speeches’ parboiled proposals. It is what he says the shafting of the middle class is forcing him to do. It is forcing him to “act”—to undertake an unprecedented exercise of presidential power in domestic policy-making. ObamaCare was legislated. In the second term, new law will come from him. Continue reading