Barack Obama assured us that, after his signature legislation, Obamacare, went into effect, we would surely like it. Now Obama has decided he doesn’t want us to find out how it affects us until after the 2014 elections.
Obamacare is designed to force employers of 50 or more full-time employees to provide comprehensive health insurance that includes a mandate to pay for an abortion-inducing drug. The penalty for non-compliance is a tax of $2,000 per full-time employee per year (beyond the first 30), and the Internal Revenue Service was supposed to start collecting the penalties on Jan. 1.
Obama apparently thinks he can conceal the mess he created, which even the Democrats who voted for it now call a “train wreck,” by simply postponing the effective date of the employer mandate one year. But the Obamacare law, as upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, unambiguously states: “EFFECTIVE DATE … The amendments made by this section shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.”
Obama has no authority to alter the timetable of the law’s implementation. Maybe he should actually read the 2,700 pages of text in the Obamacare law and its 20,000 pages of regulations.
Obama doesn’t seem to care whether his order to delay Obamacare is lawful or not. He wants to avoid the trouble the destructive employer mandate would cause for Democratic candidates before the next election of the House of Representatives, an election he deems critical to his plan to “fundamentally transform the United States.”
The postponement of the employer mandate is not the first setback to the Obamacare timeline. A few months ago, the Obama administration quietly announced that the federally run state-level exchanges will not offer a choice of plans to employees of small businesses until after the 2014 elections.
The one-year extension for employers will create havoc in the exchanges where individuals are supposed to buy next year’s health insurance. The government admitted July 5 that it won’t be able to verify whether applicants qualify for the subsidies that are supposed to make the required coverage “affordable,” but plans to give out the subsidies anyway.
Meanwhile, Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid is being rejected by the states. After the Supreme Court’s June 2012 decision in NFIB v. Sebelius gave states the OK to reject this expansion, 27 of 50 states did not implement Obamacare’s Medicaid plan.
States were wise to reject this very expensive Medicaid expansion. Obamacare required that anyone with income below 133 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for Medicaid, and sought to expand eligibility to able-bodied, non-elderly, childless adults, that is, to people without dependents who were able but perhaps unwilling to support themselves.
In addition to having sections of Obamacare postponed and rejected outright, Obamacare is also failing to fulfill Obama’s promise that it would decrease the deficit. The funds that were supposed to pay down the deficit included the money anticipated to flow from the penalty payments made by employers who refused to obey the mandate to provide comprehensive health care to their employees.
Now that employers will not be required to pay those fines in 2014 for violating the mandate, and indeed will not even be required to report whether they are complying, it is obvious that Obamacare will not produce the promised deficit reduction.
This isn’t the first time Obama has taken actions that are clearly in violation of our laws. For example, two federal courts have ruled against him for making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was not in recess.
Obama unlawfully removed the work requirement from the 1996 welfare reform law signed by President Bill Clinton, even though the law explicitly prohibits waivers to the work requirement. That reform required most welfare recipients to actually work or be in job training in order to receive welfare.
Obama simply used executive orders to pretend to legislate the Dream Act, which Congress has repeatedly refused to pass. His bypassing of the law was so out of line that even his former economic adviser remarked, “I don’t totally get how the president can do this through executive order.”
Obama had the Department of Homeland Security implement key measures of the Dream Act in order to essentially grant amnesty to many illegal aliens. Because of the large number of applications for amnesty, background checks were given up in favor of so-called “lean and lite” procedures.
By the way, that is exactly what will happen to background checks for the 11 million illegal aliens who hope to be granted U.S. residency via the amnesty bill now awaiting action in the House. If the background check of Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev couldn’t discover his obvious terrorist plans, what hope do we have for background checks of the 11 million?