WASHINGTON — President Obama claims he had the “executive authority” to change the Affordable Care Act after it became law.
But at a news conference Friday, the president did not say, and was not asked, what gave him the executive authority to delay enforcing the Obamacare employer mandate for a year, which many critics say was blatantly unconstitutional.
As WND reported last month, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa pointed out the move was strictly illegal.
“He has no constitutional authority to simply waive the law … only Congress can do so,” King said.
His observation was soon echoed by a chorus of prominent critics in Congress and the media.
In his first solo news conference since April 30, the president was asked, if he can pick and choose parts of the health-care law to change, what is to prevent his successor from doing the same?
Instead of addressing the question, the president noted he did not make the change by himself but after consultation with businesses, “many” of whom, he said, support Obamacare.
The president also claimed that in a “normal” political environment he would have gone to the House speaker to tweak the law to make a “technical” change.
However, Obama said, he is not in a normal political environment because of strong Republican opposition to Obamacare.
He did not mention that opposition is shared by most Americans, with a recent CBS poll showing 54 percent of the public disapproves of the Affordable Care law.
Obama also confirmed GOP predictions he would blame them for a government shutdown if they try to defund Obamacare.
As reported by WND, a growing movement among Republicans would use the House’s constitutional power of the purse to cut off funding for the Affordable Healthcare Act before it goes into full effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
They would do that by refusing to pass any bills funding Obamacare while passing spending bills to keep the rest of the government running.
When a reporter asked Obama on Friday if he would allow the government to shut down to make sure Obamacare stays funded, the president replied the American people would have a hard time understanding why officials would shut down the government because the Republicans don’t want to see people get health care.
Obama blamed the impasse on the GOP’s “ideological fixation” on making it their “Holy Grail” to prevent 30 million Americans from getting health care.
The president also blamed Republicans for trying to create another crisis just as the economy was showing signs of recovery, which, he said, “no economist” thinks is a good idea.