HUNTSVILLE, Ala., July 17, 2013 — The Obama administration during the July 4 weekend quietly leaked to the media that the employer mandate provision in the Affordable Care Act would be delayed one year until 2015. This gives Democrats a chance to battle in the 2014 elections without the albatross of unpopular legislation hanging over their heads.
Democrats will insist that this delay has nothing to do with partisan politics, but partisan politicians would naturally say that. Valid questions deserve to be asked in the wake of this development.
Obamacare was passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote. Why was four years not enough time for the Obama administration to get implementation right? How will delaying another year fix the fundamental structural problems in the law?
Can President Obama legally delay the employer mandate? The law itself was upheld as Constitutional as it was passed, although the Supreme Court struck down mandatory state exchanges as unconstitutional.
How can Obama pick and choose which aspects of the law to uphold and which ones to change without congressional action? If the law states that January 1, 2014 is the implementation date, would an executive unilateral delay be unconstitutional?
Is delaying the employer mandate, but not the individual mandate a form of discrimination? Why should individuals be forced to comply with a law that corporations are temporarily exempt from?
If the employer mandate applies to companies with at least 50 employees, what is to stop employers from capping their payroll at 49 workers? How does an extra 12 months solve this problem?
If employers are required to cover employees who work at least 30 hours, what is to stop them from limiting employees to a 29 hour work week? How will any delay change this dynamic?
Conservatives asking these serious questions are accused of partisanship, bias and even racism. The conservative response is to quote Obama in one of his mocking moments and explain that this is “common sense” and “simple math.”
The Obama administration bragged that the CBO scored the ACA as revenue neutral to slightly revenue positive. Yet, that was with every aspect of the law intact, and even then the numbers were manipulated to reflect only six years of costs alongside ten years of benefits. With these new changes, can the Obama administration finally admit that this program, whether one supports it or not on moral grounds, is a budget buster?
The Obama administration also decreed that healthcare exchanges can take applicants at their word until 2015 regarding their eligibility. Verification is delayed. With everyone on the honor system, is it reasonable to expect that some dishonorable actors will lead to an increase in fraud?
This all leads to the original question. How can anybody, even a man as celebrated as Barack Obama, provide more people with more services at a lower cost?
If the law, as written, was good, why is Congress exempt from it? Why are so many exemption waivers being given? Why are these waivers being given mainly to unions and others ideologically in sync with Obama?
Do these exemptions violate the 4th or 14th Amendments to the Constitution? Does the Equal Protection Clause render such waivers illegal?
The entire original stated purpose of the ACA was to make health care affordable for more people. The key issue was cost containment. People were told that if they liked their doctor or their plan, they could keep them. This has not been the case. Meanwhile, costs have skyrocketed. This is an indictment of Obamacare in general and big activist government intervention in particular.
Obama supporters insist that the problem is one of sales and marketing. The law itself is good, but has been sold and marketed badly. The problem with this theory is that the Obama administration and his many supporters had four years to promote the law after it was passed, and another three years of discussion about a potential framework for the law.
Obama is a fantastic salesman when he is the product. That marketing has not translated to his policies. The people are plenty informed. They have spoken loud and clear. Polls repeatedly show that people like Obama personally, like the idea of improving the American healthcare system, but dislike the top-down approach taken by the Obama administration.
The ACA has so many inherent structural deficiencies that it may be unfixable. Delaying parts of the law may only be delaying the inevitable. The law cannot work as written, and must be repealed and replaced with an alternative plan consistent with American free-market values.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, and satirist. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.