November 15, 2013

The Fix? Another BIG Lie

With a wave of his magic wand, Obama now says that another portion of ObamaCare doesn’t apply.

Barack Obama added another chapter to his politically motivated unconstitutional rewrites of the so-called “Affordable Care Act” Thursday. After more than 5 million insurance cancellations mandated by his ACA regulations, and the political consequences for Democrats, he declared that you can keep your plan (at least until after next year’s elections). This was his latest political lie to cover his previous round of lies to cover his oft-repeated original lie that “you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”

His latest “pledge to the American people” is: “[W]e’re gonna solve the problems that are there, we’re gonna get it right, and the Affordable Care Act is going to work for the American people.” (He forgot to add, “Trust me!”) Obama plans to “fix it” through “enforcement discretion,” a patently unconstitutional maneuver typical of autocratic ineptocracies, but he has never allowed Rule of Law to be an impediment to this administration’s political agenda.

Obama is crafting his latest blame-shifting cover story on the theme that insurance companies are the bad guys. But, the 2010 HHS regulations his administration wrote, and he signed into law, mandated that any policy adjustment in a plan after that enactment would require cancellation of that plan if it did not fully comply with ObamaCare’s “comprehensive coverage” requirements. Now, with a wave of his magic wand, Obama says none of that applies, and that, as long as state insurance commissioners permit it, insurance companies can continue to offer the plans that they previously had to cancel due to regulations. In other words, he put this 600 lb. gorilla on the back of state commissioners and insurance companies.

As noted, Obama has no authority to enforce this proposed retrofit – or, as he put it, to “improve” the law. But he has a history of “selective law enforcement” according to his political agenda, and in the case of ObamaCare, he already unilaterally declined to enforce the employer mandate – now he’s unilaterally declining to enforce the coverage mandate, at least until after the 2014 elections. He admits “we did fumble the ball” on the Healthcare.gov rollout, which directly affects a person’s ability to replace a plan that was forcibly cancelled. He claims he only wants to fix what he broke. Apparently, Bill Clinton, who declared that Obama ought to let the American people “keep what they got,” is now calling the shots.

In reality, Obama’s executive action is an effort to preempt a lawful Republican legislative correction to ObamaCare, aptly titled the “Keep Your Health Plan Act” – scheduled for a vote Friday. Many panicking Democrats were hinting at voting for the bill, mainly to save their own skin in 2014, but that would be too embarrassing for the president. He even threatened to veto the bill, likely because it would bolster private competition for his exchanges, and he simply can’t tolerate that.

Responding to Obama’s latest alteration, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) warned that his fix will “destabilize the market” and drive prices higher. Insurance industry analyst Robert Laszewksi explained, “This means that the insurance companies have [six weeks] to reprogram their computer systems for policies, rates, and eligibility, send notices to the policyholders via US Mail, send a very complex letter that describes just what the differences are between specific policies and Obamacare compliant plans, ask the consumer for their decision – and give them a reasonable time to make that decision – and then enter those decisions back into their systems without creating massive billing, claim payment, and provider eligibility list mistakes. All by January 1.” And Obama could not get the Healthcare.gov website operational in three years with $600 million.

Then again, destabilizing the market is the express purpose of ObamaCare – not that we feel sorry for those insurance companies that conspired with Democrats to remand health care to government control.

To recap ObamaCare’s sordid history, it was rammed through Congress on a partisan vote; it was unconstitutionally launched in the Senate instead of the House, where revenue bills should begin; it was redefined by the Supreme Court in order to find it “constitutional”; and it was illegally amended by Obama after its passage to delay mandates, provide political favors and remove accountability. This latest rewrite simply fits the pattern and further seals Obama’s lawless legacy – and unfortunately, the demise of the finest health care system in the world.

(See objections raised by WashPo, NYT and other editorial pages.)

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