Obama’s health care law waivers are illegal

Senator, professor say ‘Obamacare’ violates the law
Tom Jackson
Mar 30, 2014
President Barack Obama’s repeated changes in provisions of the Affordable Care Act are plainly illegal and violate the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman asserts.

It’s clear changes in the law are supposed to be made by lawmakers in Congress, not presidential decree, the Ohio Republican told reporters in a phone call Thursday.

Writing for the Vokokh Conspiracy, a legal blog hosted by the Washington Post newspaper, Case Western Reserve University professor Jonathan Adler has been arguing that while the health care law does give the Obama administration discretion in certain matters, some of the changes the administration has made violate the law.

In a Feb. 11 blog post, “Another day, another illegal Obamacare delay,” Adler asserted the White House’s delays in a provision requiring companies to buy insurance for their employees, the “employer mandate” clearly is illegal.

“The language of the statute is clear, and it is well established that when Congress enacts explicit deadlines into federal statutes, without also providing authority to waive or delay such deadlines, federal agencies are obligated to stay on schedule. So, for instance, federal courts routinely force the Environmental Protection Agency to act when it misses deadlines and environmentalist groups file suit” Adler wrote.

Portman was asked about the matter two days after yet another change was announced.

The White House said the end-of-March deadline for buying health insurance on healthcare.gov would not apply to people who tried to buy insurance but failed to navigate the website. They would get another two weeks.

“It’s unbelievable to me Congress would pass a law and the administration would choose not to follow it” Portman said.

If the Obama administration wants to make changes in the law, it should ask Congress to make the changes, Portman said.

Ohio’s other senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, did not answer directly when asked what he thought of the administration’s changes.

During his own conference call with Ohio reporters Wednesday, Brown was asked for his opinion on the waivers and whether he worries a Republican president elected in 2016 might erode Obamacare by making his own changes.

Brown answered the second part of the question, saying he expects the law to be so popular and well-established by 2017, no president would dare change it.

“No Republican president is going to take away benefits from by then tens of millions of Americans,” Brown said.

Asked in a followup what he thinks of Obama’s changes, Brown said: “I have a mixed opinion of all that, but it doesn’t really matter”

Comments

SamAdams

Not true. All money-making ventures (in other words, all taxes) must originate in the House of Representatives.

If Obamacare involves FINES, it's illegal because you can't constitutionally force people to buy ANYthing. If Obamacare involves TAXES, it's illegal because it didn't originate in the House of Representatives, but in the Senate. And WHATEVER you call it, once it's a law (and until it's repealed), amendments can ONLY be made constitutionally by Congress.

Sorry. Have you actually, like, READ the Constitution? It's not that long you know, and the English used isn't TOO hard...

AJ Oliver

Where were all you rightie constitutional scholars when Dubya was torturing & kidnapping & seizing without warrants, when he greatly expanded the surveillance state, for his signing statements, lying the country into war?
You wouldn't know a constitution if it bit you in the rear.

SamAdams

I can't speak for others, but I was screaming bloody murder. The Constitution is the Constitution whether it's being violated from the left or the right.

Meanwhile, you (who accuse me and others like me of "not knowing a constitution if it bit me in the rear") are strangely silent as Dear Leader Obama violates the Constitution willy nilly! I'm betting you protested Bush, Ashcroft, et al, and you were right to do so. So, friend hypocrite, where are you NOW? Or is it only "unconstitutional" if it doesn't fit into YOUR government-coercive agenda?

Peninsula Pundit

well, Sam, the stakes are much lower re: Obamacare.
I have read many a cogent article by learned sorts that say that Income taxes are unconstitutional, as well.
But everyone is still paying them.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Apparently you can catch more flies with vinegar than honey. I think that AJ is obsessing over the conspiracy of the 1% too much to see that the current movement of "constitutional righties" was born out of the overreaches and excesses of the Bush years that were extended and exacerbated by Obama's. The Tea Party was formed in reaction to Bush at the twilight of his presidency to start doing something about all this.

Yet they, and we (if I may include you, separate yourself from my comments if you wish), who try to act as the Heimdallrs of the Constitutional Bifrost are the ones being attacked instead of those who abuse it. Heck, we may as well arrest ODOT workers for clogging up the freeways by working on the road instead of keeping overloaded trucks, snow chain tires, or other abusive influences off the road.

The Big Dog's back

The tea party was formed in August of 2008 because there was a strong, strong possibility a Black man would be President.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Dang it! Ok which of you leaked this? How did Big Dog find out the truth? I want answers!

KnuckleDragger

We were in the same place that all the Democrats were in that supported the war on terror. Apparently you have no problem with Obama continuing to expand these intrusions since I rarely hear you commenting about it. Nice try AJ, but it may be time for you to give up your teaching credentials.

Nemesis

"Where were all you...."

Complaining more loudly than you probably; telling anyone who would listen that Department of Homeland Security is almost a direct translation of the Russian phrase for which KGB is an acronym.

Funny how the guy about whom you're waxing positively messianic promised to fix all that, and once elected, he decided to double down by declaring unilateral authority to assissinate his own citizens.

Maybe you should pay a little more attention before pontificating on what those with whom you disagree on one issue believe regarding another issue. Some of don't base our position on the unitary executive on which party currently controls the White House. Apparently that doesn't include you.

meowmix

Sam also hates the fact that contraceptives are a mandate to be included in an employers healthcare plan. It simply means that they must still pay their co-payment according to the plan they have. But then again, they scream without thinking-- as is their way. Doesn't it make more sense if you're anti-abortion to offer your employee's coverage for prescription contraceptives if that is your logic? Sam, really, what do YOU have to lose by having healthcare? Or, can you just not afford it? If so, go to www.benefits.ohio.gov and sign yourself up. What the resentment for all Americans to have adequate healthcare is just beyond logic to me.

SamAdams

You're right. I DO hate that contraceptives are a mandate. But that has nothing to do with "contraceptives," and everything to do with "mandate." We're not alike as human beings. We're not alike as families. We're not alike in health care needs. So why can't we choose what's best for ourselves? Why do we have to have coverage that isn't needed?

I don't need "free" prostate screenings. As it happens, I also don't need "free" contraceptives or prenatal care. That's not "adequate" healthcare. It's healthcare I'll never, ever use. Why don't YOU choose coverage with the benefits that YOU want/need, and why can't I do the same? But no, I'm stuck with all of this "free" nonsense that ISN'T free. And to add insult to injury, those premiums that are already so high are projected to go up (WAY up) in the next year or two.

You can call healthcare "adequate" under Obamacare all day long, but it's considerably LESS than "adequate" when you can't get it at all!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I think I have a "free" mammogram coming up, want to trade it for that prostate screening?

It's unfortunate that those like Meow don't seem to realize what mandating things actually does or how it can be abused. If she is advocating for mandatory birth control to be shov- er, made available to every woman for simply being a woman I wonder why she isn't mandating everyone be an organ donor? Why, it so happens that that would do much more to advance society and help people!

Yep, we just need to FORCE everyone to give up their organs on death. That's responsibility, you know!

Your choices as an individual are irrelevant to some unknowable whole. Instead of comprising society, we are outside of it somehow and must serve it instead of the other way around. Sorry, Sam, her views of your life are more relevant than your own observances. She and her party actually know what is best for every individual human being with our myriad of life circumstances. When you only view people as a generalized, dehumanized group of organs that need regulation, it makes decisions easy.

grumpy

it helps when you believe that all people need equal results. That schools need the same things taught the same way, no matter if urban, suburban, or rural, no matter if Northeastern, midwestern, Pacific NW, or whatever. Different areas and places need different methods and even different curricula.

Men have different medical needs than women, children needs are different than young adults, who are differnt than middle agers, who are different than seniors, sick are different than mostly healthy folks, and so on down the line.

Car insurance makes different classes for different drivers. Medical insurance should do the same. People should be able to decide what they need instead of gov't dictating what is needed. If you wish to have a general policy for folks who don't know what they need, like some folks on here, you could make a gov't approved policy available for those who need gov't to control their lives, but let those of us who want to take responsibility for ourselves, and the sheep can take the gov't plan, AKA obamacare or AHCA as the like to call it.

meowmix

I don't have a problem with my insurance paying for prostate screening, blood pressure medication, contraceptives, viagra, insulin, psoriasis shampoo, etc, etc, etc. None of which I have a current need for.

HZ, I picture you as some smug little man who thinks he knows it all. But I also I imagine you a bald. Is it possible your insurance doesn't cover propecia and you're just resentful?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You are welcome to come to my shop and see for yourself. I won't bite, promise. I will defy your example by stating I'm both tall and have hair. As for thinking I know it all? Hardly. In fact those sort of absolutists are quite grating to me.

If you are willing to pay for something you can never use (testicular cancer check, let's say) that's fine. That is your choice. But stop making others do it. Blood pressure medicine is something you actually have a possibility of needed as that isn't gender based.

When will you back your party to force organ harvesting upon death in order to help people who need it the most?

meowmix

Oh for crying out loud HZ! Must you be such a drama queen? Organ harvesting? That actually sounds like something more akin to what the GOP/Koch Bros. and their ilk (1%'ers would support). I'm willing to bet you have a picture of Sarah Palin hanging over your bed don't you? xoxoxo

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

But millions of Americans need organs. If you are dead you don't need them. It's antisocial and down right unfair that individuals get to keep their organs when they are dead while society at large can use them. Am I wrong? Don't I have a right to your organs if you aren't using them? Even if you are, youcan live with one kidney. It'll be like jury selection, an already understood social compact in the US.

As for Sarah Palin? No. Sorry to defy your stereotype again. The weather is getting nice, want to come over for a BBQ? You can see how I decorate and live or how at the store as an evil conservative I somehow make it through the day tolerating an extremely diverse group of kids and adults of all incomes, backgrounds, religions, and for some - disabilities.

The Big Dog's back

So so sappy.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

So so what?

thinkagain

I see a lot of these comments are from those who, basically, don’t have any real stake in this game, other than whining about being forced to spend a few extra bucks for something they won’t use.

I find that argument rather boring compared to a good ol’ vociferous, in your face, heathen or zealous Christian viewpoint.

If you want to discuss the pros and cons of one size fits all ObamaCare, I can understand making an argument about government usurping constitutional rights to freedom of religion, by forcing religious business owners to choose between their beliefs or livelihood. Or even an ignorant diatribe by a godless liberal about how contraception and abortion is a woman’s “right”.

I signed up for a plan and I’m not grousing about getting coverage I don’t need if someone else can use it. I realize this is just another example of redistribution of wealth, but I do not have an issue with paying for a health care system that at least attempts to bridge a gap in our society.

Besides, I’m used to getting nothing for something. I’ve been forced to pay taxes for years and many of those dollars went to things I didn’t approve of and things I would never use.

Nemesis

How do all you leftists feel now, knowing you've been arguing with an ally?

Some of us knew from the start that y'all and Thinkagain were birds of a feather with a small religious disagreement.

kURTje

This we know ; the next CIC election will be interesting.........

AJ Oliver

I have protested the current POTUS, and will very likely continue to do so. The constitution has been bent, folded and mutilated beyond recognition. When R. Armitage and S. Libby walk free while Pvt. Manning gets 35 years, you know that the rule of law is nothing but a cruel joke. Some of the most bizarre views of the constitution can be found among the SCOTUS - Thomas thinks that states have the legal right to set up official religions. And, oh yeah, corps are people - now THAT is a really twisted legal doctrine. Would you let one date your sister? Can they be executed in Texas? NOPE !! Darn, you went and got me started . .

Darwin's choice

Wouldn't it be great if they could make an official language?

AJ Oliver

No habla espanol? Que triste!

AJ Oliver

Sie sprechen nicht deutsch? Wie traurig!

Dr. Information

How can anyone on either side actually agree with what Obama is doing with his healthcare law?

Unconstitutional is unconstitutional either way. Both sides should be upset.

SamAdams

Agreed. But one side (generally speaking) won't be. Why not? Because those responsible run with a D after their names on the ballot, and they and the sheep who follow them refuse to do any less than to blindly toe the party line. "My party, right or wrong!"

I can't argue (though I dearly wish I could) that a lot of Republicans are any better or any different when it comes to voting or supporting a straight ticket. It's just that THIS time, it's the Dems who are as wrong as wrong can be, and it's their sycophants wearing the blinders.

The Big Dog's back

Ya know sam, the only people who ever talk about "toeing the party line" are you right wingnuts. Could it be that's what you do? Wait I'll answer that for you. Yessssssss!

SamAdams

Nice try answering for me...but you're wrong. I've never voted a straight ticket in my life, mostly because NEITHER party is particularly well known for choosing the most qualified candidate, but rather the richest/most photogenic/has stayed in long enough for it to be his "turn"/or whatever is considered the "most electable" at any given time.

I disagree on a pretty regular basis with ALL parties (yes, even the Libertarian Party, which has a "foreign policy" -- I use the term VERY loosely) that's dangerous on a GOOD day! But as much contempt as I have for most politicians, I have even more for those voters who are so ignorant as to vote for a candidate based solely on party affiliation whether he or she is a good candidate or not, and whether they even AGREE with most of what that candidate promises or not (usually doubtful, since straight ticket voters tend to also be singularly uninformed).

Unfortunately, it appears I'm in the minority. After all, I can't imagine you can say the same!

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