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

The Big Dog's back

So what Democratic President did you vote for?

grumpy

Notice how he doesn't say he ever votes anything but a straight ticket... but wants to know how others vote?... his non-response and question trying to change the focus speaks volumes...

Nemesis

Funny thing Dog, is no one on this site has been as consistently partisan as you have.

The Big Dog's back

Yeah right. The right wingnuts on here are not partisan at all.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

In the case you aren't actually agreeing with him and are being sarcastic, would you like to provide an example or two?

Nemesis

Who are these wingnuts? Sam? She's clearly expressed disagreement with both Republican policy positions and candidates. So has Hero, and Contango. Thinkagain is on your side in this discussion. About the only one I can think of who has been as consistently partisan as you, but on the other side, was Taxpayer, who's no longer around. Even Coasterfan has broken partisan ranks once or twice, but the Dog is a good name for you, because you're so slavishly loyal to your masters.

AJ Oliver

Well, what is the conservative plan for ensuring that all Americans get affordable, quality health care - you know, like the REST OF THE DEVELOPED WORLD ALREADY HAS. Waiting . . waiting . . crickets . . more crickets

Huron_1969

So you'll be happy when we're paying 60 to 70 percent in taxes to support a government controlled system like the European countries?

grumpy

Re: "Well, what is the conservative plan for ensuring that all Americans get affordable, quality health care"

The CBO says that after 10 years there will still be 30 million+ that won't have health insurance. What is the liberals plan to cover all Americans? Obamacare is set to fail reaching that goal as well as all the ones it has failed to meet so far.

I could link to numerous stories on this but will leave it to you to do the search yourself and read from the source you prefer. Just type in "CBO states 30 million not insured after 10 years of obamacare."

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Out of curiosity, AJ, I can only wonder what differences the United States have as opposed to smaller, more homogeneous populations of Europe who have neither the size, population, nor geographical variables that we do.

If you think the ACA is "quality" health care and this is the best we can do, I can only shake my head and hope my generation can fix what yours is doing to us. Especially when there are people in Congress who have been IN Congress longer than I have been alive.

You want "conservative" solutions?

1. Allow plans to be sold across state lines to have insurance companies compete against each other instead of being forced into a government-run cartel.

2. Enact tort reform when/where necessary.

3. Encourage and educate the population about HSAs (health savings accounts) so that they keep their own money at a tax advantage and spend it where they want at any facility they choose. Did you know that the last I knew when I sold non-crappy health plans (as is the presumption that apparently every plan before the ACA was worthless) you can spend HSA money on over the counter medical supplies which even included dog food for your seeing eye dog?

4. Make "normal" health plans as tax-advantaged as business ones to encourage single purchases.

5. Let people know that forming a group for group insurance isn't actually that tough.

6. Encourage hospitals to develop known "menus" for common treatments so that the price of services are actually KNOWN in some quantifiable way from a base cost.

A great amount of what this act does further removes the knowledge of prices from consumers. You want a "conservative" solution? Shine light on these things. Educate people. Empower the individual with knowledge and dignity. Create a higher standard for the individual, not the company.

But this? This steaming pile of "tax"? Shame on you for calling this something on-par with first-world care. ESPECIALLY because I know how much you get into a frothing loathe about "the 1%" to whom this GUARANTEES PROFIT with OUR TAX MONEY.

So there's a start and on top of that I am posting without an anonymous moniker.

Respectfully submitted,

The cricket-shooer

The Big Dog's back

"Across state lines". That's about the stupidest thing. BC/BS of Indiana is not going to undercut BC/BS of Ohio. Tort reform? Less than 2%. And, would you sue a Dr. who butchered you?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Are you so sure they won't? The only reason there are is Blue Cross of X and one of Y is because of the division between states. Tort reform is a small part of a whole, none of the items above are a singular silver bullet. But every bit helps. Since you didn't contend the other items can I presume you might actually agree with them?

The Big Dog's back

Assume a$$-u-me.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please then, contend my presumption. Strip away the dignity and privilege to know how much things cost as an individual. Keep us from being educated about costs, services, and competition if that is where your contentions lie.

Or are you assuming that our population is somehow too dumb or undeserving to understand how these things work? I should certainly hope not and will presume that isn't the case.

grumpy

Why do they want to keep it restricted to States when everything else gov't does they want it nationwide? When it adds competition they want to restrict that competition, the one main thing that could reduce costs... they don't want to do The reason they don't want tort reform... the trial lawyers donate 95% of their political donations to the dims... so they don't want to bite the hand that feeds them... the dims tend to stay bought.

Nemesis

"Well, what is the conservative plan"

True free market capitalism, NOT regulatory crony capitalism.

First of all, have Congress for once wield the Interstate Commerce Clause for it's actual intended purpose - to stop state governments putting up barriers to interstate commerce. Allow ALL health insurance providers to compete freely in ALL 50 states. There are more than a few states currently where only one company is allowed to offer health insurance.

Get rid of Certificates of Need and other regulations that artificially restrict supply to the benefit of rent-seeking industry incumbents. Relax supply choking professional licensing requirements so it doesn't require someone with 10 years of training to stitch up a cut foot or prescribe antibiotics when the lab has already done all the real diagnositc work.

It's interesting to note that there's one segment of the healthcare industry where, for the past 20 years, quality has consistently improved and costs have consistently dropped. It's the field of vision corrective surgery, which coincidentally is the only segment that is pure free enterprise where patients pay out of their own pocket, and the supply of providers is limited only by the risk tolerance of investors.

KURTje

Sam this is e-z. Vote.

AJ Oliver

Back in the 1060's, the righties did everything they possibly could to sabotage, delay and obstruct Medicare. They are doing the same thing now. And hey Huron, ever been to Europe? Their tax rate are NOTHING LIKE THAT HIGH. You have no clue as to what you are writing about. Europe also has these strange phenomena with names like "vacations", and "retirement", and "paid parental leave", and "sick days" - this list goes on. It's all part of what they call "quality of life". It's really grotesque that so many US righties seem to take a sort of perverse joy in the suffering of our people. And BTW, most righties are cowards too - unwilling even to defend their views here using their real names. SHAME ON YA SEZ I !!

The Big Dog's back

Amen brother AJ, Amen.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

How well-managed is Medicare? Is it fiscally sound, unabused? Is it flawless? Wasn't a portion sacrificed on the altar of the ACA?

As for taxation:

UNITED STATES
Corporate - 0-39% (federal), 0-12% (state), 0-3% (local)
Indv. Min. - 0% (federal), 0% (state), 0-3% (local)
Indv. Max. - 55.9% (if taking max of F/S/L); 10-39.6% (federal), 0-13.3% (state), 0-3% (local)
Payroll - 7.65-15.3% (federal), 0-2% (state), 0-2% (local)
VAT/GST - 0-11.75% (state and local)

= = = = = = = = = =

UNITED KINGDOM
Corporate - 21%
Indv. Min. - 0%
Indv. Max. - 45%
Payroll - 0-25.8%
VAT/GST - 20% with lowered percentages for certain things

GERMANY
Corporate - 29.8%
Indv. Min. - 0%
Indv. Max. - 45%
Payroll - 41%
VAT/GST - 19% (or 7% for food)

FRANCE
Corporate - 33.33%
Indv. Min. - 0%
Indv. Max. - 75%
Payroll - 66%
VAT/GST - 2.1-20% (depending on item)

GREECE
Corporate - 26%
Indv. Min. - 22%
Indv. Max. - 42%
Payroll - 44%
VAT/GST - 24% or 13% (depending)

DENMARK
Corporate - 24%
Indv. Min. - 0%
Indv. Max. - 51.7%
Payroll - 8%
VAT/GST - 25%

If you'd like to examine any of these yourself, you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis...

As it is Wikipedia, I will be happy to look at any of these you may suspect as false more closely and talk to you about them.

The Big Dog's back

sappy, I missed your comparisons of vacation time, sick leave, personal time off, mandated work hours. I'm sure you'll get right on it.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Good points:

Unemployment Rates:
U.S. - 6.7%
U.K. - 7.2%
Germany - 5.1%
France - 10.4%
Greece - 27.5%
Denmark - 7.0%

I'm on it, boss!

(Though we can nitpick over how/what statistics are used to determine "true" unemployment, if you are curious please use countryeconomy.com as a reference.)

KnuckleDragger

I'll bite, yes I've lived in Europe, and yes their tax rates are much higher. The true tax rate in most European countries is not reflected in income taxes since they tax other things such as for having TVs in your home, etc. These are yearly taxes not just a one time deal. In England they have so many taxes it would make your head spin. If you add them all up you are paying over 50% of your income. As for using real names, with the nutcases that are on here, I would be a little leery about putting my real name out there.

Huron_1969

I've visited Europe several times and know for a fact they are taxed well over 60%. If you're a small business owner or self employed, it is much worse. As for quality of life, the Europeans lead their daily lives much differently than we do. Some of it I envy, and some is down right scary.

But this is America.... and even with all of our faults I love this country. We should be focused on fixing our problems with the tools our Constitution provides, rather than trying to convert our freedoms and way of life into a socialist framework

As for using our real names.... no way as long as wack jobs like holysee are lurking about

Nemesis

You forgot a few other concepts they have, like defaulting on souvereign debt, and a rising tide of secessionism.

Also, if their medical care is so wonderful, why do the princes of the Middle East, who can go wherever they want, fly over the lauded cities of Europe to get to Hospitals in second rate American cities like Cleveland?

Nemesis

Back in the 1060's, the righties were making Prince John sign the Magna Carta at the point of a sword. It was a great moment for liberty and limited government, but you probably see it as a tragedy.

coasterfan

Here's the thing: if Obamacare was truly as bad as Republicans are trying to scare everyone into believing, wouldn't it fail on its own? Why are they trying to hard to eviscerate it, and to play their usual gloom and doom "scare-fest" game? They aren't afraid that Obamacare won't work - they're afraid that it will.

It's obvious that they think that their only chance is to kill it before it takes effect - before people realize that it's going to be a good thing. This is exactly what Republicans did when Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid were first introduced.

They're also worried (understandably so) that they're going to have to campaign in 2016 on a platform of removing healthcare from millions of Americans who now have it through the AHCA.

The law is just getting started - it's still being rolled out.
The train is just leaving the station. Why are Republicans so quick to judge whether the journey was a success, when it's clearly too early to do so? Or, if they insist on playing that game, why can't they admit that the signup has been coming along nicely? It clearly has not peaked and it's obvious that interest continues to grow. It's working rather well in states that WANT it to work. Ask California and New York what they think about it...

The bigger questions:
Why are some conservatives so against others having healthcare protection? Do they really believe that insurance companies should be able to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions? Do they think that an insurance company should be able to drop someone's policy when they get cancer? Do they think that people should go bankrupt due to out-of-pocket costs with catastrophic illness? Those are just 3 of the things that Obamacare fixes.

Polls show that a decided majority of Americans do not want to repeal Obamacare, and instead want to work to improve the law. It's easy to throw insults, and far harder to be part of the solution. Perhaps, someday, the GOP will decide to paddle their boat in a more positive, helpful direction.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Who has done more to delay and modify the law after it was passed:

Answer 1) Congressional Republicans
Answer 2) President Obama

You get one answer, this is multiple choice so do the best you can, please.

How many millions have LOST healthcare due to the ACA despite the unconstitutional changes to the tax the president has made? Are we still down net policies, I forget. I think we actually have less people insured now than when this unread law was insert into a gutted bill from the House (similar to how viruses reproduce) and passed late at night close to Christmas by one party that needed many things like flights on Air Force One and "Kickbacks" to vote for it.

You want those three things you mentioned? Fine, pass a law that keeps them and repeal this piece of garbage that guarantees profits to private companies (that I'm sure NO Democrats invested in, perish the thought!) from our public tax dollars. While you are at it, you should pass something that the ACA does and allows certain cancer centers and medicines to continue to be available to patients that have since been cut off because of this immaculate law. As for your polls, please cite them. I'd love to read the source, how the questions were phrased, or from what email/website you pulled that statistic.

Darwin's choice

Good post. Want to wager on how long before you get an answer?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you. To be honest, Darwin, I wish he would more. While I don't generally agree with his party, I long for someone of that persuasion to actually be like a Contango and post numerous sources. Or Nemesis or Sam and make the logical/philosophical arguments. Heck, for as "infamous" as thinkagain is he can at least tell you and cite WHY he believes what he does instead of parroting a newsletter, etc.

It makes me grumble, honestly, Darwin. When all I seek are cohesive explanations (not even a fight!) to what others think and none can be offered. So what am I to think? They don't know anything about what they say? They can't explain a view or term? Heck, Big Dog at least attempts replies which is why I enjoy going back and forth with him the most.

Even if it took them a day to research my counterpoint for specifics to eviscerate my argument I would be happy. There is no growth nor learning without challenge, but for even having two former teachers actively post here I haven't learned much if anything.

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