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”


The Big Dog's back

(CNN) - The House on Wednesday passed another bill aimed at derailing Obamacare - the 50th time the GOP-led chamber has tried to repeal or alter President Barack Obama's signature health law in the past three years.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Who has ACTUALLY changed the ACA more? Of the two options, which entity has actually done more to this program in real, enforced, measurable ways?

The Big Dog's back

Changing the goal posts again huh sappy? I proved it to you,


Yes repubes have tried to delay or stop obamaScare 50 times and obama has modified, changed or delayed parts at least 38 times. Which has had more effect? Failing to get the Senate to even debate a bill or changing things 38 times?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

"Who has done more to delay and modify the law after it was passed"
"Who has ACTUALLY changed the ACA more?"

done - completed; finished; through
actually - as an actual or existing fact; really. Meaning "in fact, as opposed to possibility"

There are no goal posts changed. Who has ACTUALLY DONE more to change the ACA? Last I looked the feckless Republicans were voiding their bladders in the wind while the President has been the ONLY one to change, modify, or delay the law.

In case you are curious, the dictionary.com word of the day today is "capriccio".

I fear, with all thy wit and pleasantry, thou art, after all, but one of those capriccios which Nature sometimes indulges in, merely to show how superior is her accustomed order to eccentricities, even accompanied with rare powers.


The Big Dog's back

Because Obama cares.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I appreciate you answering my question. Now that we have a mutually-agreed upon starting point we can contend how much he cares about himself, the law, or everyone it affects. I would argue that since he has had to illegally change it so many times he ought not to ever have signed in a harmful and woefully incomplete law (tax? whatever) that doesn't even stand up to your own ideal system of a single payer mechanic.

Are we still together in that so much pain, suffering, arguments, money, time, political capital, etc. has been wasted on something that has to be illegally changed by the president on the basis of "he cares"? You'll find me an odd ally (even if you perceive it as enemy-of-my-enemy) in that I want more and better than anything the ACA could hope to provide. But it takes honest conversations between people like us to actually make it happen.


You proved that they made a lot of noise. Answer his question - who has actually prevented elements of the law from going into effect on schedule?

The Big Dog's back

You should be happy right?


No, not at all. The Constitution is more important than any one issue or piece of legislation. But you're still avoiding the question.


Yes, Obamacare WILL fail on its own. But the damages it will do until it finally collapses under its own weight can't be accurately projected, nor can all of the truly egregious likely effects be minimized. It's better to stop it NOW than to work -- probably for YEARS -- in an attempt to reverse the nasty fallout.

AJ Oliver

Hey, thanks coaster & dawg for the comments. Honest to god, if we let the conservatives get their way and destroy Medicare (they tried again today in Congress), and social security (jeez, how they hate that) we'll have old folks dying in the streets like they used to. Ah yes, the good old days!!


Yeah, they pine for the 1950's, but the fake Ozzie & Harriet World they miss never really existed. The truth? Part of the reason the 50's were a time of prosperity was because there wasn't a huge gap between the Haves and Have Nots. In the 50's, the top tax rate was more than 90%, compared with mid-30s today.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I mustn't have been in your history classes. I don't see any pictures or references to people dying in the streets "like they used to". Unless we look at nations like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Maybe China or North Korea? Huh...it's also a good thing the ACA didn't touch Medicare one bit since it seems to be such an immaculate program.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

D-did you actually...you know...read this article? It doesn't do much as a counterpoint to me, presuming that is why you posted it. You read this entire article, right? I mean thanks for supporting me, sorry I was so defensive. Normally you only try and tear down the things I say.

Gotta give you more respect, though I hope you notice I have elsewhere in these comments.

The Big Dog's back

Your reading comprehension "skills" need work.


Re: "we'll have old folks dying in the streets."

Kinda like the same claims you lefties make against guns. How is that working out for you?

You are being a little disingenuous about the elderly dying in the street because at that time everyone was enduring the Great Depression and the elderly were NOT the only ones suffering. Social Security is heading towards insolvency and the Democrat solution is to just continue kicking the can down the road. Either we fix it now with some minor changes or we will be forced into drastic changes later on. Why should you care? You are an old fossil that will be dead and buried by then. You boomers are a real piece of work, you want to squeeze every penny from younger generations and leave us with nothing. So when you talk about being selfish, look in the mirror.

The Big Dog's back

Please reference where Social Security will be insolvent.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I will beat Darwin to it, but by no means will I deny him the ability to prove his own material:

"The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2033, unchanged from last year, with 77 percent of benefits still payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2016, also unchanged from last year’s estimate, with 80 percent of benefits still payable."

To read the trustees' report (nonfiction as is your reading pleasure) simply go to the SSI report and search for it.

The Big Dog's back

What does depleted mean to you? 77% still payable is not depleted. We could solve SS right now by doing away with the cap.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

1. to use up (supplies, money, energy, etc); reduce or exhaust
2. to empty entirely or partially
3. med to empty or reduce the fluid contents of (an organ or vessel)

It means exactly as I used it. Do you offer another definition? But here, don't take my word for it.

"Social Security’s Disability Insurance (DI) program satisfies neither the Trustees’ long-range test of close actuarial balance nor their short-range test of financial adequacy and faces the most immediate financing shortfall of any of the separate trust funds. DI Trust Fund reserves expressed as a percent of annual cost (the trust fund ratio) declined to 85 percent at the beginning of 2013, and the Trustees project trust fund DEPLETION in 2016, the same year projected in the last Trustees Report. DI cost has exceeded non-interest income since 2005, and the trust fund ratio has declined since peaking in 2003. While legislation is needed to address all of Social Security’s financial imbalances, the need has become most urgent with respect to the program’s DI component. Lawmakers need to act soon to avoid reduced payments to DI beneficiaries three years from now."

Here's some homework for you. Go to the Trustees Report Summary (http://www.ssa.gov/oact/trsum/), hit Ctrl+F to bring up the "find" box, then type in "depl". Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that word is used twenty-eight (28) times.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Listed separately, how about we allow a "private option" for Social Security? I can invest my money better than the government. Is it fair to have my money confiscated, mismanaged/depleted, and have nothing to show for it? Now if you can't do better than the government I am all for you being allowed to let them keep your money. You have nothing to worry about. I will keep my retirement money and manage it and you will too. You aren't out anything if you trust the government's IOUs in the "lockbox".


"old folks dying in the streets like they used to."

Talk about revisionist history....

I haven't seen a body count exaggerated like that since the Vietnam era.


Face it, Obama has murdered US citizens without trial by droning them so what could be worse besides trying to undermine the constitution by instituting a fascist dictatorship, my bad he has tried that as well.
Get real Coaster your worship of a murderer is to the point of insanity, he lies to your face you believe him over and over and over and over. Your mental same as he, get a life. Oh your Obamacare legacy will go down in history as THE greatest cluster F**k's in history, good job!!

The Big Dog's back

dummygan-terrorist sympathizer.

Darwin's choice

Obamacare, the plan purportedly created to provide health coverage for the uninsured, has enrolled just 1.7% of America's 48.6 million uninsured.

News of the disastrous numbers comes as nervous Democrats and President Barack Obama, ahead of the November midterm elections, did their best on Monday's enrollment deadline to put a positive spin on the deeply unpopular Obamacare program. The latest Associated Press poll finds that Obamacare has now hit an all-time low approval rating of just 26 percent.
The White House now claims an Obamacare enrollment figure of six million people. However, according to The New York Times, at least 20% of those never paid their premiums to activate coverage, leaving them uninsured. That drops the number down to 4.8 million.
Next, as Washington Post columnist Ed Rogers notes, "the official HHS numbers still include duplicate enrollments." No one knows how many duplicate enrollments are in the stack; the White House refuses to say. However, given the disastrous Obamacare website failures, it is reasonable to imagine that the pile is riddled with numerous "false start" applications.
That leaves the most important question: How many people are gaining insurance who were previously uninsured? After all, that was the stated reason for Obamacare in the first place. McKinsey & Co. says that only 27% of those who have picked a plan through Obamacare were previously uninsured.
Moreover, McKinsey says these individuals have an unusually high rate of failing to pay their first month's premium. "Only 53 percent of them had paid their first premium, compared with 86 percent of the previously insured," reports CNBC.
Even conceding the White House its alleged six million enrollment figure (which, again, includes duplicates and incomplete applications), that would mean that just 810,000 of paying Obamacare customers were previously uninsured, a figure that represents 1.7% of America's 48.6 million uninsured people.
Indeed, most of those the White House counts as Obamacare enrollees are among the five million who had their health insurance plans canceled due to Obamacare."

Coasterfan...big dog....aj....failure.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

In the interest of fairness while I won't deny that the ACA has failed to do even as intended when it comes to numbers, the 45 million number is false and an extreme stretch of match and circumstance to come up with that number. The rest of the article seems par for the course.

Darwin's choice

Maybe that number includes those 20 million +- illegal democrat voters...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Yes, it included illegal aliens, those who could presumably afford (households over $50k/yr.) insurance but didn't buy it, those who didn't have it by choice or lack of money, and those who during the blip in time that number was pulled from the ether were between jobs so didn't have it but since got it. In order to help pass the law without having to read it, a big number was needed to create an emergency. If you recall "people were dying in the streets from lack of insurance".

Is there a doctor in these forums that can tell me if that is a legitimate cause of death that goes on a death certificate?

Anyway, yes, the 45 million number was artifically bloated for convenience. The real number if you cut away the fluff was around nine million I believe. A much smaller portion of the population which could have been taken care of by specific measures. But that doesn't do much to instill a power grab over the entire population so...

TADAAAA! The ACA, aka, "The Aristocrats!"