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”


Darwin's choice

"I'll trample the Constitution as much as I'd like", and he's proven it!


This failure should be impeached.....


Are you a teabagging teabagger of tricorn tea bag persuasion?
just a wild guess....

Darwin's choice

Just FYI, that's not holy water you're drinking from the white porcelin fixture in the bathroom...but keep lapping it up!


Beats being someone who is destroying the very foundation this country was built on. It's like spitting on the founding documents while you flip off the founding fathers saying "I will do as I please to heck with your government and what it stands for MY agends is more important". But then again he is doing exactly what he promised he would do.


Oh, not really. The law was enacted after a vote by Congress. Check.
Republicans fought its enactment, but a conservative Supreme Court upheld the law. Check. Sounds legal to me.

Note: not liking what a President does is not grounds for impeachment.


Failure to protect and defend the U S Constitution IS grounds for IMPEACHMENT!

The Big Dog's back

Please feel free to point out where he didn't protect and defend the Constitution.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Funny how Dred Scott v. Sanford would pass your legal muster, too. Good to know!

the office cat

DARWIN... ya wanna credit that quote?
Oh no, you don't. I forgot.

Darwin's choice

Here you go....

care to dispute these, crat?


the office cat

Portman... the guy who was anti-gay everything... then his son said "Dad I'm gay". CHANGE.
When Portman gets voted out and doesn't have all that government health care benefit he now enjoys - including his son - what can we expect CHANGE.


I agree that Portman's hypocrisy was pretty blatant where homosexuality is concerned. After all, if you present something as an absolute black/white issue of morality, then that absolute doesn't just suddenly flip 180 degrees -- YOU do!

At the same time, I have sympathy for Senator Portman. He's not the first man to realize he was wrong in the first place when confronted with choosing between his "absolutes" and someone he loves! In truth, there are few better ways to educate or to soften hard stances than being forced to see reality over rumor, prejudice, or stereotype. At least Senator Portman has been public about his change of heart and hasn't hidden behind politics merely for the sake of a vote or two!

As for Senator Portman's health insurance coverage, I'm not being cavalier when I say it doesn't really matter whether he's voted out of office or not. He can afford to pay premiums, whether they're paid under Obamacare mandates or not. While he DOES still hold office, though, anything he can do to see that the REST of us can also afford them (which means getting rid of Obamacare and it's many, MANY requirements) is much appreciated by those of us who AREN'T either in Congress or rich!


“blah, blah, blah…choosing between his "absolutes" and someone he loves!”

Nope, he’s definitely not the first or the last hypocrite to choose your moral relativism when convictions are tested. It’s definitely not the first time a moral relativist has been out of sync with transcendent moral law.

Matthew 10:34-35 Luke 12: 51-53 This prophecy will continue to be fulfilled until all unite in obeying His commandments.

An obedient Christian will love and obey God above everything and everyone, even family members.

Peninsula Pundit

More to the point: Matt 10: 37-39.




Oh, for heaven's sake, thinkagain: Let. It. GO! We all get that you think homosexuality is evil and those who engage in such are going to go to he11. We know that that's what you truly believe, and your consistency shows you're not likely to be accused of hypocrisy any time soon, at least not on that issue.

I clearly acknowledged Portman's hypocrisy. I also pointed out that he changed his mind when confronted with "absolutes" vs. somebody he loves. Note that the word "absolutes" is in quotation marks yet again. That's because it turns out Portman's absolutes WEREN'T. I neither excuse nor condemn that change of heart because I understand how it happens. You'll note I also didn't say his change of heart was good or bad; that's not up to me to determine!

If you would disown your own child should he or she turn out to be gay, then yes, you're STILL not a hypocrite. Goodie for you. The fact that you're something a whole lot worse doesn't enter in to this conversation, apparently.

Now go read your Bible or something so you can continue to be a kind, loving, forgiving Christian, shall you?


Is it that monthly thing or was it my agreeing with you that brought about your irrational outburst?


+10 SamAdams!!!!


Of course you have sympathy for Portman simply because he's a Republican. Had it been a democrat ... oh never mind. Democrats don't change their position on equality for all American's because we're family.


Yeah like Harry Reid funneling money to his family Illegally.


I feel sympathy for ANY parent who has to deal with a dilemma like that one. For some, it's a very difficult mindset to overcome and I give each and every one of them due credit for loving their children more than they love being "right."

Ever watched a gay "child" come out only to be disowned? It's NOT pretty, and I wouldn't wish that on ANY family, no matter their religious or political persuasions!


“…more than they love being "right.”

You really are a condescending judgmental person today aren’t you?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Sam: It isn't pretty, and I can attest to that given the community I serve. It's interesting that our own President's recent flip isn't called out as Sen. Portman's. Both swapped positions were very conveniently timed, but if one is to believe that this is how the President feels from here on out so, too, we should give the Senator the benefit of the doubt.

I appreciate much of what you say, not just because it is generally "conservative" (perhaps libertarian is a better word?) but because you have a stereotype held against you that you refuse to recognize. That stereotype being that you focus more on what's between your ears as a woman than your legs. For some strange reason the points you argue tend to fall on the side of empowerment through liberty and independence than empowerment through being described as nothing more than a consumer of birth control.

Not being a woman myself, I can only presume you enjoy the identity of the former and not the latter? You have your own unique battles of wit to fight here and I have learned from watching you practice your art of war.

Meow: "Democrats don't change their position on equality for all American's because we're family."

Careful, that's bordering on the Democrat Master Race once again condemning any who are not of their perfect, single-minded breed. As wonderful as it is to believe that a certain group you belong to (for others it is their church, another political party, or some other kind of social club or terrorist cell) is as pure as the wind-driven snow with no faults whatsoever, I think you will find that the Democrats suffer just as much corruption and hypocrisy because they are still human beings.

Just ask the people of Detroit or Cuyahoga County. Or perhaps we can look to San Francisco and the Democratic State Senator who was going to sell weapons from a Muslim splinter group in the Philippines to an undercover FBI agent after spending his campaign advocating against such things. Or how about Charlotte's Democratic mayor being charged with bribery?


As was pointed out, too, Senator Reid is hardly a golden-winged messenger from God either.

Feel free to point out any Republican corruption either recent or historical. It will do well to continue to frame my point. Herein lies the problem: you or anyone else being a Democrat [[[isn't relevant to anyone else]]] (as I am sure you've seen a parallel to the replies thinkagain gets when he posts about his views of Christianity). Project your standards inward to the party for which you obviously carry both sentiment and the donkey-emblazoned flag on the front lines.

The very ideals you hold to your chosen group are being abused and besmirched in front of your very eyes! Are you going to tolerate that?! I enjoy your passion, but I think you would do more to benefit your party by helping clean it out from the inside or actually acting as an ambassador and convincing people why they should join your family.

If you are a family, I suggest you have an intervention. Uncle Democrat is getting drunk again at Thanksgiving and is calling the kids mistakes while striking out at grandma. Kindly take care of him.

As for me? I don't have time nor interest to suffer through the hot wind a political party that is completely irrelevant to and holds no power over me continues to generate in order to not even attempt to convert me to their ranks. There's a freaking nation out there that needs salvaged from the effects of our current and last presidents/Congresses.

There you go. I just gave you the keys to the kingdom, Meow. No strings attached, no fine print. There is no secret to reaching out and actually touching the hearts and minds of others, especially those who you want to be a part of your flock. If you or another Democrat could actually make compelling reasons to join your party, myself and others would listen and bring others with us including our intellectual power and money.

But as of now, who in these forums with an obvious Democratic affiliation has even attempted to do that?

The Big Dog's back

There's no chance a right wingnut would switch parties. One party (DEMOCRATS) base history on facts, the other (Repubs) base history on opinion.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Giving up without even trying? I am disappointed. If what you say is true then you'd think people would see that plain as the blue sky and flock to the Democrats. What's a shame is that on many occasions I have offered here, to the Erie County leader, and even in the President's own reelection office to open up as to WHY I should be a Democrat and none could provide a reason. Here I am all but throwing myself at the Democrat doorstep and... This is what I get.

You may not agree with thinkagain but I know for a fact he could supply not just many reasons to join his sect, but back them up with why those reasons exist.

The Big Dog's back

Cut it out sappy.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Cut what out?


"credit for loving their children more than they love being "right."

Interesting way of putting it, Sam. I never would have expected you to subscribe to the school of parenting that says to love one's child means to approve and affirm everything that child does and do whatever it takes to give them everything you think they might want.

It's important to understand just what Portman's switch really meant. Nothing about his former position required that he disown his son. He opposed state sanction of something he thought his son would want badly to do (he never stated that his son had plans to wed.) It's like a politician changing his position on legalization of pot, not because his kid is currently a stoner, but merely because the kid likes to listen to psychadelic rock, and he thinks that means the kid will want to try getting high in the future.

Portman's real failure was to adopt his former position without the conviction to tell someone he cared about that he believed something that might make them feel bad.

My father never exceeds the speed limit. That doesn't mean that when I get a speeding ticket he has a dichotomous choice between disowning me and campaigning to abolish the traffic laws.

the office cat

PROOF THE AHCA is working.... All the Republicans calling it a failure. or illegal. or unconstitutional. or...



Actually, one of the latest people to call Obama's actions unconstitutional is somebody who actually FAVORS Obamacare and who is an Obama supporter (a professor of Constitutional Law at an Ivy League university).

Whether you like Obamacare or not, the many amendments made to the law by the White House are, indeed, unconstitutional. But like Democrat Senators cried about Republicans threatening the nuclear option, and who then enacted it themselves, this situation will also turn someday. And when it does, I expect you to be JUST as shrill about your advocacy of unconstitutional executive actions when, with the advantage of the many Obama precedents, a Republican president uses naught but his phone and a pen to craft law!