Obamacare

Is Another Politically Motivated Delay of Obamacare On the Way?

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Whitehouse.gov

Remember, Obamacare is the law of the land. And there's absolutely no messing with it. Unless you are the Obama administration, and it's an election year.

In The Hill, Elise Viebeck reports  on the latest delay anticipated for the health care legislation: 

The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.

As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare's minimum coverage requirements.

The explanation for the rumored delay is purely political. There's not even a pretense of a policy justification:

Prolonging the "keep your plan" fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.

The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.

The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.

Is there a sound legal basis for such a delay? If so, we've yet to hear about it. 

This would be the second tweak to the health law in less than a week. Last Friday, presumably after noticing that many of the state-run health insurance portals created under the law aren't working so well, the administration announced that in states with clunky exchanges, individuals who enroll in health coverage outside those exchanges would still be eligible for the law's tax credits. 

That fix is also fairly clearly aimed at helping Democratic allies in governor's offices. From an AP report:

Although the new policy fix is available to any state, Republican governors basically defaulted to federal control of online sign-ups in their states. Those who stand to benefit the most are Democratic governors who plunged ahead and ran into problems. Some are facing sharp criticism at home, from both sides of the political aisle.

This tweak is also of dubious legality — by which I mean, the plain text of the law flatly prohibits it. Section 1401 of the text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says that the law's subsidies shall be available "through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311" of the law. The administration has already reinterpreted this section once, changing it to mean an exchange established by a state or the federal government. It is now intent on entirely ignoring the requirement that the subsidies be offered through an exchange. 

Both of these administrative edits follow the further delay of the law's employer mandate requirements that the administration announced in February. (For the record, that change was also illegal.)

None of this was supposed to happen! At the end of December, as Obamacare's coverage provisions were about to kick in, Kathleen Sebelius said that despite the rocky launch, things were working smoothly with the law, and she did not any anticipate any additional delays. As is always the case with Obamacare, everything's working fine, until it isn't. 

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  1. So every single provision is getting delayed… except the individual penaltax. I would ask why, but I know. FYTW.

    1. You’d think an arbitrarily enforced law couldn’t possible survive challenge by those who are hurt by the law (e.g., those forced to pay the penalty), but in these days of arbitrary power, who knows?

      1. No one’s actually been hurt by Obamacare so no one has standing to sue.

        1. I’m curious to know who hasn’t been detrimentally affected.

          Seriously, there’s no question of standing once an individual is required to pay the penalty. I have no doubt some serious litigation is being planned for just that moment.

        2. Are you fucking kidding me!!! I have been fucked over in the ass by the new policy
          tell me how i wasnt
          Prior to Dem-care
          i had to pay 113$ a week with a 20$ copay
          period.
          Post Dem-care
          I still pay 113 a week but now i have a 2600$ deductible i have to meet before insurance covers me
          My old plan now costs 315$ a week my take home, after the fedralist thieves are done poking their grubby fingers at it, is appx 500$
          so My family can try and survive on less discretionary spending than we already barely survive on or we can have virtually no coverage available unless we have a catastrophic emergency
          which before Dem-Care would have cost 20$ now it will cost 2600$
          so tell me again about how i wasnt fucked over, or how all my co-workers werent fucked in the ass

          1. Fist of Etiquette is in permanent sarcasm mode.

            1. Fist of Etiquette is in permanent sarcasm mode.

              They told me there was a switch somewhere on my body, but I’ve tugged at pretty much everything and so far no change.

              1. You keep tugging that one part. That’s for orgasm not sarcasm.

          2. Yes, my costs have gone up, my deductibles have doubles, and we’re getting all sorts of things denied that used to be covered. And I’m miles from being someone who is supposed to be affected by this law.

          3. The Democrats determined that your pay check and bank account were obese.

          4. But But But think of all the uninsured who are now insured because of your small sacrifice. More important, think of how holy and smug the Chosen One feels about raping your white, privileged ass!

      2. You’re looking for the wrong plaintiff. Its not someone who has been forced to pay a penalty.

        Its someone who would have benefitted if the law wasn’t postponed or waived for their employer or plan.

        1. What I was thinking was that the fact that the law is being arbitrarily enforced would bring into question the enforceability of the individual mandate.

          1. We need a Libertarian Legal Fund to bring these types of issues to court.

            1. Uh….Institute for Justice?

    2. Because, fuck you, that’s why.

  2. A law so good that it has to be hidden as much as possible to avoid a total electoral meltdown. Because, you know, repealing a bad law is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    In any case, it’s not going to work. The law is truly despised, and delaying a mandate only extends the losing streak the Democrats are embarking on. The only saving grace for them is that the GOP will likely do stupid, offensive things while in power, too.

    1. Yeah, so maybe they can squeak by this year with a delay. Do they really think the reckoning won’t simply be delayed until 2016? I guess they have to think only about this year and hope they can do enough before November 2016 to salvage this, but does anyone in the administration actually believe that is possible? Is anyone there delusional enough to think this law can be turned into an election winner?

      1. What I think is dumb and short-sighted is that all this could possibly do is maybe slightly mitigate the number of seats they’re going to lose. But they’re almost certainly losing the Senate and may even see significant GOP majorities in both houses, regardless of these shenanigans.

        The dumb part is that if the GOP can’t repeal the law (which would require veto-proof majorities or Democrats jumping ship on the law, which would be very possible if the GOP wins 2014 in a landslide), then the pain will continue, and the president and his party will be squarely and solely blamed for it.

        If I were a Democrat, I’d push hard to amend the law and try to make lemonade from lemons. This is a political disaster that could really discredit everything they stand for in terms of domestic policy (along with the other disasters they’ve engaged in).

        1. If I were a Democrat, I’d push hard to amend the law and try to make lemonade from lemons.

          At this point I’m not sure that they see it that way, though. Ds know that the majority of media outlets will run cover for them on this until doomsday. I think that is part of where the obsession with “messaging” is coming from. Noble lies are their basic tactic and I doubt that they can escape their habitual behavior enough to acknowledge that they are sowing the seeds of destruction. The other part of being a proggie is the utter faith with which on believes that they are the “good guys” fighting the evil forces of the universe. Their identity is wrapped up in being able to say “see what we did” without having to look too closely at what it’s actually doing.

          1. The trouble is that I don’t think a majority of the country, even including some Democrats, are quite that psychotic. Reality hurts.

            1. Which is why the focus of their efforts will probably be turned towards shielding 51% of voters from that reality and fuck whoever gets in the way of it.

              1. Who knows? I’ve underestimated the stupidity of the voting public before, but the president and his party seem dedicated to alienating as many people as possible right now.

          2. Ds know that the majority of media outlets will run cover for them on this until doomsday

            I think once Obama is in the last months of his reign the MSM will start to be a bit more skeptical since there will be no more calls of: “RACIST!!” to worry about.

      2. Two words: Legitimate. Rape.

      3. But if they win 2016, then this will get shoved up the ass of whichever Dem sits on it.

        If they lose in 2016, then they’re hoping to use it for leverage to retake Congress in 2018.

        But as long the DNC electorate are sniveling little bitch pussies shitting their diapers, the strategy will work.

    2. The only saving grace for them is that the GOP will likely do stupid, offensive things while in power, too.

      That’s the Dems’ entire strategy. They only have to wait long enough for the Stupider Party to be, stupid.

      I can’t say that I would argue with them on that.

      1. No, but they’ll lose Congress and the White House in the near term playing that game.

        One thing that may help our cause is that the swings back and forth are happening much more frequently. This is good, because people have less time to forget how bad the opposition party was while in power.

  3. I’m beginning to wonder if there are any ways which Obamacare could possibly be going worse. When you sign up a box of black widow spiders is delivered to your door? That’s about the only way.

    1. Brown recluse – worse.

      1. The approval letter is laces with Anthrax

    2. The Left would just blame it on the Evil Insurance companies and demand more regulation to “fix” the situation.

      Seriously, look at the example of Obamacare forcing insurance companies to end their previous “subpar” policies. Then the Left blamed the insurance companies for forcing people off their existing plans.

  4. Is Another Politically Motivated Delay of Obamacare On the Way?

    Does Sandra Fluke like to get banged at tax payer expense? Is the Pope a communist? Is Elizabeth Warren a non-sensical populist? I could go on…

    1. This is probably a lost cause, but…

      What is your definition of communism and how does the Pope meet that definition?

      1. An array of systems that utilizes politically enforced central planning to obliterate property rights in the name of ‘economic justice’ or ‘social justice’. It generally includes an ignorant disdain for the wealth produced by markets. Have you ever heard the Pope speak?

        Am I going to hear a screed about how he isn’t a communist because he doesn’t wear a hammer and sickle lapel pin? Like how Obama isn’t a socialist because he doesn’t come out and say “I am a socialist.”

        1. There are different varieties of “statism.” Given Rerum Novarum’s strong denunciations of socialism and Pope Francis’ remark that business can be an honorable calling, I hardly think that his views, nonlibertarian as they may be, could be considered as the *obliteration* of property rights.

          Communism is the Godwin of the right.

          1. also the Godwin of libertarians.

            1. Karl Marx himself noted the positives of a capitalist economy. It doesn’t negate the injustice of what he proposes to impose on others and makes him no less a communist.

              The difference between the Pope’s economic advocacy and the what Marx advocated is a difference of degree, not of kind.

              1. “Economic inequality blah blah blah, redistribute the wealth blah blah blah wealth and profit blah blah blah immoral. But business is a noble thing as long as the businessman acknowledges the justices in political distributionism. See I’m not a communist.”

                Will the Pope have to execute some Kulaks before he qualifies? What is the communist litmus test?

                1. To be a communist, Pope Francis would have to renounce Rerum Novarum with its denunciation of socialism. Is there any evidence the Pope has done this? The burden rests on anyone who claims a Pope is violating the teachings he inherited from his predecessors, including Bl. John Paul II, whom he is about to canonize and who endorsed Rerum Novarum.

                  And here is some Rerum Novarum’s comments on socialism:

                  ” it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. This being established, we proceed to show where the remedy sought for must be found.”

                  http://www.vatican.va/holy_fat…..um_en.html

                  1. True communism is materialist and atheistic. No believing Christian should ever be a communist.

                    All the Pope is doing is encouraging people not to value money and be generous. That is his job. I don’t worry too much about these sorts of pronouncements. I really don’t think the Pope should be out telling people greed is good. It is like when the Pope condemns a war. I am okay with that even if I think the war in question was just. The Pope’s job is to defend the ideal. And you can’t do that and endorse a war or selfish behavior. It is those of us sinners who live in the real world who have to figure out when to disregard the ideal.

                    1. True communism is materialist and atheistic. No believing Christian should ever be a communist.

                      Marxist communists maybe. Not all schools of communist thought are atheist, nor is status as a communist predicated upon one’s atheism.

                      All the Pope is doing is encouraging people not to value money and be generous. That is his job.

                      First, that’s not his job. His job is to increase the amount of superstition and ignorance in the world. He’s doing a bang-up job at that.

                      Second, he isn’t telling me to be more generous. He is telling me to bend over and enjoy being pillaged by political institutions because of some perverted notion of fairness and generosity. Charity at the point of a gun isn’t charity. But it’s the Pope’s job to make the case that it is apparently.

                      It is like when the Pope condemns a war. I am okay with that even if I think the war in question was just.

                      So you know all about morality AND logical consistency, I see.

                    2. Yeah,

                      I get it free society, you hate theists. Good for you. All I can tell you is that it is one thing to be atheist. It is quite another to be atheist and have no understanding of difficult the questions of ethics, metaphysics, and overall meaning are. Being an atheist means you have made one conclusion. Being the latter means you think anyone who hasn’t come to your conclusion must just be an idiot and superstitious. And that means you are a moron, whether you are an atheist or theist or whatever.

                      You appear to be the latter.

                    3. I get it free society, you hate theists. Good for you.

                      I never said I hated theists. I pretty much just said they’re wrong. But what is clear, is that you love theism and I’m sure this in no way inhibits your reasoning. Good for you.

                      It is quite another to be atheist and have no understanding of difficult the questions of ethics, metaphysics, and overall meaning are. Being an atheist means you have made one conclusion.

                      This is you assuming a whole lot while showing that you don’t even know what the word ‘atheism’ means. I didn’t make any conclusion, I profess a non-belief in this magical unprovable, unempirical concept that you claim to be true. Atheism= non-belief.

                      Being the latter means you think anyone who hasn’t come to your conclusion must just be an idiot and superstitious. And that means you are a moron, whether you are an atheist or theist or whatever.

                      Well done with all the ad Hominem you employ in your argument. It really states the value of your case beautifully.

                      Belief in god(s) is superstition by any reasonable definition. The argument that it isn’t superstition, is as valid as the claim that Santa Clause created the universe in seven days.

                    4. I won’t sugarcoat it – Pope Francis’ remarks reject libertarianism. It goes beyond a spiritual warning not to overvalue money. He wants governments to rein in what he considers the excesses of the free market.

                      My point is that a lot of non-communists believe in this sort of thing. If you’re going to bifurcate the world into libertarians on the one hand and communists on the other, you’re going to discover that there’s a *lot* of Communists.

                    5. He wants governments to rein in what he considers the excesses of the free market.

                      Yes, this Pope endorses and advocates coercion in the form of extortion, theft, kidnapping and murder. Either that, or people wearing special costumes are exempt from god’s absolute moral proscriptions.

                      My point is that a lot of non-communists believe in this sort of thing.

                      Difference of degree, not of kind. They accept the same premises as true, but exonerate themselves of the requirement to be logically consistent since it’s pretty clear that full-frontal communism is hell on earth.

                      If you’re going to bifurcate the world into libertarians on the one hand and communists on the other, you’re going to discover that there’s a *lot* of Communists.

                      I never claimed that everyone in the world falls into these two categories. What I did say, is that this particular person, this pope, is a communist. I didn’t say Marxist or Leninist or whatever.

                      As for people, I will say that the vast majority of people do hold immoral beliefs because of the pervasiveness of the false morality in the world. “Pay your taxes or you are a bad person” et cetera.

                      But that’s another topic altogether…

                    6. “I never claimed that everyone in the world falls into these two categories. What I did say, is that this particular person, this pope, is a communist.”

                      Then he would have to reject Rerum Novarum. Do you think he’s done this?

                      “I didn’t say Marxist or Leninist or whatever.”

                      Neither did I.

                  2. Pope Francis would have to renounce Rerum Novarum with its denunciation of socialism. Is there any evidence the Pope has done this?

                    So he’s not a communist because some dead pope didn’t like socialism over 100 years ago?

                    The burden rests on anyone who claims a Pope is violating the teachings he inherited from his predecessors, including Bl. John Paul II, whom he is about to canonize and who endorsed Rerum Novarum.

                    So he’s not a communist because he endorses a predecessor Pope who is wasn’t a communist?

                    I suppose then this pope is supportive of whichever church endorsed genocides that took place and predecessors never apologized for. By your standard, this pope is guilty of all sorts of crimes going back to St Peter simply because he didn’t personally repudiate them.

                    1. dare I ask which genocides you’re referring to?

                    2. dare I ask which genocides you’re referring to?

                      Where should I start, in the Old Testament genocides endorsed by god and his vicar, or perhaps with more recent instances like the Hundred Years War, Spanish Inquisition, or the various pogroms of Jews throughout Catholic lands? Even if we exclude the atrocities that the Pope’s have granted themselves forgiveness for, do you really think the Catholic church has atoned for every single atrocity historically committed by it? Well by your earlier logic, all that which remains unrepudiated, stands as legitimate in the eyes of your god and his pontiffs.

                    3. The 100 years war was a war, not a genocide.

                      The Inquisition was bad not not genocidal.

                      The Popes didn’t endorse the pogroms, and when there were pogroms by those who blamed the Jews for the Black death, the Pope declared that “those who blamed the plague on the Jews had been “seduced by that liar, the Devil” and urging clergy to protect the Jews.”

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B….._responses

                    4. Rerum Novarum. Isn’t that the one where the Pope recommended young boys?

                    5. Very clever!

                    6. Then he would have to reject Rerum Novarum. Do you think he’s done this?

                      Why would he have to reject some old papal bull to personally be a communist? Because you say so? Or because of church rules regulate the pope’s personally held beliefs? And again by the logic you use here, since the Pope didn’t repudiate the Papacy’s historical involvement in the Hundred Years War (or insert your favorite religious atrocity), the Pope supports that genocide. Right?

                    7. The 100 years war was a war, not a genocide.

                      You mean entire families were not exterminated on the basis of nationality, ethnicity or religious affiliation? There were mercenaries roaming Germany and the Low Countries exterminating people for more than a generation. If you knew anything about the Hundred Years War, you’d know it was one of the most brutally murderous conflicts in European history.

                      The Hundred Years War could not be described as genocide you say? What a sick fucking joke you’re telling.

                      The Inquisition was bad not not genocidal.

                      So you obviously don’t know what a genocide is.

                      gen?o?cide (noun)
                      “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.”

                      I don’t think the Muslim, Jewish and other minorities would agree that they weren’t selectively murdered and tortured in the Spanish inquisition.

                      So the guy who happened to be pope during the black death was relatively pro-Jew, so what? That disproves the litany of crimes committed against religious minorities by the papacy in a span of time over one thousand years? Your apologetics are worse than weak, they’re disingenuous.

                      You never explained how the Pope is beholden to an edict from 1891 because he didn’t explicitly repudiate it, but he isn’t beholden to historical crimes of the church that were not explicitly repudiated.

          2. …Pope Francis’ remark that business can be an honorable calling, I hardly think that his views, nonlibertarian as they may be, could be considered as the *obliteration* of property rights.

            Well certainly not the Church’s property rights anyway.

            1. Funny!

    2. She doesn’t want the public to pay for the banging….just the birth control. The guy banging her can pay for the sleazy motel room.
      Still, I’ve gotta admit I’m not sure I wouldn’t mind paying for her sterilization out of my own pocket.

  5. They’re just obsessed with providing the absolute bestest user experience possible.

    They’re making our lives better.

    You Tea Party Republicans just want to see a noble man brought down.

  6. Does Sandra Fluke like to get banged at tax payer expense?

    I feel like I’m getting banged at taxpayer expense, and I do not find the experience in any way enjoyable.

    1. Just relax and let your Washington overlords quantitatively ease themselves inside of you.

      1. Just the tip, just for a minute.

        1. you know, to see how it feels

          after all “you have to pass it to find out whats in it”

    2. Plus you’re the taxpayer, so it’s like a DP.

  7. Elise Viebeck puts the lie to “Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. She is smokin’ hot.

    1. Which one is she? The blond in the short sweater dress is very hot. The taller brunette is thin and has a nice body but is kind of funny looking.

      1. The brunette is Amie Parnes, who also works for The Hill and wrote the “HRC” book about Hillary Clinton that just came out.

        [She was also the first girl I ever had a crush on, when I was in first grade. Ah, memories]

        1. Is the HRC book a hagiography or is it truthful?

          And is Amie nice or a bitch?

          1. Haven’t really talked to her at all (except on Facebook) since High School, but she’s a very nice person.

            I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on that. Google, you’ll find reviews I’m sure.

            1. More pics of the lovely The Hill reporters.

              1. Andrew’s childhood crush has a hell of a body. And in some of the other pics, she looks prettier. Definitely pretty enough when you look at the rest of her.

                1. I was impressed with her…assets.

                  1. Also, TIWTANLW.

    2. You, personally, are the reason there are no libertarian women.

      1. Whatever, SIV has my favorite blog of anyone here. Including myself.

        1. Dammit nicole, I’m trying to liberate you. A little gratitude wouldn’t be uncalled for.

          1. She’s clearly suffering from Patriarchy Stockholm Syndrome.

          2. As long as you don’t want to liberate me from elaborate underwear.

            1. Nicole just realizes the magic power she has over men. She likes being around men who understand and appreciate this power.

          3. You’re not mansplaining it well enough.

      2. I don’t think the posting of hot women is as bad as the “oh god, look at this cow” pics (which aren’t too often). I guess the equivalent for a guy would be going on a thread of mostly women commenters who are posting pictures of homeless men and making fun of how poor and pathetic they are.

        1. I agree lap83. I don’t think it is right to slam on someone’s looks. I am guilty of that too sometimes. But I shouldn’t do it.

  8. …”Is there a sound legal basis for such a delay? If so, we’ve yet to hear about it.”

    You hazard to question Obo I? Begone with you!

    1. Just more proof of how racist libertarians are.

  9. “Is there a sound legal basis for such a delay?”

    I don’t know what the legal basis is, but…

    Implementing the law is going to hurt an awful lot of people. I know people who have been hurt by ObamaCare already. I don’t want to see more people get hurt just so we can demonstrate the obvious to the foolish among us. That’s like watching a baby play with a loaded gun.

    The whole point of being able to predict the consequences of our foolish actions is so we can avoid the consequences of acting foolishly. If we have to wait until after people are suffering the consequences of foolishness before our case becomes persuasive, then we’ve failed miserably as libertarians.

    Can you imagine applying the same thinking to other issues? Gee, I hope the economy implodes because of overspending! Gee, I hope America turns into a police state because we ignored the Second and Fourth Amendments! Then people will really know we were right!

    I don’t want to see anybody suffer from Obama’s pointless stupidity. I don’t know what the legal basis is for delaying the mandate, but the moral case is clear. We should try to avoid pointless suffering.

    1. Ken, you are making an argument for Congress to act. Not an argument for the executive to act.

      Unless you think the President has unlimited authority to do what he deems to be “moral”. I doubt you want to start down that path.

      If Congress’s refusal to act causes Bad Things, well, how convenient that we have an election coming up, no?

      1. I don’t think we should criticize the president for preventing suffering by way of delaying his own stupid legislation.

        I think we should use this as an opportunity to emphasize how stupid his legislation is and how badly it needs to be reformed.

        If Obama can’t even bring himself to implement his own legislation on compassionate grounds, then everybody to the right of Jon Stewart should be able to see how badly it needs to be reformed.

        1. I don’t think we should criticize the president for preventing suffering by way of delaying his own stupid legislation.

          I think that the rule of law and our system of government that says a law, once passed, cannot be unilaterally suspended by the executive is a hell of a lot more important than preventing the harm from this bill.

          This bill is horrible and is causing unbelievable harm. But that harm can be fixed. Our system of government, once broken, can’t be.

        2. Ken, any unconstitutional action, especially a massive power grab, should be criticized. Period. Full stop. No exceptions.

          You seem totally unconcerned by violations of separation of powers, rule of law, etc. Completely result-oriented: “As long as I like the result, I don’t care if its legal or Constitutional”.

          C’mon, man. You should know where that ends.

          1. “You seem totally unconcerned by violations of separation of powers, rule of law, etc.’

            Of course I care about those things; it’s a question of emphasis.

            Plus, I really don’t want to see people get hurt! There are people I know and care about who really are going to be hurt by this.

            And there’s also the efficacy of our arguments think about. We can use this as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of respecting the Constitution (an argument that probably doesn’t carry a lot of weight with swing voters), or we can use this as an opportunity to emphasize why ObamaCare needs to be reformed.

            The argument, let’s hurt as many Americans as possible until they finally relent strikes me as…seriously off. I expect people to be physically harmed when this is implemented.

            1. Of course I care about those things; it’s a question of emphasis.

              Sorry, but the result is the same. No “emphasis” on “results I like” should ever trump “Constitutional, rule of law.”

              1. Less emphasis on arguments that aren’t likely to score points with swing voters in swing states, and more emphasis on arguments that are likely score a lot of points with swing voters in swing states.

                I’m not playing for Monopoly money, here. I want to actually live in a more libertarian world.

                Meanwhile, my constitutional principles are still the same. I’m just picking my battles. We have plenty of other issues, where I’m one of the lonely few arguing that our Constitutional rights are the same regardless of whether the results of them are good or bad. My rights don’t exist for other people’s benefit!

                On the other issues, it’s everyone else arguing that marijuana legalization will bring good consequences and that gun ownership leads to a safer society. I’m the one that thinks those things are just icing on the cake.

                1. I want to actually live in a more libertarian world.

                  You are basically saying you want to circumvent the Constitution in order to save it.

                  1. I don’t want to circumvent the Constitution at all. Where are you people getting this?

                    I’m against Obama violating the Constitution. But Obama cares even less about what I think than he cares about the Constitution!

                    There’s no meeting in the Oval Office about whether not to violate the Constitution because it might upset the libertarians at Hit & Run.

                    Given the fact that Obama has already violated the Constitution in this same way–and suffered no political consequences for doing so, rather actually ended up enjoying a better more pro-Obama political environment specifically because he delayed the mandate?

                    Given that, I think it’s highly likely that Obama will delay again. Given the fact that he doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution, why wouldn’t he violate it again in the same way again? Everything came up roses!

                    Given that world–the way it is–how should we connect with swing voters in swing states?

                    1. What’s the better way for ObamaCare opponents to present themselves to swing voters in the upcoming election (and the next presidential election)?

                      1) ObamaCare is going to be devastating to average Americans’ healthcare–and harmful to the economy! So, Obama should have implemented it as written–and hurt all those people–because that’s what the Constitution compels him to do.

                      OR

                      2) ObamaCare is going to be devastating to average Americans’ healthcare–and harmful to the economy! Obama’s delay in implementing it is a clear testament to that fact–and to the fact that ObamaCare needs to be reformed to protect millions of Americans from pointless suffering.

                2. If Ken is going at this on a purely pragmatic basis, essentially writing off the Constitution as a dead letter and saying we need to recognize that we don’t live in a Constitutional republic anymore, but in a populist crypto-authoritarian democracy . . . .

                  Well, he’s got a point.

                  1. “If Ken is going at this on a purely pragmatic basis, essentially writing off the Constitution as a dead letter”

                    I’m not doing any such thing.

                    I’m simply talking about marketing!

                    If we’re going to market ourselves to people who don’t find libertarianism appealing now, then what’s the best way to do that?

                    I don’t think some of you understand that the way to a more libertarian, anti-progressive world is not to make the same number of libertarians we have now even more libertarian.

                    We’re going to have to appeal to people who are NOT libertarians now.

                    For those of you who are unaware, the leaders we have, president, control of Congress, etc., who those leaders are is determined by swing voters in swing states. And if they were already so concerned about the Constitution, then Obama wouldn’t have been reelected.

                    We don’t have to change our principles one iota, but to reach customers, you have to communicate with them in ways they find appealing.

                    There are lots of different ways to make our case. The marketing that swing voters in swing states find appealing probably isn’t the same marketing that people who are already libertarians find appealing. Otherwise, they all already be libertarians!

                    We gotta meet these swing voters in swing states where they are. And if where they are is that they find the pointless suffering of ObamaCare victims more compelling than constitutional arguments, then I think we should emphasize marketing that THEY find appealing more.

            2. The only pain they’re seeking to avoid is their own. They don’t care about the pain this law causes the people as long as it’s after the election.

              You are way off base on this one Ken.

              1. “They don’t care about the pain this law causes the people as long as it’s after the election.”

                But I care. And I’m talking about what we should do. What we should say. Not them!

                Once you’ve made the argument that the Vietnam War is unconstitutional, do you just stop there? If you want to stop the war, and the constitutional argument’s already registered and the war is still going anyway, then maybe you start talking about other reasons to oppose the war.

                Maybe you start talking about the costs and benefits. Maybe you start talking about all the unnecessary suffering–if that’s what scores points with swing voters. If you just like talking about the constitution, just to hear yourself talk, then you probably shouldn’t talk about all the costs and suffering–and the war will probably rage on.

                On the other hand, if you want to actually stop the war,…

                I’m trying to actually get rid of ObamaCare–like for reals.

        3. “If Obama can’t even bring himself to implement his own legislation on compassionate grounds….,”

          Ken surly you do not think the CnC once again delayed implementation of the ACA due to his compassion for those it hurts ?

          His only compassion seems to be for Democrats running for office in the mid terms.

          1. I think you’re right that he’s more concerned about political implications of hurting people; regardless, we’re still talking about him admitting by his actions that implementing ACA as written would hurt a lot of Americans.

            1. It’s a cookbook!

    2. Well, the mandate isn’t actually being delayed, so there’s that.

    3. What RC said. The executive cannot just decide not to enforce provisions of the law because it doesn’t like the result.

      Understand this is not prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutorial discretion is when the executive decides that a given case due to extenuating circumstances should not be brought. It is not deciding that an entire law is no longer valid, which is what this is doing.

      This is totally illegal and is a direct attack on our system of government. If this is legal, Congress no longer has the power to make laws and laws once passed and signed are forever subject to the veto of the executive.

      Not even the King of England, post Magna Carta, had the power to do that.

      1. “What RC said. The executive cannot just decide not to enforce provisions of the law because it doesn’t like the result.”

        Sure he can!

        He’s already done it once, and he’s about to do it again!

        1. …”Sure he can!
          He’s already done it once, and he’s about to do it again!”

          And he should be called on it and face legal action for the transparent power grab.

          1. If congress is unwilling to rein him in, there is really not much else to be done.

        2. Sure he can!

          If you want to throw out the entire separation of powers, sure he can.

          1. I’m not talking about what he should do.

            I’m talking about:

            1) What he’s done.
            2) What he’s going to do.
            3) What we should say in response.
            4) All of the above

            The correct answer is 4) All of the above.

            1. What we should say in response is “That’s totally unconstitutional, illegal, and dangerous, and should not be done solely on that basis.”

              Yet you seem to be saying “I like the result. Go right ahead.”

              1. No, I’m talking about emphasis.

                Which of the following arguments do you think is more marketable to average voters?

                1) ObamaCare is going to be devastating to average Americans’ healthcare–and harmful to the economy! So, Obama should have implemented it as written–and hurt all those people–because that’s what the Constitution compels him to do.

                2) ObamaCare is going to be devastating to average Americans’ healthcare–and harmful to the economy! Obama’s delay in implementing it is a clear testament to that fact–and to the fact that ObamaCare needs to be reformed to protect millions of Americans from pointless suffering.

                1. I like this one:

                  ObamaCare is going to be devastating to average Americans’ healthcare–and harmful to the economy! Under our system of government, we have two choices: repeal it, or implement it as written, because we still believe in the rule of law which requires the President to faithfully execute the law, regardless of whether he likes the results.

                  1. I like that too RC.

                  2. I like that one better than the one where we say that he should implement the law becasue a) it’s in the Constitution and b) because it would hurt so many Americans that it would teach them a lesson.

                    1. Ken, I dislike Obamacare just as much as anyone else on this board, but at this point I want it to start being enforced, and it has nothing to do with “teaching Americans a lesson.”

                      Obamacare is going to be enforced after the fall elections barring a landslide defeat of Democrats because they’ll have 2 years of not having to face consequences. That’s two years of people having to get used to higher deductibles, higher co-pays, higher premiums, and less coverage. Plus, it’s two years for the media to tell us how awesome things are.

                      With that in mind, I would rather it be enforced NOW, so that people are having policy cancellations BEFORE the elections so they can vote these assholes out of Congress sooner rather than later.

          2. If you want to throw out the entire separation of powers

            I’m pretty sure that horse has already left the barn.

      2. Hell, Article 2, Clause 5 of the Constitution which requires the executive to faithfully execute the laws was intended to prevent just such selective enforcement and implementation.

        1. What, that old thing?

          Pish. The be all and end all is “getting what I want.” Right, Ken?

        2. And if there were someone else in office, I’d like to hope that would matter. Unfortunately, we have Obama in office, and he doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution.

          Again, I think some of you are living in a world of how things should be, and I’m talking about how things are–and what we should say given what the president is going to do.

          Am I against condemning the president for violating the Constitution? Of course not.

          But if you think you’re going to rally swing voters against the president–given the electorate we have right now–by emphasizing Constitutional principles instead of the physical harm implementing ObamaCare is going to inflict on working people and their children?

          Then you’re living in the world of the way things should be. We’ve gotta contend with the world the way it really is.

          1. Ken, you’re still basically arguing that it’s okay for Obama to violate the Constitution in this case because you prefer the result. That’s no better than the shit the proglodytes pull.

            1. Or the elephants for that matter.

            2. Have I said that it’s okay for Obama to violate the Constitution?

              1. Yeah, I think so:

                I don’t want to see anybody suffer from Obama’s pointless stupidity. I don’t know what the legal basis is for delaying the mandate, but the moral case is clear. We should try to avoid pointless suffering.

                I don’t think we should criticize the president for preventing suffering by way of delaying his own stupid legislation.

                Sounds to me like “Don’t criticize the President for doing something I like, even if its illegal and unconstitutional.”

                1. “I don’t think we should criticize the president for preventing suffering by way of delaying his own stupid legislation.”

                  Well, let’s clear that up right away!

                  Just because I don’t think we should criticize the president the president for preventing suffering, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized for violating the Constitution.

                  Criticizing someone for alleviating suffering is such a losing strategy with swing voters in swing states, I can hardly believe it needs to be pointed out as a loser!

                  Obama certainly isn’t going to present himself as a violator of the Constitution. If you want to point out that’s what he’s doing, well, okay, but please leave the criticism for alleviating suffering out of it!

                  Meanwhile, if, by Obama’s actions, he’s conceding that ObamaCare is hurting people, then we should exploit the hell out of that–and emphasize the suffering he’s caused. If ObamaCare can’t be implemented without causing suffering–by Obama’s own admission–then that’s the argument we should be emphasizing for why ObamaCare needs to be “reformed”.

                  And by reformed, I mean scrapped.

      3. What Obama is doing is probably the first bona fide impeachable offense of the executive branch since Nixon. I understand the GOP deciding to let the sonofabitch die trying to defend his idiotic legislation in bits and pieces, and I don’t think impeachment would work to their favor anyway.

        If they could only get Obama and Justice Roberts into a meeting with poisoned salad…

        1. I think calling for Obama’s impeachment at this point would be worse for Republicans than getting together on live television and collectively picking each others’ noses in prime time.

          Never mind that they’d be impeaching Obama for delaying legislation that the Republicans would have to admit they themselves don’t want–the charges of racism alone would be deafening.

        2. What Obama is doing is probably the first bona fide impeachable offense of the executive branch since Nixon.

          Cigar Bill’s perjury didn’t amount to crimes and misdemeanors?

  10. Since the Obama Administration is opposing the implementation of Obamacare does that mean the Obama Administration is racist?

    1. No, because only the white, privileged class can be racist, and since Obama is a member of an oppressed, victim class, he can not be racist.

      1. Would it be racist to have an Obama picture with Vader’s “I have altered the deal” text?

        1. Of course, because any criticism of Obama is straight up racist.

        2. “Let me be clear…I am your father.”

          1. “That Cloud City – you didn’t build that.”

          2. Vader appears black most of the time, and was a deadbeat dad. Of course comparing Obama to him is racist.

            1. “Luke – I am your mama’s baby-daddy.”

  11. Is there a sound legal basis for such a delay?

    No. Although the law is riddled with “as the Secretary shall determine” delegations of law-making authority to the executive branch, the deadlines have no such language associated with them.

    Perhaps the only argument in favor of allowing the President to postpone these deadlines is that deadlines have been postponed before. What’s missing, though, is any explication of where those deadlines came from. A deadline imposed by an agency as part of rulemaking can be delayed by the agency. A deadline imposed by Congress? Not so much.

    1. Perhaps the only argument in favor of allowing the President to postpone these deadlines is that deadlines have been postponed before.

      By that logic, Obama could intern Japanese Americans or order his political opponents locked up since both of those things have been “done before”.

  12. Because, you know, repealing a bad law is PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

    One does not repeal God’s Commandments.

    1. It’s more akin to a law of nature than a law of men. That’s why the president has demanded that many members of Congress sacrifice their political careers, so that their blood will satiate the law’s demands.

  13. We’re at the point where naked political maneuvering with this dubiously passed legislation is not even questioned?

    1. It’s like bad dream; the Roman Republic got this lawless about 100 years before Gaius Octavius said “Fuck it, I’m gonna be princepsque imperatorque dictatorque now”

      1. All hail Barackus Hussein Obamus Telepromptulus the First!

      2. And about 20 years before Sulla’s first civil war.

  14. I don’t want to see anybody suffer from Obama’s pointless stupidity. I don’t know what the legal basis is for delaying the mandate, but the moral case is clear. We should try to avoid pointless suffering.

    Impeach the dumb motherfucker, and repeal his “signature accomplishment”.

    I’ll be right over here, holding my breath.

  15. The real interesting thing is going to be when someone sues their insurer for refusing to cover some procedure the law says they’re required to cover. The President can decline to prosecute people for not obeying the law, but “I have a note from the President excusing me from the law today” is unlikely to fly in court.

    1. That is a very astute point. As a policy holder, I have a law that says you have to provide me this. The President’s refusal to enforce it against the insurance company doesn’t waive my legal right to expect it from them.

      I really don’t see how the policy holder wouldn’t win in that case. To give an analogy, imagine if the President said that the minimum wage laws were no longer going to be enforced. That wouldn’t prevent me from suing my employer for not abiding by the law.

      Maybe a court could say that the law didn’t create a private right of action. But that would be a stretch. Nothing in the law says there isn’t a private cause of action. And there is no reason to think Congress intended to preclude such.

      1. Is that how the law actually works? I think not. I think it works like: the individual is required to purchase insurance, and is required to purchase insurance that covers X, Y, and Z. Purchase of insurance that covers only X will not get you out of the penaltax. So you purchase insurance that covers only X (and you have a whole contract with the insurer to that effect), and that’s that. The only person who could get in any trouble is you, when you find out that OH SHIT actually you really did need coverage of Y and Z to avoid the penaltax. I mean, if they do a back-sies thing on this.

        1. That is a good point. I could still buy all of that stuff. They are just selling me something that doesn’t. So I really wouldn’t have a right of action.

          So I think Stormy is wrong here. But I still think that the state insurance commissions could bring suit.

  16. The best challenge to these delays, which the Repubs are apparently too stupid to sponsor, is to get an employee who would have been eligible for benefits under the law to sue to have it enforced.

    I think standing would be satisfied. And it puts the administration in an impossible legal and political position. Their best argument would likely be that the employee really isn’t being harmed, which is the equivalent of saying that OCare doesn’t really benefit employees. Their second-best argument is that the President isn’t bound by laws that are on the books because he has the authority to suspend or rewrite them at his discretion.

    1. I think you are right. Stormy makes that point above. There is no standing issue since it is a legitimate dispute between you and your insurance company. To rule against the policy holder, a court would have to rule that the legal requirement to provide the benefit somehow doesn’t create a private right of action against the policy holder who expects the benefit. That is a fairly novel question of insurance law. I could see it going either way.

      Another suit that could be brought would be by a red state insurance commission seeking to enforce the requirement. I am pretty sure state insurance commissions have the power to enforce federal insurance laws. Obama waiving enforcement doesn’t waive a state insurance commission from enforcing it.

  17. The administration has already reinterpreted this section once, changing it to mean an exchange established by a state or the federal government. It is now intent on entirely ignoring the requirement that the subsidies be offered through an exchange.

    This is actually not entirely a bad thing, because it means that, conceivably, the offering of subsides through the exchange can be dismantled entirely, so that they only become tax credits. The benefit of that is that consumers are exposed to the full price tag of the insurance up front.

    1. The real punchline, which is being litigated now, is that (some?) employer penalties turn on whether they have an employee who qualified for subsidies.

      No subsidy, no penalty. If subsidies can’t be offered through the federal exchange, employers in states without state exchanges are insulated from those penalties.

    2. Yeah, I pondered that myself.

  18. Insurance? What is this “insurance” you speak of?

    We have only compulsory cost-shifting, now.

  19. Is Another Politically Motivated Delay of Obamacare On the Way?

    Yes. And another, and another, ?.

    Until someone blows the whistle.

  20. 8% of the Obama administration still wants Obamacare.

    1. And the Republicans were terrorists who had no respect for the rule of law because they wanted to delay implementation of this.

      The media is setting a new record in shamelessness acting now like this is no big deal.

      1. Come on John, that was 4.5 months ago. Time have changed!

    2. 8% of Obama still wants Obamacare.

  21. Ezekiel Emanuel: “Insurance Companies as We Know Them Are About to Die And here’s what’s going to replace them”.

    Heh. I was among the very first people here at Reason to call this out as the specific goal of the left (there were others here as well saying the same thing), and ditzy Suderman pooh-poohed the notion the whole time.

    Well, here they are now openly admitting what some of us managed to figure out a while ago. Thank you very much, Ezekiel.

    1. Maybe. But what he describes, doesn’t look much like single payer, especially after people revolt and kill off all of the mandates because of what it is doing to their premiums.

      Long term it seems to me that the information revolution is going to make government control of health care more and more difficult. It is one thing to have a top down system when the only people who can do anything productive are doctors. But as medical technology continues to advance and information technology gets faster and faster, alternative options for care will arise. And that will make central control impossible.

      1. Because its not single payer. The linked article says that private ACO’s will replace insurers.

        Dumbfuck did not read the article.

        1. The linked article says that private ACO’s will replace insurers.

          However, to take on insurance risk (which they will have to do), ACOs will have to get insurance licenses, so they will become insurers.

          It won’t kill off the insurance companies. Because the kind of risk that Emmanuel is talking about can only be taken by large or very large pools, its more likely to entrench them.

          1. Yeah. Since impossible to quantify your individual future medical costs, these companies are always going to be insurance companies selling pooled risk based on some kind of actuarial table.

        2. Which part of

          Maybe. But what he describes, doesn’t look much like single payer

          do you not understand?

          When you don’t take your meds, you go from grotesque to just bizarre. Sometimes I wish you would finally lose one of those involuntary confinement hearings your family keeps having. But then there would be no one on here to remind us how horrible Progs actually are.

        3. BUSHPIGS!!11!!!CHRISTFAGS!!11!!!

        4. Weigel, we already know that you are your loathsome ilk can’t get single payer. You tried already and couldn’t come close, so you’re just doing it incrementally instead of all at once.

        5. I’ma leave this here a sec:

          8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

  22. Charles Cooke touched on this:

    Obama Administration to Invoke Constitution’s Little-Known ‘Election Year’ Clause

    I liked this bit:

    Indeed, there is only one thing worse for a free country than for it to have got the stage at which the executive branch is rewriting the laws with impunity, and that is for it to have got to the stage at which the executive branch is rewriting the laws with impunity while the media nonchalantly explains that it had to do that or it could have lost the next election. Thing is, there are supposed to be consequences to political decisions. That’s why we have elections: So that the people who have been entrusted with power might be judged by the electorate. It doesn’t make it better to explain that the government is willfully breaking the rules in order to limit its accountability. It makes it far, far worse.

    1. additional:

      If, as we were told, Obamacare didn’t cause the cancelations, how can a change to the law prevent them?

    2. The whole point of this is to make sure the public doesn’t understand what they have done and avoid having an election about it.

      The problem with this scheme is that we don’t just have one election. There is another one in 2016 and the Democrats won’t want to face this anymore then than they do now.

      I don’t think Obama really gives a shit what happens in 2016. I think his main goal is to keep the Republicans from taking the Senate and uncovering all of the wrong doing in this administration. If he leaves office on his own terms, leaving all three branches in Republican control is a small price to pay for keeping the full truth from coming out during his time in office.

      After he is gone, the truth can be safely ignored as “old news” and “interesting history” instead of something that will send people like Holder and Valerie Jarret to jail.

      1. I don’t think Obama really gives a shit what happens in 2016.

        Why would he? It won’t affect him, personally.

        1. Nope. Fate has a way of dealing out justice. The people who really deserve getting fucked over this is not Obama but his enablers. Obama is just a con man who took advantage of them. He would have never been a Senator much less President if it hadn’t been for the media and the Democratic Party totally giving up any standards of competence and accountability. Him leaving office with the Democratic Party and the media complex in smoldering ruins would be justice served.

          1. I blame it all on Jeri Ryan’s unwillingness to do a three-way.

            1. 7 of 9 would have.

        2. Why would he? It won’t affect him, personally.

          Given the prog appetite for being outraged a total disaster would probably help his pocket book nicely. All the speaking fees preaching to the faithful about how the country has gone off track and such.

          1. He is a former President and will not want for money. But I really wonder if he is going to be as well liked by the Progs as he thinks he will be. Once he is out of office, the Progs will have to have some way to explain the disaster that was his Presidency. Sure, “but the Republicans” will be part of that. But it won’t be all of that. I suspect there will be a lot of “Obama wasn’t really a prog and wasn’t the right top man and that is why we failed” going on too. I also think that the black community is pretty much done with him as well. He won’t be Al Sharpton. He was never enough of a part of black culture to be that. He will always be the 1% gentry Progs’ guy. And I think they might drop him like a bad habit once he leaves office.

            1. He and Michelle will probably retire to France after he leaves office. WTF do they care what anyone here thinks of them?

            2. He and Michelle will probably retire to France after he leaves office. WTF do they care what anyone here thinks of them?

              1. Hmm, I’d forgotten what a real bitch dialup can be.

        3. He can be lynched any time.

          1. Looked what happened to his son Tryvon Martin?

      2. You’re probably right. It’s viewed as “unclassy” to go after previous administrations, “It’s all Bush’s Fault!!!” notwithstanding.

      3. They also might think they can get away from some of the effects if the changes go into effect just after an election rather than just before. They may be banking on it being “olds news” by the time the next election comes around.

        1. I am sure they are. But that “old news” thing only works so well. If the effects are bad enough, people will remember.

          1. I don’t mean to imply I think it will work, but I think that’s what they are hoping for.

  23. “Is Another Politically Motivated Delay of Obamacare On the Way?”

    Of course, why stop now?

  24. to have got to the stage at which the executive branch is rewriting the laws with impunity while the media nonchalantly explains that it had to do that or it could have lost the next election. Thing is, there are supposed to be consequences to political decisions. That’s why we have elections: So that the people who have been entrusted with power might be judged by the electorate.

    Did he write that with a quill pen, while wearing a powdered wig and breeches?

    1. Blackface James Madison?

      1. The Constitution was written by a bunch of racist white men who wanted to ensure that any future black President would fail.

        Signed

        Average Salon, Gawker and Slate commentator.

        1. When I looked up Cookes profile for some reason I got a black guy’s pic. I didnt intend to sound racist, Im not ‘American” the really racist guy on here. though I suppose “blackface” is racist irregardlessof how its used. It seemed clever to me. I apologize if I offended anybody.

          1. You didn’t offend me. I was just being a smart ass.

            1. Ok cool. And yes, I’d love some cake.

  25. Cluster . . . Fuck

  26. Can we just rename the PPACA to the “President Obama Supported This Law Which Was Passed and Therefore Gets Whatever He Wants” Act?

  27. But ACA advocates insisted that the cancellations were a good thing. Because you didn’t know your insurance was crappy, the government would upgrade it on your behalf. At no cost to you!

    Now millions will be FORCED to keep those bare bones coverage that doesn’t offer mental health treatment or free contraceptives. I can’t believe Obama is enabling the evil insurance companies to shackle stupid American consumers to their bad insurance.

    And what happens if you bought a platinum plan? Will your premiums rise when people decide to keep their cheap insurance instead of buying insurance on the exchange and support the pool that pays for 11 essential benefits?

    This is all part of GOP’s evil plans. They somehow managed to turn Obama to become the greatest enemy to his own signature law. It’s Shakespearean.

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