Obamacare

Government Watchdogs Agree: Obamacare's Insurer Bailouts Aren't Authorized. The Administration Plans to Make Payments Anyway.

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Whitehouse.gov

Covering health insurer losses through Obamacare's risk corridors provision—a program frequently described as a federal bailout of insurers—might not just be controversial. It may well be illegal.

Indeed, both the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have concluded this year, that, without additional congressional authorization, the administration has no authority to make payments under the program beyond what is collected from insurers.

As J.D. Tuccille noted last week, the GAO's report was a reminder that "it's not enough for a statute to require that an agency make a payment—the funds have to be legally available."

Despite the opinions of both CRS and GAO, however, the Obama administration says it's going to go ahead with the payments anyway, congressional authorization or not.

HHS has not made any payments to insurers so far, but it plans to do so in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1," reports Modern Healthcare. "In response to the GAO inquiry, HHS indicated that the agency already has the authority to fund the program under existing appropriations."

One defense of the administration's decision is that Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program for seniors, also relies on risk corridors, and the program's payments are made without additional congressional authorization. That's true, but the payments are made out of Medicare's Part B trust fund (which, yes, is itself a sort of accounting fiction, but does at least exist in some accountant's sense). There's no similar fund for making payments in Obamacare.

At best, it's another example of the administration implementing Obamacare in a way that is convenient and yet legally dubious—and probably illegal. 

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  1. At best, it’s another example of the administration implementing Obamacare in a way that is convenient and yet legally dubious?and probably illegal.

    And yet the giant orange pussy running the House won’t do shit about it. So why shouldn’t this administration just do it?

    1. Is there really no abuse of power that’s a bridge too far for the House? I mean, if they’re bidding their time until the GOP takes the Senate, fine, but I think this much TOTAL SILENCE is not a hopeful sign.

      1. Spending authorization like this isn’t sexy or easily digested by voters, so that’s probably the biggest reason why.

        I don’t think the Stupid Party is capable of capitalizing on any abuse of power short of Obama ordering murder and covering it up.

        1. We need an elite cadre of shock troops with principles to infiltrate and destroy this evil political system from within.

          Vote for Zoltan the Destructor.

        2. I don’t think the Stupid Party is capable of capitalizing on any abuse of power short of Obama ordering murder and covering it up.

          If murder is shorthand for “extrajudicial killing” then you’re being way too optimistic, because they pretty much have already cheered that one on.

          1. Except he didn’t cover it up, he boasted about it.

      2. If the republicans were making lots of noise about impeachment or criminal charges against administration staffers, you can bet the democrats would be.using the sound bites in an all out push to discredit the crazy republican “extremists.” Do I think there is much chance of a republican house/Senate teaming up on the Obama admin? Not really, but if I were a republican decision maker sitting on the kind of polling lead they have right now, I would have made it crystal clear to every republican candidate for offices down to local sewer inspector that talk of impeachment and other “extreme” talk is utterly guaranteed to end official support of their campaigns.

        1. I agree with this. There’s not a damn thing the House can do to stop the President, as long as, Harry Reid controls the Senate. Passing articles of impeachment would be playing into the Democrats hands.

          Do you think that Obama and Democrats talking up impeachment last month was mere coincidence? They want the GOP in the House to try it.

          About the only thing that can save them from the current polling numbers is the GOP doing something really stupid.

      3. They cry outrage in public, but in private they’re salivating at the new power available to them.

        You have to remember, they hope to someday have majorities in both house and senate as well as gain the presidency. They cry foul to excite their base even as they plot out how this power can be used to further their own agenda.

        Republicans are really just democrats with bibles.

      4. Rule of law? Meh.

    2. STOP PICKING ON JOHNNY. The GOP is our last hope!

      1. Just because it is depressing and you don’t like it, doesn’t mean it can’t be true.

        The DK were the last and best hope of old Russia. The Weimar Republic was the last hope of 1930s Germany. Since when can the best option never be lousy when the alternative is real evil?

        What is more important to you? How much you hate the Republicans or stopping the Democrats? If it is the former, good for you. Just understand that everyone following your lead means no one is there to stop the Democrats.

        1. The other side of the argument is that there is no real mitigation of evil, even when Republicans are in power. Just because they throttle back in the egregious power grabs on certain areas doesn’t mean they don’t ramp up the power grabs in other areas.

          tl;dr This may not be a linear thing where Republicans are just Democrat-lite.

          1. The other side of the argument is that there is no real mitigation of evil, even when Republicans are in power.

            Have the Republicans come out in support of repealing the 1st Amendment and regulating all political speech? The Demcorats have and voted in overwhelming numbers on an amendment that would do just that.

            Have the Republicans claimed that the 2nd Amendment is a collective right and does not prevent the government from disarming the entire country? Not that I have seen. The Democrats in contrast are committed to just that.

            There is a real difference for those two things alone. Worse still, the Democrats don’t even have to win elections to make those things happen. They just need to flip the 5-4 supreme court balance the other way and gun rights and free speech go with it. And understand that if Hillary wins in 2016, that is exactly what will happen. Scalia and Thomas and company can’t live forever.

            But hey, don’t let that stop you from cheering on Hillary in hopes of teaching the Republicans a lesson.

            1. Why yes, yes they have. See the political acts and presidential candidacy of John McCain.

              1. Did McCain vote for the proposed Amendment? No. And is he going to be the nominee in 2016? Unlikely.

                So your position seems to be that it is okay to let Hillary win in 2016 and thus put free speech in danger because of John McCain?

                And you Shirley are one of the smarter voters. Yeah, we are doomed. DOOOM

              2. While Democratic support for McCain-Feingold was stronger than Republican opposition to it, it was still overwhelmingly opposed by most Republicans.

          2. I believe it’s called the ratchet-effect – eg, the Democrats bring everything left, while the Republicans (or so the theory goes) just consolidates the power that Democrats got.

            Rinse and repeat.

            1. Lord Humungus,

              There is very much that effect. I do not see however why that makes giving the Democrats a free twist a good idea. More importantly, if there was a time to do that it has passed. We can’t afford anymore tightening. If the best we can do is keep things from getting worse and stay where we are, well that sucks but it doesn’t make the alternative any better.

          3. “trshmnster the terrible|10.7.14 @ 3:48PM|#
            The other side of the argument is that there is no real mitigation of evil, even when Republicans are in power. ”

            TTT at least when the Rs get back behind the throttle maybe the press will once again be the watchdogs of political power instead of the lapdogs they currently are.

            1. That is another good point. Given the current makeup of the media, I don’t see how you can ever want another Democratic President even if you agreed with his policies. No one should want a President who gets the media to function as a state run media no matter how good or bad his policies.

    3. Boehner has no problem whatsoever with the checks being written. Because cronies.

      He really doesn’t want to have to hold a vote where his party members will be exposed to voting in favor of an insurance company bailout.

      This way, he gets what he wants without taking responsibility for it. And in light of that, what’s a few hundred million being spent illegally? They’ll print more!

      1. Have you read his mind? If not, how do you know that? Moreover, isn’t it possible that Boehner knows that any attempt to stop this will lead to the media, including Reason, making him out to be the villain and result in it being a pointless and self destructive action?

        Your problem with Boehner more than anything RC is that he just isn’t willing enough to commit political suicide for you.

        I ask you the same question I asked below that no one bothered to answer. Since the Democrats will never vote for impeachment and we know from the 2013 shutdown that the entire media Reason included will blame any shutdown no matter how justified on the Republicans, what exactly would you do if you were Boehner?

        1. we know from the 2013 shutdown that the entire media Reason included will blame any shutdown no matter how justified on the Republicans

          As I recall, Reason said it was political suicide for the Republicans (which was wrong) but that it is a different thing from “blaming” them which implies opposition (insofar as any Reasoner was opposed, it was because it would hurt the cause, which again was wrong).

          1. It was the one time the Republicans stood on principle and tried to do something right and Reason, sans Nick, all attacked them for it and said it was stupid.

            If that isn’t compelling evidence that most of the reason staff are just Progs pretending to be Libertarians for a paycheck, nothing could be.

        2. Have you read his mind?

          No. Have you?

    4. Who is John Galt?

  2. It’s OK…

    UNTIL THE RETHUGLICANZ TRY TO DO IT.

  3. The risk corridors were intended to fund themselves on the take-a-penny/leave-a-penny model, so of course no additional funding mechanisms were set up. Why admit up front that your law may not work out as intended? That’s loser talk!

  4. It is about as legally “dubious” as me stealing Peter’s identity and borrowing money in his name. It is in no way analogous to medicaide part B. There, there is a specific appropriated fund dedicated to medicaide and medicaide part B is a specifically authorized program. All they are doing there is using what amounts to operation funds to operate the program in a manner specifically authorized by Congress.

    Here, there is no general Obamacare O&M fund and even if there were, there is no specific Congressional authorization to pay insurers like there is for medicaide part B. This is a clear violation of the anti deficiency act and a crime. The anti-deficiency act is a criminal statute with no shit criminal penalties, though they have never been sued.

    It is not hyperbole to say that what Obama effectively ending the Constitutional separation of powers and making the President a dictator. The first and most fundamental constraint the Constitution puts upon the Presidency is the power of the purse. And Obama is ending that right here. Shame on anyone who supports him in this. And frankly shame on Sudernman for even pretending Obama’s defenders could possibly have a point. They don’t and no one should pretend they do even in the name of trying to look objective.

    1. The Dems are going to have a sad when the dictator who actually seizes power turns out to be a right-winger who hates gay marriage and abortion.

      1. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if a left wing dictator ended up hating those things. It is not like the left really gives a shit about either issue beyond its ability to give them power.

      2. By the logic of this action, there is nothing to stop a future President from taking money that was appropriated to DOD for say environmental cleanup and using it to fund a war or to buy a weapons system that Congress never approved.

        Like everything outrageous and embarrassing Obama does, the media will never report that this is even occurring. They will just let it happen and pretend its not.

        I hate the media more than I hate Obama.

      3. An effective dictator isn’t going to go after things that the general public understands, that’s too much trouble. Give them their abortions or miniature american flags and you have carte blanche to rule as you see fit.

    2. I’ve long argued that Bush II acted as a dictator.

      In 2009, Obama seemed to acknowledge the lawless elements of the Bush administration and claimed, with much fanfare, that he would restore rule of law. Like many of Obama’s promises it was utter bullshit. Bush at least acted like his dictatorial maneuvers were shameful. Obama acts shamelessly, and nobody stops him.

      When the Roman Republic collapsed and was replaced by the imperial system, the old forms of the republic were maintained. The senate appointed consuls and voted on legislation. However, for the next few centuries, political power resided in the hands of the Emperor, who was named Dictator by the Senate. While early emperors like Augustus had fairly sound economic policies, the history of the empire is a sad tale of failed economic policies creating new crises, of poorly though out intervention begetting stronger interventions, each multiplying the devastation of the unintended consequences of its predecessor.

      The republican system of government is not completely extinguished in the United States, It is, however, all but dead. Absent a dramatic sea-change in the attitude the American people towards their government, we will increasingly be at the mercy of popularly elected dictators, who are not restrained by any significant limitation on their powers.

      1. Specifically what did Bush II do that in your opinion made him a dictator? He never went to war without Congress. He never spent money without Congress. He stepped back from doing Article 5 tribunals on detainees at GUITMO and went to Congress and got authorization for military tribunals.

        It sounds nice to say he was doing that but I don’t see it. Moreover, I fail to see where Bush did anything more dictatorial than past wartime Presidents have done. Even if he was dictatorial, it was nothing the Republic hadn’t survived before. This however seems to me at least to be an entirely different animal.

        1. He decided to ignore the 4th Amendment and spy on Americans in this country illegally for starters.

          1. Shut up and take your meds. The adults are talking. And they haven’t sent you the talking points on this issue yet anyway.

            1. Facts still confuse you I see.

              1. The voices in your head don’t count as facts. Sorry but facts generally don’t come from the profoundly retarded and delusional. So yours don’t count.

              2. Fuck off, turd.

        2. My argument is in my essay, with links.

          Here is the start:

          A dictator is a monarch who is both law-maker and law enforcer, who also acts as final judicial arbiter in cases, and is not legally liable for his actions.

          By such a standard, George Bush was a dictator. He claimed the power to ignore the legislature, and to arbitrarily rewrite the law ? citing the U.S. Constitution’s appointment of the president as the “Commander in Chief” of the United States Army and U.S. Navy as justification. If the Congress passed a law he didn’t like, he refused to enforce it. If it failed to pass a law he liked, he enacted it anyway. He successfully suppressed the courts’ power of habeas corpus throughout most of his term, effectively wielding the power to seize anyone off the street and to detain them arbitrarily with no review. And, despite his many violations of the law, he never faced any credible threat of legal sanction.

          I should hasten to add that Obama is fucking Rehoboam to Bush’s Solomon. In the comments of my essay you can see a big debate as to whether Bush was truly a dictator. I doubt if I penned that essay regarding Obama whether there would be any debate at all.

          1. Okay. But that entire paragraph is just assertions. You don’t give the actual examples of how he refused to enforce the law or ignored Congress. I have given multiple examples of how he didn’t ignore Congress. You have to do more than assertions.

            Moreover, even that isn’t good enough. You have to show that Bush’s actions were worse than other Presidents’ actions that the Republic survived. Your argument is that Bush is a dictator and thus something new and different from past presidents such that his administration spelled the end of the Republic or the beginning of the end.

            You haven’t even started to do that.

            1. Okay. But that entire paragraph is just assertions

              The links are in the original essay. However, basically, the problem was Bush’s use of signing statements to recast the law. And Bush’s dictatorial acts really were limited to the national security sphere. He did work with Congress, for example NCLB was the product of Bush working with Ted Kennedy.

              and thus something new and different from past presidents such that his administration spelled the end of the Republic or the beginning of the end

              Not quite. I didn’t compare Bush to previous presidents. Certainly FDR did far worse (the Neutrality patrols, for example, had the U.S. assisting the Brits in prosecuting ASW against the Germans without Congressional approval).

              What I was arguing wasn’t that Bush was the problem, it was that the republican system was failing because nobody really cared to defend their turf, and that as a result the U.S. was becoming a democratic dictatorship, with the guy at the helm changing every few years.

              I’ve always felt Bush II was well meaning and trying to do the right thing (even though his idea of what the right thing to do occasionally was ghastly). He sincerely believed that he had to power to act unilaterally when it came to national security. In this respect he was like many of his predecessors. And in a functioning republic, Congress and the courts would have reined him in. The system being broken, that didn’t happen.

              1. And in a functioning republic, Congress and the courts would have reined him in. The system being broken, that didn’t happen.

                I don’t see how you can say that they didn’t. Bush consistently lost before the courts. All of his assertions about detainees being outside of the court system failed.

                More importantly, you do have to show Bush was worse. Suppose say FDR was just as bad or worse than Bush. If your argument Bush is that Bush was a dictator, then you necessarily must concede that FDR was one too. But if FDR was a dictator and left the most popular President of his age, then the Republic was gone long before Bush came along. If however, FDR was not a dictator then necessarily neither was Bush since FDR was just as bad. And if FDR didn’t destroy the Republic then by definition neither did Bush.

                Where your argument fails is that you assume everything Bush or any other President did you don’t like is necessarily dictatorial and a threat to the Republic. What you don’t consider and indeed the question your entire argument begs, is the possibility that Bush, by not doing anything that was without precedent, wasn’t a dictator at all but instead just another war time President who took actions that while you find appalling were not necessarily inconsistent with the existence of a Republic.

                1. If your argument Bush is that Bush was a dictator, then you necessarily must concede that FDR was one too.

                  You are right… And I do believe that FDR was a dictator. Certainly after his threat to pack the Supreme court neutered the judiciary, he behaved as a dictator.

                  I think, however, the major difference between then and now is that FDR was swimming against a culture that more highly revered a republican form of government than the one we live in now. Thus after FDR’s death, Truman found himself facing a congress that did stand up to him.

                  As you pointed out below, the republican system of government requires at its root that the political classes value the institutions and forms of that government. It really doesn’t matter whether this valueing comes out of fear or love.

                  If FDR had existed in the modern day, his rule would have looked very much like that of Obama, and I doubt he would face the opposition today that he did back then.

                  1. I disagree with one point. If FDR were president today, this nation would be fucked. Obama, for all his blustering, can’t help but trip over his own feet. FDR was smart enough to surround himself with “doers” instead of “thinkers”

              2. “He sincerely believed that he had to power to act unilaterally when it came to national security. In this respect he was like many of his predecessors.”

                Yes, I think you make a good point. The US has generally given Presidents a fairly wide latitude with respect to their role as Commander and Chief.

                However, President Obama isn’t restricting his potential over reach to Security. He just doesn’t give a shit what Congress thinks and does what he wants. And his supporters mindlessly cheer him on.

                1. However, President Obama isn’t restricting his potential over reach to Security. He just doesn’t give a shit what Congress thinks and does what he wants. And his supporters mindlessly cheer him on.

                  My sentiments exactly! Hence my comparing him to the scorpion wielding Rehoboam.

      2. I agree that Bush acted extraconstitutionally on a few occasions, but at least he sought congressional approval for his military actions. Obama is much worse, though I’m not sure he could get away with everything without some precedents set by his last couple of predecessors in particular.

        1. He’s the first black president. Unless you want the big cities of America burning he can do whatever the fuck he wants, Republican Senate or no.

          1. So not only are we creating an imaginary mob, we’re also giving them the heckler’s veto. Yay.

            1. Aaah, was I being racist ?

              I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to give you butt hurt or anything. Did I hurt your feelings ?

              I supppose that taking into account some of the mob actions of the past with a lot less important issues at stake is being unfair, huh?, and racist and insensitive to boot.

              I must have imagined those imaginary mobs in South Central, and Watts, and Ferguson ( where one store got robbed 4 times when you include the original by Brown himself). Why, I have even imagined some mobs after some NBA Championship games, and even some county fairs have had imaginary mob riots in the last year or two.

              So Yeah buddy, I can easliy imagine mob action after an Obama conviction of impeachment. If you live in a major city you better hope that the powers that be imagine one too and prepare for it, unless you are a part of it.

              1. So we can’t hold the President accountable, because bused-in mobs will burn cities to the ground, aided and abetted by city officials and police forces who won’t defend life or property, and of course we can’t hold them accountable either. It is truly amazing what only the government can accomplish.

        2. IIRC, Bush limited his dictatorial behavior to national security issues and the 2008 financial meltdown. In every other sphere he was far more republican. And Bush II did try very, very hard to get bipartisan congressional support for all of his major acts.

          Bush did not see his power as limitless. He also had the humility to recognize that he could be wrong about stuff and to consult others and to accept some limitations to his power.

          Obama has none of that. Obama, being a narcissist, cannot work with others who don’t agree with him. He lacks humility, and he brooks no obstacle to doing the things he wants to do. Couple that with his inability to rein in the civil service, and you have a guy showing what happens when a true dictatorial type takes over a system where the checks and balances are broken.

          1. Where did Bush act dictatorial over the meltdown? TARP was approved by Congress.

            1. jeebus John…If you are going to pick an R to defend don’t pick Bush II. The only two people who violated the constitution more than bush II were FDR and Obama. So yeah Bush II was AWESOME SAUCE.

              1. That’s probably fairly accurate. But to paraphrase our beloved Leader, in that group Bush was definitely JV.

              2. I not defending Bush. I am defending the truth. You guys do yourselves no favors by thinking it is okay to believe lies as long as they fit your narrative about someone you don’t like. Regardless of whether you love or hate Bush as a President, he was not by any reasonable definition a dictator. Pointing that out is not defending or attacking Bush. It is just pointing out the truth.

                1. The truth that you are purporting appears to be that because he had an R by his name he was ok. Well, if Bush II was OK cause he had an R then Obama must be the best Republican EVAH. C’mon John. Bush certainly had all the hallmarks of a dictator, he acted as a dictator on multiple occasions. He set the stage for Obama. Just look at the staff from his admin that love/support Obama. Yoo, Rumsfeld, Gates…Bush WISHES he were Obama.

                  1. Bandit,

                    You are either too dense or dishonest to listen to what I am saying. I am saying Bush isn’t a dictator and Obama by now spending money over Congress’ objection is doing something that no other President has done and that is a real problem.

                    You guys seem to suffer from some kind of PTSD from the Bush years. You can’t seem to have a rational conversation about it. You actually think that anyone who says “no Bush was not a dictator” is doing the same thing as saying Bush was the greatest.

                    You are not a dumb person. But you allow your emotion over this issue to effectively make yourself retarded when talking about it. I don’t know what else to tell you.

                    1. I have little emotion over Bush II, wasn’t an R or a D. As a big L I have always treated both with equal objectivity.

                      He did several things NO OTHER PRESIDENT HAD EVER DONE. And he did one thing only one other president had done before. Hiding from the fact the Bush provided the fun-slide for Obama to go down is disingenuous. What he did from Part D, NCLB, to TARP 1 and GITMO (plus many more) is part of the reason we have Obama as our president. It is the reason we have a president who does not fear the electorate. Even Limbaugh, after ’06, gave up defending the big spending and authoritarian power grabs Bush was doing.

                      I don’t care if he is less bad. I choose to want good. Not less bad. This all stems from your argument of “we need Rs to win to stop Obama/Dems/boogie man. As a big L I have always found this to be the weakest and least logical argument for fixing this nation. Cause if the Rs are just a little less bad than the Ds then we are still careening (and yes careen not career) off the cliff.

                    2. What he did from Part D, NCLB, to TARP 1 and GITMO (plus many more) is part of the reason we have Obama as our president.

                      All of those, except GITMO were authorized beforehand by Congress. That is not dictatorial.

                      Even in the case of GITMO, what Bush did was largely supported by congress, and when it was not supported by the Judiciary, he relented. Again that is not dictatorial.

                      That is not to say that NCLB, Part B and Tarp (among others) weren’t terrible, terrible directions for the country. But bad does not = Dictator. It just == bad.

                      I for one am really sad that the Dictator word was so abused during the Bush years, because today- when it really holds water- the word has lost its effectiveness.

            2. The Treasury was rewriting banking regulations on the fly, with everyone else trying to play catchup. I recall one set of regulations that were promulgated by Treasury on a Friday to take effect on Monday, and then, when by Saturday afternoon the fact that it would decimate the mutual fund industry became clear, repealed on a Sunday.

              Was Bush personally being a dictator? No. Was the executive writing laws? Yes.

              1. The executive has been writing laws via regulations for about 70 years now Tarran. That is pretty weak sauce.

                And thanks for admitting Bush was not a dictator. You guys allow your emotion and anger over the Bush years to get the better of you and cause you to make really stupid statements.

                1. And thanks for admitting Bush was not a dictator.

                  John, I am sorry to say that you are allowing your emotion and anger over Bush derangement syndrome to get the better of you and cause you to make really stupid statements.

                2. AND to get right down to it…In this country, one of the biggest red flags IS the suspension of Habeus Corpus. I would say Bush, with his suppression of information regarding the Iraq/Afgan casualties along with the actual suspension of Habeus Corpus, for a period of time, was not only a dictator but a WORSE one than Obama.

                  NOW, that being said, Obama on the whole is FAR WORSE than Bush. And I have no doubt he could get away with much more. But to claim Bush wasn’t a dictator because he wasn’t as bad as Obama is not being objective. Neither is a Despotic Dictator. No. But they rule by Dictate. That is all it takes to be a dictator.

  5. Two other things, it is medicare part B. And if this is not a high crime and misdemeanor that warrants impeachment, nothing is. The courts have already ruled that no one has standing to stop a rogue President unless he actually harms them. So the only remedy here is impeachment. And if impeachment is not justified when a President says “I can spend as much money as I want wherever I want and there is nothing the Congress can do about it”, it is never justified.

    1. I wish I could find the quotes, but I was at a luncheon a couple weeks back where the guy read some quotes from leftie constitutional law professors (one was Cass sunstein) during the Clinton impeachment hearings. They were giving examples of what sort of conduct rose to the level of impeachable offenses. One was using the IRS to punish political opponents, and another was using executive orders to circumvent congressional authority.

      I would love to see them stammer and sweat when confronted with their own words.

      1. Cass just forgot to add the “when done by a Republican” clause. People like him disgust me. Obama is just a common criminal. He is the immediate problem but not the big problem. Our system is more than well enough equipped to handle the assent of a criminal to the Presidency. What our system cannot take, however, is the emergence of people like Sunstein who will cheer him on.

        1. The importance in holding Obama to account isn’t that Obama is some Hitler ready to gas the Jews. Obama is just the fullback, opening the hole for the next president. We have to push him back in order to hold the next guy (or 5 guys from now) from reaching the dictator end zone.

          1. That is a great way to put it.

  6. Cue Anal Vanneman to complain about how much Peter Suderman writes about Obamacare, accusing him of writing the same article every time, even though each article actually touches on a different aspect of the 1500-fucking-page PPACA and the administration’s “enforcement” of it.

    1. Aww, he went and disappointed me.

  7. Indeed, both the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have concluded this year, that, without additional congressional authorization, the administration has no authority to make payments under the program beyond what is collected from insurers.

    And how many divisions does the GAO command?

  8. “What are you useless fucks going to do to stop me?”

    -Barack Obama

    1. That is a good question. Unless his own party turns against him, the Republicans can’t impeach him. They could shut down the government. But could they even do that? If he can spend this money without Congress, why wouldn’t he just ignore the shutdown and continue to spend money as he sees fit? What are the Republicans going to do about it?

      The last time the Republicans tried to shut down the government to force Obama to back down, the entire Reason staff, sans the Jacket, said it was an idiotic stunt that should have never happened. Difficult to see how they and the rest of the media and by extension at least the close to half of the media that votes blue wouldn’t react the same way if the Republicans shut down the government over this.

      You tell me what to do about it. I don’t have any ideas.

        1. The flaw is this. The document is only as good as the public’s willingness to abide by it. When almost the entire mass media and a good part of the country are made of people like Tony who would happily embrace a dictator as long as doing so sticks it to their enemies, the constitution is not going to do much to protect us.

          1. Yep, and your point highlights the fallacious nature of “rule of law”

            Rule of law is just a kite tied to a pebble. One gust of wind, and the kite is down the street

            1. The law only means something if the society makes it mean something. The worst most despotic societies often have wonderfully complete and on their face just, written laws. Since no one pays any attention to them, they are as you say nothing but a kite tied to a pebble.

              1. This is why originalism is important to constitutional interpretation. Beyond all the philosophical arguments about the origin of rights, living Constitutions, and breadth of interpretation is a simple practical matter. Tyranny moves at a slow and constant pace. Sure, there are some instances that you can point to as leaps in the direction of tyranny, but the march is imperceptible in the moment. Only through faithful adherence to the spirit and letter of the law can the effects of the tyrant’ siren call be somewhat mitigated. Even that requires an eternal vigilance that we don’t seem to possess.

                1. I totally agree trshmnster. That is also why Libertarians are playing a fools game thinking it is okay for the Supreme Court to pretend the Constitution guarantees the right to a gay marriage license. There is no way the drafters intended that. And if the meaning of the document can change by circumstances and fashion, then it doesn’t mean a damn thing.

                  1. There is no way the drafters intended that.

                    The 14th and 16th Amendments threw a monkey wrench into the drafters’ intentions.

                  2. Did the drafters even envision a Federal guarantee for herto couples ?

        2. tarran|10.7.14 @ 3:52PM|#

          Any way to read that puppy without downloading it ?

    2. This is pretty much what I said below, but…pithier.

  9. OT: anyone watching the video on CNN where the cops bust out a window and taser a guy for not having his “paperz pleaz”?

    1. When a cop tells you to get out of the car, get out of the car. Because if you don’t, that will happen. And then nothing else will happen. Every. Single. Time.

      1. And if you get out of the car you are “Headed right for em” and justified to be shot

        1. Yeah – and don’t reach back into the car for your wallet. They’ll assume you have an Uzi on your seat and light your ass up.

          1. That is what happened. They asked for id, he tried to get it they got scared. I love that the defense for cops is that they were shitting their pants scared, while claiming to be Heroes.

    2. Article here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201…..ffic-stop/

  10. OT: Weekly Standard still doesn’t want to admit that maybe the GOP establishment’s “crush the Tea Party” strategy isn’t the best idea, but they’re getting closer.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/…..m=referral

  11. And how many divisions to the CRS and the GAO have?

    1. Texas has a couple.

  12. The lefty twit Jack was here yesterday and didn’t bother with the mask. He said ‘tough shit; repeal it if you don’t like lies from the bastard in the WH!’
    Well, why bother repealing it? Obo will just continue decreeing it in effect anyhow.
    All hail Lying Bastard the First!

    1. Oh, and:
      “Obama Lies 16 times in under 3 minutes on ObamaCare”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXq1G_GuG8Q

  13. Where is there a “plan to make payments anyway”?

    Saying they have the authority to do so is a different matter. What a shitty “bailout” this is.

    1. Turd, go away.

      1. He’s unflushable; floating to the surface like the brown log he is.

        1. We must drain the entire pool to rid ourselves of this poop.

  14. The administration encourages the insurors to underprice their product,so the rubes don’t get sticker shock, and tells them their losses will be covered.

    Fucking incentives- how do they work?

  15. I love that the defense for cops is that they were shitting their pants scared, while claiming to be Heroes.

    We should train them not to panic, or something.

    1. Is that like teaching men not to rape?

  16. This is exactly the kind of hope and change I expected.

  17. …”it’s not enough for a statute to require that an agency make a payment?the funds have to be legally available.”

    They just left that part out of the law, but of course they meant to put it in. The fact that the larger goals of the law don’t work without it is proof!

    1. Look it was intended, and that’s all that really matters. /derp

    2. It was a typo!

  18. I don’t know how good I’d feel about this as an insurer when the next guy could just come along and say I’d been overpaid and net it out of anything coming my way. And he’d have the law itself on his side.

  19. I’ve realized, working for this administration for the last 6.5 years, is that the White House does exactly as it pleases, the law be damned.

    “Section 508? What’s that? We don’t have to comply with it, whatever it is! But all the rest of you agencies do.”

    Or, “We don’t have a Terms of Service with that service provider? We don’t need one! All the rest of you do, though”.

  20. Dear SCOTUS: Obama is clearly doing unconstitutional, super constitution actions and EOs. I clearly lack standing.He is clearly wrong. I am clearly being screwed, ergo you 9 “people” are clearly participating in an unconstitutional act. Get it straight, damn it !!!!

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