Almost every day, it seems, President Obama finds a new way to morph his signature law into something different from what Congress passed. WaPo reports that the Obama Administration has once again delayed a part of the employer mandate to give businesses more time to adjust to the ACA. More:
As word of the delays spread Monday, many across the ideological spectrum viewed them as an effort by the White House to defuse another health-care controversy before the fall midterm elections. The new postponements won over part, but not all, of the business community. And they caught consumer advocates, usually reliable White House allies, by surprise, particularly because administration officials had already announced in July that the employer requirements would be postponed from this year until 2015.
Clearly, Obama is still relying on ad hoc concession to interest groups to shore up support for the ACA. This has been his strategy from the beginning. He famously opposed an individual mandate when he first entered the 2008 race, but later adopted it to appease insurers. The law contains provisions that give over even more power to price-gouging hospitals (see the definitive piece on that here). Delays and exemptions have abounded. Some of these have been good, some bad, but the more Obama does this, the more the law appears vulnerable to further changes. If Obamacare is not settled law, but continually in the process of being settled, it will become harder for the law’s proponents to treat any attempts to change it as affronts to some untouchable consensus.