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ACA Fail Fractal
Obama's Amorphous Blob of a Health Care Law

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.

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  • rheddles

    It is no longer a law, it is an authorization to issue diktats. We have a President who has the gall to say “That’s the good thing as a President, I can do whatever I want”on Thomas Jefferson’s front lawn and a nation prepared to accept it.

    • qet

      “. . .and a nation prepared to accept it.”
      This is the problem, not the overweening Chief Executive (every Chief Executive has been overweening save for one or two).

      • Andrew Allison

        Exactly. Every country gets the government it deserves!

        • TommyTwo

          Good and hard.

      • Boritz

        We have a document even better than the Magna Carta to limit power but the lack of citizenry committed to it is the rub.

  • bigfire

    Laws, where Obamacare is going, we’re not going to need Laws.

    • Kavanna

      Here, we don’t need your steenkin’ laws.

  • TommyTwo

    “If Obamacare is not settled law”

    Only you Rethuglicans believe in such fascist concepts as “settled law.” [/sarcasm]

    Lex rex was nice while it lasted; back to rex lex.

    • Andrew Allison

      Um, Rex, Lex was subtitled “Back to the Law”. What we are enduring is lawlessness.

      • TommyTwo

        Lex Rex – the Law is king. The law is supreme and all are subject to it, even the monarch.
        Rex Lex – the King is the law. The law is whatever the King says it is. (“If the president does it…”)

        In Lex, Rex, Rutherford argued for the first proposition. How fortunate that we have progressed! [/sarcasm]

        • Andrew Allison

          There you go again with linguistic promiscuity, but you are absolutely correct, and I stand corrected.

  • Andrew Allison

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    • TommyTwo

      The question is who is to be master – that’s all.

  • Jim__L

    How, exactly, is this Constitutional?

    Congress should REPEAL his monstrosity, no question about it.


    How about a post about the surging enrollments for Obamacare?

    • TommyTwo

      “Obamacare had its second-best enrollment month in January”

      [Horse laugh]

      Without getting into a debate over the nature of those “enrollments,” your big talking point is that now that the web site isn’t crashing as much, enrollment is higher? Who’da thunk?! This indeed deserves a post! Immediately after the one divulging the wetness of water.

  • TommyTwo

    I previously commented that I thought that the GOP would (cynically) pivot from “Obamacare” to something like “Demcare,” in order to make sure that any blame is not limited to a lame duck president but to the entire opposing party. The Dems, for their part, have often objected to the term “Obamacare” which they characterize as derogatory, and insisted on “Affordable Care Act.”

    Well, as time goes by and as Obama’s unilateral diktats accumulate, I become convinced that “Obamacare” is the most accurate term. The “law of the land” is not the ACA but rather whatever Obama finds convenient on a given day. Turns out reading those 2000 pages was not necessary after all.

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