OPINION: Chicago Tribune Editorial: "How President Obama is flouting Obamacare"

August 19, 2013

In late July, the Chicago Tribune editorialized on the health law’s “part-timing of America” as “one more reason to rewrite, or halt, Obamacare.” President Obama’s hometown paper has followed up with a new editorial on the administration’s flouting of its signature health law it furiously worked to pass over three years ago as “more reasons to delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law.” In light of the mounting uncertainty, missed deadlines, delays, and unilateral revisions of the law for various interests, the Chicago Tribune writes, “Every time the White House undercuts one provision of Obamacare, there is a massive ripple effect on other provisions. It's generally a zero-sum game: When someone gains, someone else loses.” Unfortunately, it is millions of Americans who stand to lose as the Obama administration continues to “test, and arguably exceed, the boundaries of lawful conduct.”

EDITORIAL: How President Obama is flouting Obamacare
More reasons to delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law
August 18, 2013

Democrats strong-armed Obamacare into law three years ago. Now they're busy flouting it.

The mandate that employers provide insurance next year or pay a penalty, as the law requires? Delayed for at least a year.

The law's dictate that people applying for federal subsidies to buy insurance provide proof that they're eligible for the government aid? Scaled back.

Sharp limits on Americans' out-of-pocket costs for health care? Suspended for a year.

Providing members of Congress and more than 10,000 staff members with federal health care subsidies that the law does not allow? Done, via a deal brokered by President Barack Obama.

And on and on.

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a hugely complex law that sets up online health insurance marketplaces, requires people to have coverage or pay penalties, and doles out subsidies and incentives to nearly everyone in health care. Doctors, hospitals and insurers have spent large sums to gear up for its requirements. Employers are mulling: Hire? Fire? Cut workers' hours?

Millions of Americans, that is, stand to gain or lose from how this law is enforced — with the Obama administration bending that enforcement in ways that test, and arguably exceed, the boundaries of lawful conduct.

Every time the White House undercuts one provision of Obamacare, there is a massive ripple effect on other provisions. It's generally a zero-sum game: When someone gains, someone else loses. Example: When employers are relieved of their mandate to provide insurance, taxpayers risk having to subsidize more of those companies' employees. …

Tweaks? Obama isn't making tweaks. He's trying to circumvent major flaws that began flaring when the law was enacted. Hence the many carve-outs, delays and special deals that have been piling up since he added his signature to Obamacare on March 23, 2010. …

Bottom line: Let's delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch. Lawmakers can build on what all of us have learned from three years of painful trial and error. Three years of attempting, but failing, to make this clumsy monstrosity work for the American people.

Read the entire editorial online here.

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