OPINION: National Journal: Major Garrett: Obama’s Arbitrary Health Care Flexibility

February 12, 2014

President Obama’s Attempt to Defend Latest #Obamacare Delay Falls Short

UPTON: “If the goal is ‘smoothing out’ the hardships created by this law, the least he should do is support #FairnessForAll Americans with a delay of the individual mandate.”

The administration’s latest delay to the president’s signature health care law has been met with frustration and confusion from across the spectrum, with questions coming from the White House press corps and even defenders of the law. As Ron Fournier wrote recently in National Journal, “It’s getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. … Even the law’s most fervent supporters are frustrated.” When asked to defend and explain the administration’s second delay of the employer mandate, the president simply said, “This was an example of, administratively, us making sure that we’re smoothing out this transition.”

Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) commented, “The president’s comments sadly ignore the rate shock, plan cancellations, and lost access to trusted doctors that so many Americans are now facing. With a new White House delay seemingly by the day, the president has repeatedly bypassed Congress in a desperate attempt to bury the failures of the administration’s many broken promises. If the goal is ‘smoothing out’ the hardships created by this law, the least he should do is support fairness for all Americans with a delay of the individual mandate.”

February 11, 2014

 (I)t’s time to concede that no one has been more adept or aggressive
about delaying and defanging Obamacare than Obama himself.

Major Garrett: Obama’s Arbitrary Health Care Flexibility

The Affordable Care Act means what it says and says what it means.

Until it doesn’t.

The arbiter is President Obama and a phalanx of health care advisers and political strategists.

Together, they try to implement what even Obama’s heartiest loyalists concede is an onerous and complicated law. They do this amid myriad Democratic midterm anxieties. And frothy Republican objections.

But it’s time to concede that no one has been more adept or aggressive about delaying and defanging Obamacare than Obama himself. Systematically and with an eye toward his party’s immediate political troubles, Obama has reshaped, photo-shopped, reimagined, and reengineered Obamacare. It all sounds techy and cool and flexible—at least to the administration. To those who must live with and live under the law, the arbitrary is the norm. The only pattern is chaos. Obamacare’s worst enemy is Obama. …

Eleven of the 13 alterations to the Affordable Care Act in the past 12 months have given individuals or businesses more time. The burden of compliance is palpable. And so the White House has had to again and again smooth out the transition, in a law it crafted exclusively with Democrats. …

Read the complete piece online here.
 

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