America’s new socialized medicine law – rammed down the throat of a reluctant Congress in 2010 and upheld by a divided Supreme Court a year ago – is proving to be a bit of a bear to implement.
Last week the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama announced its decision to delay the implementation of a key provision of the law – the employer mandate – while this week a report in National Journal reveals the extent to which the White House has known about looming problems with the bill’s controversial state-run exchanges.
The common thread in both stories? An administration which is literally rewriting the law on the fly …
“As far back as March, a top IT official at the Department of Health and Human Services said the department’s current ambition for the law’s new online insurance marketplaces was that they not be ‘a Third-World experience,'” reports National Journal‘s Margot Sanger-Katz. “Several provisions had already been abandoned in an effort to simplify the administration’s task and maximize the chances that the new systems would be ready to go live in October, when customers are supposed to start signing up for insurance.”
Wait … provisions of the law had been abandoned?
Apparently so …
“In April, several consultants focusing on the new online marketplaces, known as exchanges, told National Journal that the idealized, seamless user experience initially envisioned under the Affordable Care Act was no longer possible, as the administration axed non-essential provisions that were too complex to implement in time,” Sanger-Katz reports.
Of course the left-leaning publication believes these efforts – which it acknowledges are likely extra-legal – are positive developments.
“By eliminating non-essential tasks, they may be violating the letter of the health reform law, with its rigorous timetables and multiple requirements, but they may be more likely to get the core functions right,” Sanger-Katz writes.
Wait … may be violating the law? Also, since when is any of “Obamacare” a core function of government?
Last week Valerie Jarrett – one of Obama’s top advisors – said the administration would “continue to make changes as needed” to the law, indicating this policy of selective, interpretive enforcement would continue.
Obviously we can’t stand Obamacare and welcome any and all delays to its job-killing, deficit-busting, premium-increasing mandates – but the last time we checked it was the job of the executive branch to enforce laws passed by Congress, not arbitrarily rewrite them based on political expedience.