Politics

The ObamaCare zombie plods forward after losing another limb

The ObamaCare zombie plods forward after losing another limb

So the employer mandate of ObamaCare will be delayed until 2015, as employers crushed beneath the burdens of the system howl in agony and bleed jobs.  In a way, this is an extraordinary moment in the history of not just ObamaCare, but American government.  The President just invented an entirely new power to rewrite duly enacted laws on the fly…  right before the Fourth of July.  Happy Independence Day, America!

Make no mistake, this is a real and permanent deformation of an already decayed system of government.  The precedent will be invoked again, both by Obama and his successors.  Why wouldn’t it be?  They have a gigantic new power that all but nullifies the legislative branch of government.  A Republican successor to Obama can erase ObamaCare by fiat.  Any “comprehensive immigration reform” deal reached by Congress can be rewritten with the stroke of a pen (as if the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” plan didn’t already include enough discretionary powers to neutralize its “tough” security provisions.)  You don’t suppose the President might want to move some of those immigration “trigger” deadlines the same way he just moved the ObamaCare employer mandate, do you?  Every politically connected industry will have good reason to lobby for beneficial use of the new “Obama power.”

This is authorized nowhere in the Constitution, but since the political class will display little enthusiasm for holding Obama accountable or impeaching him, he’s going to get away with it.  The reasons could not be more nakedly political – the Democrats were looking at annihilation in the 2014 midterms, with ObamaCare smashing employers to rubble and perhaps killing enough jobs to tip the anemic Obama economy into an outright recession.  (It doesn’t help that the Federal Reserve has been talking about ending the quantitative easing monetary policies that have been propping up this economy for years.)  The Democrats could not afford to properly draft and debate correcting legislation in Congress, the way American government is supposed to work, because that would give their opponents a platform to remind voters just how wretched ObamaCare is, portraying the latest failure as a good reason to junk the entire system.  The point of all this is to squeak through the midterm elections without forcing vulnerable congressional Democrats to stand up as defenders of legislation the public has never stopped hating.

But in another sense, this is really nothing new.  ObamaCare has been falling apart since the moment it was passed.  All those hasty backroom deals and special kickbacks during the chaotic and secretive passage of the bill were concessions that its central premises were flawed.  It had to be mutated in a thousand different ways before it could ooze out of Congress and afflict the rest of us.

It didn’t take long before the first limbs started dropping off the ObamaCare zombie.  Remember the 1099 reporting requirements for business expenses?  That little tendril of ObamaCare was supposed to squeeze millions in funding out of small businesses, while increasing their paperwork burden tenfold.  The ruinous burden of compliance with this requirement met with understandable resistance from the business community, so it went away.

Then we got the tidal wave of special waivers to politically connected business interests and unions, including a remarkable number of luxury boutiques that just happened to be located in then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district.  Every one of those precious waivers as an admission that ObamaCare doesn’t work.  More rotting flesh fell away from the zombie, but it shambled forward.

If you think ObamaCare lacks class, you’re absolutely right, because the CLASS Act was rubbed out in the “fiscal cliff” deal at the beginning of this year.  This was an absurdly under-funded long-term care program that everyone knew would collapse into a fiscal black hole, pretty much from Day One.  Its overpriced benefits were inferior to private-sector alternatives.  No one mourned its quiet death.

Remember all those promises about insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions?  A pilot program was created by ObamaCare to provide such coverage.  Even though only a quarter of the anticipated beneficiaries enrolled in the program, it was consumed by cost overruns; its $5 billion in initial funding is already gone.  The program had to hastily restructured by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to dramatically cut payments to providers.

Another controversial ObamaCare funding mechanism is the medical device excise tax, which is poised to deliver a $30 billion knockout blow to the people who make all that lovely equipment doctors use.  ObamaCare has tons of money to spend on spreading propaganda, hiring bureaucrats, and beefing up the IRS, while actual doctors and their supporting industries are mercilessly shaken down for cash.  There’s a strong movement to repeal this onerous tax, with assistance from no small number of nervous Democrats who represent districts where medical manufacturers are major employers.  The House voted in favor of repeal in early June, with 37 Democrats joining the 270-146 majority.  The Senate passed a nonbinding motion in favor of repeal by 70-20 - joined by none other than socialist hero and class warrior extraordinaire Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at the last minute, after prodding from medical device companies in her state.  Despite this, the Obama Administration continues to oppose repeal… although as we now know, the President could use his new powers to wipe out the tax by fiat at any time, or maybe just delay its implementation for a century or so.

Shots to the body won’t drop the ObamaCare zombie; only a repeal bullet to the head will put it down for good.  You, the little people of America – the individuals who have been gritting your teeth while you watched your insurance premiums skyrocket, and your favorite plans disappear entirely – don’t have high-powered lobbyists, and the Democrats take the votes of their supporters for granted, so you won’t be getting any relief unless ObamaCare is repealed in its entirety.  As you head to your Fourth of July parties this weekend to celebrate your largely theoretical “independence,” you might want to reflect that President Obama just gave your employer a very good reason to cancel your insurance coverage and dump you into the public exchanges… which are the part of the law that its author, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), referred to as a “train wreck,” right before he decided not to run for re-election.  Enjoy your barbecue.

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  • HeadHunter54

    Obama does what he wants and when. Now he’s in defiance of the legislation that he alone SIGNED into law ? It just keeps getting better and better………..

  • flmom0f4

    According to a Bloomberg article on the delay on the employer mandate, the ACA gives the administration the discretion as to when the mandate is implemented. They mention that there wasn’t a definitive date set for implementation, if this is accurate there isn’t a case to be made that this administration applies law as it sees fit, at least in this case. There are many others where they do apply laws at a whim, but this isn’t one of them. Having said that, it does beg the question that where is the fairness for the individuals who are still bound by the individual mandate?

  • GeorgeStGeorge

    I think Boehner needs to “delay discussion” of amnesty legislation until 2015.

  • 32lain44

    Hey, you can’t make a socialists utopia without breaking a few eggs. With Obama, Pelosi,and Reid driving, the bumps in the road are going to be pronounced. What we need is a few RINO republicans to smooth out the ride. Put your seat belt on, and hang on. I’m thinking the sudden stop at our destination will probably be worse than the ride.

  • Altosackbuteer

    It’s just ANOTHER of the growing list of charges to be added to the Bill of IMPEACHMENT against Øbama Øsama — bypassing the legislative process via Executive Order.

    When will ANYBODY in the House of Representatives step for and file the Motion to Impeach? Øbama Øsama’s usurpation of the legislative process affects ALL members of the House, of BOTH parties. Why aren’t the members of the House jealous to preserve their own rights and privileges?

  • Altosackbuteer

    Hayward makes a good point above about the Immigration Act.

    Recently, Sen Rubio wrote very persuasively on these pages why his “Gang of Eight” Immigration bill is good for everybody, including conservatives.

    I received h e l l on these blogsites for pointing out that Sen. Rubio addressed all their concerns. The people here flatly don’t believe him.

    And I have to say, if ANY president can set aside any Act of Congress that suits him, and if the Congress won’t react to the erosion of its own powers via the Impeachment process, then Hayward and all my recent critics are correct — the Rubio Immigration act IS a dog and ought never be passed, because it will NEVER work the way Rubio assures us it will.

  • Altosackbuteer

    He quite possibly won’t BE the Speaker by that time. The time to act is NOW, while he still has a majority.

  • Borghesius

    Selective enactment is a big problem with the Rubio Immigration Act, but it is a problem with every law as long as we have a president who can change legislation by deciding which laws to enforce, or even which laws to defend in court.

  • flmom0f4

    I’m going to amend my first post on this, now I’ve read other articles about the delayed mandate. Bloomberg’s assertion that the administration has discretion on implementation date is misleading. Apparently the law states that the implementation of the mandate should start in ‘the months after December 31st 21013′. It sounds like the administration has decided that 24 months is still ‘months’ after 12.31.13. Lawyerly semantics will ensue should this be challenged.

  • Altosackbuteer

    (Sigh) — and they’ll continue to get away with it for as long as the demasculated House of Representatives lets them.

  • Altosackbuteer

    Gee — the “months after Dec. 2013″ — which haven’t come yet — could mean, the months between the end of December 2013 until the 12th of the month of NEVER.

  • GeorgeStGeorge

    I don’t think you got my point. Dems want amnesty nownowNOW, because they expect to get clobbered in the mid-terms. Obama has taken away some of the Republican ammo with this stunt. Obviously, amnesty should happen neverneverNEVER, but Boehner can put it off past the election cycle (and actually do it within his Constitutional powers, unlike Obama).

  • Eugene Fitzgerald

    Obamacare is a joke. It is just repackaged Romneycare, which is based on the Nixon plan from the 70s. It is time for REAL healthcare reform. We need to nationalize healthcare and get it out of the hands of employers and insurance companies. Employers and insurance companies have shown time and time again that it is all about the god almighty dollar and that they don’t really have the peoples best interest in mind.

  • Martha Washington

    The Crooks are feeling the HEAT BIGTIME-it was getting 2 HOT 4 comfort,so they ‘DELAYED’

    the evidence from the peons that are being screwed by the CHICAGO Mafia running amok in DC-

    ‘”TRAIN WRECK” only describes 1 bit of the UNAFFORDABLEcareACT, there are so many wrecks it’s ULTIMATELY TRAIN YARD WRECKS along every line from coast 2 coast-

  • Dustoff

    Ahhhhhhhhhh NO.

    Letting gov run healthcare is like letting bank robbers protect our gold supply.

    Have you even read some of the nightmares going on the England with their healthcare.

  • surfcat50

    Government planning: the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.

  • Mike Barnes

    After the thugs and slugs increase the Democrat Redistribution Party’s lead in Congress next year, the financial and regulatory meltdown will sock em in the jaw. They never learn.
    Beats me how Obama can get away with acting like a despot changing laws at will and get away with it. If it weren’t for the Pravda media, he wouldn’t.
    No matter what’s in the amnesty bill for border security, Obama will kill it.

  • Borghesius

    Turn 2014 into a kind of referendum on amnesty! Big press conference: if the people want it, they vote for candidates who support it. Otherwise, vote the other way. It’s your out.

  • David L. Miller

    We, the People need to demand that ALL aspects of Obamacare be implemented as scheduled and as outlined by LAW. THEN watch what happens in the 2014 Election ….. the GOP will increase their Majority, and the Democrats will lose the Majority in the Senate!

  • Timothy Lane

    Slick Barry played a trick, knowing that the Republicans really can’t sue to force him to enforce the employer mandate on time, and the Democrats won’t. But he also tells us that all the alleged security provisions in the Gang of 8 monstrosity are totally worthless, provides a precedent for a future Republican willing to junk Obamacare entirely by simply “delaying” the mandates year after year, and gives Republicans an opening (which Boehner quickly took advantage of) to point out that he delayed the employer mandate but not the individual mandate.

  • blair152

    This is better than AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD.

  • 2richard1

    I second that and avoid the squirrels in the Senate who are trying to make this an Indy 500 race to avoid the truth showing up which it will when light is shed on these violent trespassers and their track record of degrading neighborhoods. HI Indians and Asians only we need educated immigrants not people that are generations behind in education and civilized behavior.

  • 2richard1

    Everyone in pushing Obama care misses the point focus on those 30 milion that are not insured and get them insured first through supplemental care to pay cash benefits for events of health heart cancer accidents. After that first step then they will be able to afford major medical. Millions are being paid every day through supplemental care for a nominal fee of $100 or so a month pretax payroll deducted.

  • Cathy1000

    Yes I want the death of Obamacare! However, somehow I do not trust that the 2014 elections will EVEN take place. Think of the other boiling pots on the stove, he is waiting to declare martial law and has thrown everything he can into causing the level of riots that would allow him to declare it!

  • BostonMary

    We’ll have to wait and see what the race-hustlers Jamie Fox, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Imam Farrakhan, etc. do after the acquittal of the innocent, brown-skinned, “white hispanic” George Zimmerman. They could easily provide the spark to ignite race “If I had a son, he would look just like Trayvon” riots in America’s cities again.

  • NostradamusDisciple

    “Shots to the body won’t drop the ObamaCare zombie; only a repeal bullet to the head will put it down for good.”

    George Romero couldn’t have said it better. Love you’re work, Mr. Hayward.

  • ritaxednorep

    You mean like you’d have to where you work!

  • ritaxednorep

    Actually, Mike, Pravda provides much more balanced news and opinion on American affairs than does our press.

  • andrewlohr

    I thought Gov Romney was the Wall Street insider. Guess I was wrong.