July 5 2013
Were We Too Nice about ObamaCare?
Mea culpa from the Wall Street Journal: we weren’t harsh enough about ObamaCare:
These columns fought the Affordable Care Act from start to passage, and we'd now like to apologize to our readers. It turns out we weren't nearly critical enough. The law's implementation is turning into a fiasco for the ages, and this week's version is the lawless White House decision to delay the law's insurance mandate for businesses, though not for individuals.
The Obama administration’s decision to quietly delay this key provision—via blog post!—is a signal of just how much trouble ObamaCare faces. This is one of the two cornerstones of ObamaCare. It requires that businesses that have 50 or more employees either provide insurance or pay a fine. It is a real job killer. The other cornerstone is the reliance on young people to buy far more expensive health insurance than they actually need.
White House insider Valerie Jarrett—also blogging!—tried to contain the sense of an oncoming train wreck by saying that otherwise ObamaCare is “staying the course.” To put this another way: Other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln? The Journal again:
This is more than a typical government snafu. It relates directly to the design of the law, which was thoughtlessly written and rammed through Congress with instructions for the bureaucracy to figure it all out.
The employer mandate, aside from being just generally unworkable, requires that government track and report the hours of every fulltime employee on a monthly basis. This is going to be a drain on businesses but will likely require more government monitors, which is a drain on all of us. Imagine the paperwork!
Another problem is that for the government to unilaterally announce this delay may be illegal. The law stipulates a specific date for the implementation of this mandate. It is not at all certain that this administration—which already has shown a penchant for not enforcing laws it finds inconvenient—has the legal right to change the date. As Rich Lowry notes, “the law is supposed to be the law, not optional suggestions from Congress.”
Rich points out that the delay is because of a massive system failure, not just the administration’s characteristic incompetence.