Almost completely unnoticed in the media, on Wednesday before Thanksgiving President Obama issued more unconstitutional rewrites of his signature legislation. Betsy McCaughey, perhaps our number one watchdog of the misbegotten health care law, did notice.
Dropping the rules as most Americans were busy preparing for the holiday made a mockery (again) of President Obama’s promise to have “the most transparent administration in history.” The stunt has even worked to keep most of the media from reporting on the rules.
Yet the changes these regulations make in the health-care law are substantial.
For one, the president is redefining what health plans are “adequate” for larger employers (100-plus workers) to offer under the Affordable Care Act. He’s also “asking” insurers to pay for new benefits — while warning that, if they don’t, they may be forced to.
Under the Constitution, Obama lacks any authority to make such changes to the health law, or any law. Only Congress has that power. But he’s doing it, and not for the first time.
The president has made two dozen changes to his health law by executive fiat, from delaying the employer mandate to allowing people to keep health plans that don’t meet ObamaCare standards.
These actions make a mockery of rule of law. And they choose winers and loosers, which is a recipe for corruption. McCaughey summarizes:
- Obama will require large employers to provide more coverage than the Affordable Care Act specifies. The move disqualifies plans now offered by 1,600 employers to 3 million workers, according to Kaiser Health News. Those employers will have to find a way to cover the higher costs — and some will surely do so by stopping coverage for spouses or part-time workers.
- The new rules suddenly treat state high-risk pools as adequate coverage under the Affordable Care Act — a 180 from what the law actually says. When the ACA became law, these plans for people with chronic illnesses were offered in 35 states. Winners will be those who live in the 10 states that haven’t yet phased out their high-risk plans. Losers: the many thousands in 25 states that already gave up their plans to comply with the ACA’s mandates.
- The rules tell insurers to give new enrollees a 30-day grace period during which they can continue to use doctors not in their plan’s network. Winners: People who need time to switch to in-network doctors. Losers: Taxpayers — who’ll be obliged to bail out the insurers clobbered with the extra cost.
- Speaking of bailouts, Sec. 1342 of the law promises taxpayer-funded bailouts to insurers who lose money selling plans on ObamaCare exchanges. But the bailouts can’t happen unless Congress appropriates the money, something the GOP-controlled Congress won’t want to do. Yet the new Federal Register notices explicitly double down on the administration’s pledge to make insurers whole if losses are bigger than expected.
In addition to wrecking our health care system and bankrupting families that cannot afford the huge deductibles necessary to make ObamaCare “affordable” while providing freebies for Obama’s selected beneficiaries, the president is now wrecking our constitutional form of government.