President Obama this morning announced that he would be issuing an administrative order—which requires no Congressional review—delaying the implementation of provisions of Obamacare that had led to the cancellation of a million or so insurance policies. This follows on the Administration’s similar delays of the Employer Mandate and the Individual Mandate. According to CNN, this morning’s delay is supposed to “cover millions of people who have had their insurance policies cancelled,” but the fact is that in many states, it won’t even do that—because insurance companies, anticipating the implementation of the new law, long ago decided to cancel these policies. Surprise! —except for the attentive observers who have been warning about this for years. Moreover, many states—including California—which are already going along with Obamacare are already beyond the Administration’s reach, because those insurance policies were cancelled by state agencies. This morning’s delay can’t do anything about that.
But there’s a much deeper problem at work here: the lawlessness of Obamacare, root and branch. The problems began with its initial enactment—first the Individual Mandate was supposed to be a “regulation of commerce.” That was unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court finally said no…only to rewrite the law by declaring it to be a “tax” instead. That doesn’t work either, though, because the Constitution requires that tax laws originate in the House of Representatives, and Obamacare began in the Senate. Meanwhile, the contents of the law—which members of Congress didn’t bother to read before they passed —gave away tremendous new powers to administrative agencies to write new rules to fill in crucial blank spots in the statute itself. For example, the Individual Mandate forces Americans to buy “minimum essential coverage”—but that term was left up to unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health & Human Services to define later. And the law created a powerful new independent agency, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, and gave it power to write law about Medicare reimbursement rates without any checks and balances…and tried to make the law itself unrepealable.