Hospitals to Obama administration: Hey, throw us a bone here

posted at 4:21 pm on July 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

There are already too many questions to count swirling around the Obama administration’s sudden decision to delay the law’s clutch employer mandate until 2015; Mary Katharine and Allahpundit covered a fair few last night, among them: Uhm… can the Obama administration even do that?

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) characterized the move as the administration’s latest attempt to skirt Congress.

“This action raises a lot of questions about whether the Obama administration can simply ignore the law when it’s convenient for them,” said Roe, chairman of the Education and Workforce Health subcommittee, in a statement.

Roe said he will launch an investigation into the White House’s legal justification for the delay. He also asked Congress’s research arm to probe the decision.

“I don’t think any president has the authority to pick and choose what parts of law to follow,” Roe said.

And here’s another: As Philip Klein wonders at the Washington Examiner, how is this going to effect the subsidies provided to the individually insured via ObamaCare? Recipients would supposedly be required to show that their employer does not offer health insurance plans that meet the law’s standards before the the subsidies are handed down, but…?

Yet in its Tuesday announcement, the Treasury Department said it was not only delaying the implementation of the employer mandate, but also the employer insurance reporting requirements. If the Obama administration won’t be making judgments on whether employers are meeting the requirements of Obamacare, how can it assess individuals’ eligibility to receive subsidies to purchase insurance on the exchanges?

…perhaps administration officials believe there’s a way to tweak the reporting requirements without affecting the process for determining exchange eligibility. But it isn’t yet clear how they plan on resolving this issue.

And one more big one, for good measure: Now the hospital lobby is immediately piping up about the possibility of delaying an intwined provision of the law that will reduce their payments for uncompensated care by $56 billion over ten years (which is why they’ve been lobbying hard for Medicaid expansion throughout the states). President Obama already recommended in his budget that that provision be delayed until 2015, but sans the employer mandate, they’d like it very much if the Obama administration could push the date back until 2016. If the Obama administration can just decide to push back the employer mandate, then hey, why not this rule, too? Via The Hill:

The American Hospital Association (AHA) called on federal officials to put off looming cuts to hospitals that deal with mostly uninsured patients.

AHA President Rich Umbdenstock said hospitals could not be expected to operate with smaller reimbursements if employers are not going to expand coverage for another year.

“The goal of the [Affordable Care Act] was to extend coverage to the uninsured, which required a shared responsibility from all stakeholders,” Umbdenstock said in a statement. …

Umbdenstock emphasized that without a strong expansion of coverage, hospitals that serve the underprivileged do not deserve cuts under Medicare and Medicaid next year.

And a little exit question of my own: If ObamaCare is supposed to be President Obama’s “crowning legislative achievement,” and he leaves office with ObamaCare’s implementation still in shambles and/or the system imploding under its own weight, then… Well, you know.


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Hospitals to Obama administration: Hey, throw us a bone here

“Funny bone..” – Obama

Electrongod on July 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

And a little exit question of my own: If ObamaCare is supposed to be President Obama’s “crowning legislative achievement,” and he leaves office with ObamaCare’s implementation still in shambles and/or the system imploding under its own weight, then… Well, you know.

Rick Perry said basically the same thing to the Hospital Lobby and Democrats in Texas during the last legislative session…and he reiterated…Texas will stand against Obamacare.

13 states are balking and continue to stand against Obamacare.

workingclass artist on July 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I thought the Obama care provisions were a tax. Can Obonion suspend tax law? I am really confused.

hip shot on July 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Wow that train wrecked way ahead of schedule.

Johnnyreb on July 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Hospitals to Obama administration: Hey, throw us a bone here

“Funny bone..” – Obama

Electrongod on July 3, 2013 at 4:25 PM

And in the end, we all get boned.

slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM

The pile of__________ justs gets bigger by the hour.Fill in the blank.

docflash on July 3, 2013 at 4:31 PM

SCAM!

“In the hours leading up to the administration’s surprise decision Tuesday to delay implementation of Obamacare, the president’s team gave no indication of the course reversal, in a way hiding it by spending $32 million on children’s health care and announcing plans to expand the PR campaign.

One example: three and a half hours before notifying the public of the change in a Treasury Department blog post, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a conference call with reporters to announce a $32 million spending program to enroll poor and immigrant kids into the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“Every child in America should have access to the quality health care that they need,” she said, giving no hint that Obamacare, which supplied the $32 million, was about to be sidelined.

What’s more, she talked about how Obamacare’s insurance exchanges were going to kick in on time “this fall.”

Also on the call was top Medicare and Medicaid official Cindy Mann who, when asked about the National Football League deciding against helping in the Obamacare public relations effort, said that the administration still “reaching out” to other groups to help get Americans to sign up for the mandatory health insurance program…”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/hours-before-delaying-obamacare-sebelius-spent-32-million-on-it/article/2532679

workingclass artist on July 3, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Hehe. It was always the hospitals – not the insurance companies that were really behind the push to make Obamacare happen. Remember that when prices keep going up.

Zomcon JEM on July 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

And a little exit question of my own: If ObamaCare is supposed to be President Obama’s “crowning legislative achievement,” and he leaves office with ObamaCare’s implementation still in shambles and/or the system imploding under its own weight, then… Well, you know.

You can’t spell SCoaMF without “Failure”….

cthulhu on July 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Bernake prints money…and Obama’s Apparatchiki shuffle it to their favorites…

workingclass artist on July 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Obama has a policy for everything right after the word “dysfunctional.”

viking01 on July 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Hehe. It was always the hospitals – not the insurance companies that were really behind the push to make Obamacare happen. Remember that when prices keep going up.

Zomcon JEM on July 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

The Insurance Companies saw the handwriting on the wall…

workingclass artist on July 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

And a little exit question of my own: If ObamaCare is supposed to be President Obama’s “crowning legislative achievement,” and he leaves office with ObamaCare’s implementation still in shambles and/or the system imploding under its own weight, then… Well, you know.

“I is the king. I just directed a coup in Cairo. How dare you question me?” — obama

Schadenfreude on July 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Since this clusterfark of a law was saved by Roberts and his “tax by Congress issue” – say – can’t a Senator or House Member float a Bill to flat out kill the Congress-mandated tax?

I always thought this tactic would hoist the petard of this silly ruling – and even thought Roberts was pretty smart to put it out there… post 2012 election – are Republicans too scared of 2014 or just plain stupid?

Because here’s the kicker – if we think House and Senate elections will be swayed – based on how horrid Dems are doing – rally behind ending this crap of a Law. I suggest Republicans garner Democrat support and votes by calling it “Late Term Termination”… they love that title.

Odie1941 on July 3, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I think we should all gather in DC and march all night, throwing our green lasers up to the heavens. Because O is sure out of answers down here on Earth.

PattyJ on July 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

The Insurance Companies saw the handwriting on the wall…

workingclass artist on July 3, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Yeah – they knew that they were being turned into public utilities and ala RomneyCare were doomed. They had already been served up for dinner – they were just trying to delay the dinner bell.

Zomcon JEM on July 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

It’s starting to unravel for real. Putting off just part of it is going to make an even bigger mess.

Chuck Schick on July 3, 2013 at 4:44 PM

most of the funding streams except the “tax” on individuals are gone or delayed…..esh

CoffeeLover on July 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

governing is HARD.

PackerBronco on July 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

The Dems all thought this would be a cake to pull off. Seems that old devil called ‘reality’ has set in.

Liam on July 3, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Say, will the CBO be crunching numbers anytime soon for the masses of asses?

I really want to see a comparative chart to the past BS and lies they published.

Odie1941 on July 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Hospitals to Obama administration: Hey, throw us a bone here

Obama Administration to Hospitals: You’ve already been boned.

Rixon on July 3, 2013 at 4:53 PM

I loathe Obama, the Democrats, and Liberals in general and everything they stand for.

I want to see Obamacare destroyed and the Democrat party along with it but we must protest the unilateral decision by the administration to postpone the employer mandate and force them to go forward with implementation. They should not get any breathing room. They should not be allowed to postpone this to protect Democrats in next year’s elections. They should not be granted more time to “get it right”.

Did the legislation grant the administration the authority to postpone or waive any if it?

We have to make them own their Frankenstein’s monster. Challenge the authority to unilaterally alter legislation passed by Congress.

Charlemagne on July 3, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I just want to wish everyone at HotAir a Happy 4th of July.

Be safe, have fun.

ToddPA on July 3, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Obamacare SPECIFICALLY states that the EM must start on 1 January 2014. There is no ‘the Secretary shall…’ or ‘the Secretary may…’

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Aren’t these congress critters still trying to weasel themselves out of Obamacare, or did they succeed in exempting themselves through subterfuge or other hanky panky that the MSM wishes not to expose. There are rumors that Reid, Boehner and JugEARS were meeting behind the screen, seeing if they could pull this off by including a one line exemption in some 4000 page bill due to be legislated on.

Nah…that’s evil thinking on my part. Congress would not stoop that low…or would they?

timberline on July 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Huh, and we are supposed to believe that even if they do “borders first” that they will follow through? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, well, I won’t get fooled again.

cptacek on July 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

You didn’t build that hospital!

22044 on July 3, 2013 at 5:11 PM

“Hospitals to Obama administration: Hey, throw us a bone here”

OBOZO to Hospitals: Hey, where’s your contribution to my OFA endless-campaign organization (which is fully IRS tax exempt, of course.)

TeaPartyNation on July 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM

“This action raises a lot of questions about whether the Obama administration can simply ignore the law when it’s convenient for them,”

It’s an administration that simply ignores the Constitution when it’s convenient for them.

rbj on July 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

I think we should all gather in DC and march all night, throwing our green lasers up to the heavens. Because O is sure out of answers down here on Earth.

PattyJ on July 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

That only works for Egyptians. Americanos no se tienen pelotas.

timberline on July 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

They’ll have to try and push it to 2017…after they realize that 2016 has even more important elections, i.e. they can’t stand to lose the House, the Senate and the Presidency.

ObamaCare is the Gift that keeps giving!

Karmi on July 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Ha, like I stated earlier, inevitable. Now wait and watch the main policies of Obamacare fall like a line of dominoes. The midterms would be very entertaining. And lookee, so far, the trolls have avoided this thread. Like a prominent Dem said: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Lol.

tommy71 on July 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

“I don’t think any president has the authority to pick and choose what parts of law to follow,” Roe said.

Huh?

He’s been doing a damned good job at it for the last FIVE years!

GarandFan on July 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

This is a cluster of epic fail proportions. Popcorn anyone?

Philly on July 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

He can’t unilaterally suspend the law.

I’ve been thinking about the issue of standing that has been raised since this was made public yesterday. Many have cited Kennedy’s opinion in the Prop 8 case wherein he said, basically, that only the executive branch could sue for enforcement.

BUT, there is a problem with this. In the Prop 8 case, the defenders could not show that they would suffer harm if the ban was struck down.

OTOH, people, who have their insurance dropped by their employers next year, MIGHT have standing because they will be able to show harm, especially those in states that have opted not to run their own exchanges. Remember, that Obamacare specifically says that the Federal subsidies will only be available in state-run exchanges.

People, who have their employer-provided coverage terminated and live in a state without an exchange, could conceivably sue to obtain a court mandate that the Federal government uphold the law, as written.

In such a situation, rather than being like the Prop 8 defenders, those people would be in the position of those that were harmed – in that case, it was homosexual couples.

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I take comfort in knowing that another Democrat will inherit this mess, no matter how many times it gets pushed off. Own it, donks. It’s all yours. Watch it implode.

You tell all those lefty voters to whom you pandered where their free health care went. It was sacrificed for the midterms (and later).

Philly on July 3, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Erica, I think that’s “clowning legislative achievement”.

BizDoc on July 3, 2013 at 5:34 PM

It will never occur to the GOP to keep asking Obama to delay this or that provision, and then outline why it needs to be delayed.

Box.Hammers.Dumb.

BobMbx on July 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

The delay is for ONE reason only: maintaining power in the mid-terms–it’s all they know and has nothing to do with “hearing the people’s concerns”. If that was the case, the legislation would have never come to fruition in the first place. Simply awesome seeing this piece of garbage unravel right before our eyes.

hillsoftx on July 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM

I think we should all gather in DC and march all night, throwing our green lasers up to the heavens. Because O is sure out of answers down here on Earth.

PattyJ on July 3, 2013 at 4:39 PM

That only works for Egyptians. Americanos no se tienen pelotas.

timberline on July 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Shine a laser pointer into the air in the USA and the DHS will throw you in jail.

slickwillie2001 on July 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

The STUPIDITY and AIDING and ABETTING THE ENEMY nature is The Headline for this Post is BEYOND BELIEF!

williamg on July 3, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Hehe. It was always the hospitals – not the insurance companies that were really behind the push to make Obamacare happen. Remember that when prices keep going up.

Zomcon JEM on July 3, 2013 at 4:32 PM

That’s way too oversimplified. There were a lot of companies in the healthcare business that were just fine with Obamacare — as long as they got a piece of the action.

There’s an old saying about how politicians who want to rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

And when the government starts talking about regulating an industry, those regulations are usually going to benefit another business somewhere. So the businesses getting benefits will usually be all in favor of the new regulations.

You would think businesses would take the long view: that government regulation hurts all business in the long run. But they usually take the short view: if a new regulation gives them an advantage over their competition, they’re all for it.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

He can’t unilaterally suspend the law.

I’ve been thinking about the issue of standing that has been raised since this was made public yesterday. Many have cited Kennedy’s opinion in the Prop 8 case wherein he said, basically, that only the executive branch could sue for enforcement.

BUT, there is a problem with this. In the Prop 8 case, the defenders could not show that they would suffer harm if the ban was struck down.

OTOH, people, who have their insurance dropped by their employers next year, MIGHT have standing because they will be able to show harm, especially those in states that have opted not to run their own exchanges. Remember, that Obamacare specifically says that the Federal subsidies will only be available in state-run exchanges.

People, who have their employer-provided coverage terminated and live in a state without an exchange, could conceivably sue to obtain a court mandate that the Federal government uphold the law, as written.

In such a situation, rather than being like the Prop 8 defenders, those people would be in the position of those that were harmed – in that case, it was homosexual couples.

Resist We Much on July 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I take your overall point, but Obama doesn’t have to suspend any laws. All he has to do is just not enforce the law.

It’s very interesting that the president can’t refuse to spend money allocated by Congress, but he can refuse to defend laws passed by Congress, as in DOMA, and he can refuse to enforce laws passed by Congress, as in immigration laws. The end result makes a mockery of the legislative branch.

Of course, the legislative branch has the power to take action to cut the funding for the president’s cherished goals, but they somehow never use that power.

Right now, Congress could neuter the president if they really tried. Just slash the funding for the EPA, and there goes the War on Coal, for example.

But they won’t.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 3, 2013 at 7:27 PM

I’m wondering….what possible incentive does a business that’s victimized by this law have to take obama’s word for this?

What I mean is, since congress didn’t pass this change to the law, if a business actually decides to ignore the employer mandate for the year, what’s to keep obama from enforcing it “retroactively”? Especially against, say, a politically disfavored business like an oil company.

What mechanism is being used to do this arbitrarily? If it’s an executive order, can’t it simply be reversed with another executive order? Oh, sure, a court would be expected to side with the business under such circumstances, right?

Right?

runawayyyy on July 3, 2013 at 7:31 PM

While on the one hand it’s delightful to watch Obamacare falling to pieces right before our eyes, on the other hand it’s absolutely terrifying 1) that Obama feels comfortable enough issuing edicts like a dictator that his absolute lack of authority to do this didn’t even give him pause and 2) that no one has any idea how to rein in his self-granted power.

Pretty sure this is how tyrants get their start: unlimited personal ambition and opposition too weak to challenge it. (I’m recalling Obama’s open admiration of the powers of the Chinese president and shuddering…)

Here’s hoping the fear and passivity of our Congressmen give way at some point to love of country and patriotic duty (or at least to their sense of self-preservation and their own ordinarily healthy egos) and they rise up to take back the authority Obama is slowly but surely stripping from them.

Rule of Law: Live it. Love it. Or lose it.

butterflies and puppies on July 3, 2013 at 8:14 PM

“This action raises a lot of questions about whether the Obama administration can simply ignore the law when it’s convenient for them,”

Actually, there’s no question at all – they certainly can. Because you let them get away with it. This is why so many are speaking of “the tree of liberty” and “lampposts” and “pitchforks”. And they’re aren’t just looking at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave when they talk like that – they’re looking down the mall, too.

no one has any idea how to rein in his self-granted power.

butterflies and puppies on July 3, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Lots of folks know how. They just aren’t willing to cross that line, yet. (Congress certainly could, but they won’t do their Constitutional duty.)

GWB on July 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM

You would think businesses [substitute institution or organization of your choice] would take the long view: that government regulation hurts all business in the long run. But they usually take the short view: if a new regulation gives them an advantage over their competition, they’re all for it.

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

“What do I get out of it?” has determined far more behavior than “what is in the best interests of my society as a whole?”
See: any war of conquest in which one or more of the local “tribes” sided with the invader in order to suppress others of the “tribes”
(worked for the English against Wales, the imported Americans against the native ones, and the Romans against everyone).

AesopFan on July 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

WOW – Roe is not sure how the White House can just pick and choose certain parts of the law to follow?

Executive Order – done!

pencotron on July 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM