Halperin: Wow, this ObamaCare change just “screams of politics,” huh?

posted at 12:01 pm on February 11, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

As opposed to what? The original delay of the employer mandate in ObamaCare was equally political, and designed for the same purpose, which was to push most of the market disruptions past the midterm elections. No other rational reason existed for the delay except to prevent the entire electorate from getting body-slammed by plan changes and spending most of 2014 looking to take it out on Democrats in November. Unfortunately, no one in the Obama administration appeared to realize that a January 2015 compliance date would mean that disruptions would start taking place in the open-enrollment period that begins in November, just a few weeks before the election.

Thus we get yesterday’s partial delay for yet another year, in the hope that group insurance plans won’t get disrupted until well after the midterms. Mark Halperin argued on Morning Joe that this change doesn’t even have a fig leaf of rationalization, and is just pure politics:

In my column at The Week, I muse on the reversal and the damage it does to the strange celebration of disincentives that took place among Democrats and their apologists this past week, after the release of the CBO report. If the disincentives are so wonderful, why delay any part of the bill? Democrats finally met a disincentive they don’t like, that’s why:

Four years ago, Nancy Pelosi promised that ObamaCare would add four million jobs to the economy. This week, the new catchphrase became “job lock.” Now people would be free to not work, the argument went, thanks to the subsidies provided by those who do work for their health care. Democrats declared this an end to so-called “wage slavery,” but the White House couldn’t quite figure out how to square a smaller economy with bigger taxpayer-financed subsidies into a win for American consumers.

Now, suddenly, one of the main mechanisms of this supposed job-lock freedom bill has to be postponed. Why? According to an unnamed “senior administration official,” medium-sized businesses “need a little more time to adjust to providing coverage.” The law passed in March 2010, nearly four years ago, and the original statutory deadline of January 2014 was in place for more than three years. One would think that business owners, who have to create budgets and capital plans on an annual basis, would already know how to provide coverage — since most businesses have done precisely that, for decades before ObamaCare.

The real problem for the White House is that many of these employers will find ways to get out of providing that coverage — and the Obama administration has known that almost ever since the law passed. HHS’s own analysis showed that as many as 93 million Americans might find themselves out of their current plans when the employer mandate goes into full effect, and the financial disincentives to provide coverage as premiums skyrocket this year means many of those will find themselves in the individual market. …

Suddenly, Democrats have met a disincentive they won’t embrace — the disincentive to vote for the politicians who imposed this unpopular system on taxpayers in the first place. That tells us all we need to know about their embrace of the other disincentives in the ACA.

Even some of the supporters of ObamaCare have had enough. Ron Fournier at National Journal says he’s tired of defending it while the White House keeps manipulating it for its own political purposes:

Advocates for a strong executive branch, including me, have given the White House a pass on its rule-making authority, because implementing such a complicated law requires flexibility. But the law may be getting stretched to the point of breaking. Think of the ACA as a game of Jenga: adjust one piece and the rest are affected; adjust too many and it falls.

If not illegal, the changes are fueling suspicion among Obama-loathing conservatives, and confusion in the rest of us. Even the law’s most fervent supporters are frustrated. …

I want the ACA to work because I want to health insurance provided to the millions without it, for both the moral and economic benefits. I want the ACA to work because, as Charles Lane wrote for the Washington Post, the link between work and insurance needs to be broken. I want the ACA to work because the GOP has not offered a serious alternative that can pass Congress.

Unfortunately, the president and his team are making their good intentions almost indefensible.

Which road, according to an old proverb, was paved with good intentions? The continuous need to change the law should give Fournier a big clue that the law itself is a badly-written disaster, even if the disastrous results haven’t taught that lesson yet. The law creates a command economy and the results of such economies are sadly and easily predicted, not just in theory but in actual experience. Unfortunately, we didn’t learn from history, and are in the midst of an unnecessary and expensive repetition, to paraphrase another apposite proverb.


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this from the Foxnews.com webby thing :
THOUGHT POLICE: FIRMS MUST SWEAR OBAMACARE NOT A FACTOR IN FIRINGS
Is the latest delay of ObamaCare regulations politically motivated? Consider what administration officials announcing the new exemption for medium-sized employers had to say about firms that might fire workers to get under the threshold and avoid hugely expensive new requirements of the law. Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.

God, Gold and Guns…. hold tight to all.

Von Kleist on February 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

GOP does not care.

Starlink on February 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Oh, I’m sure Boehner will get around to whining about later on today when he announces the official cave on the debt ceiling. He wouldn’t want to irritate those Democrats by actually having a spine or something.

Happy Nomad on February 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

In other breaking news Mark Halperin discovers that water is wet.

rbj on February 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

New thread but same question asked of libfree or any other leftist who wants to chime in:

Is Dog Eater breaking the law with his arbitrary delays?

Yes [ ]

No [ ]

Bishop on February 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM

If ObamaCare is such a great law, why aren’t Democrats clamoring for full implementation to take effect immediately?

What say you, Nancy?

Bitter Clinger on February 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM

because the GOP has not offered a serious alternative that can pass Congress.

Note the weaselly qualifier. The GOP has offered several serious alternatives- but the Dems have locked them out.

Bat Chain Puller on February 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

own it dems…no whining…you wanted this boondoggle, suck it up

cmsinaz on February 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Yup, Boehner’s office issued a mild statement about it yesterday…courage.

d1carter on February 11, 2014 at 12:12 PM

GOP does not care.

Starlink on February 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

If only the GOP-e would go after Obama on this like they went after Cruz/Paul/Lee/Tea Partiers during the shutdown.

midgeorgian on February 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

He’s got a pen and a mouth.

One is for passing laws for show, the other is for manipulating laws for political gain.

fogw on February 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Halperin: Wow, this ObamaCare change just “screams of politics,” huh?

Mark Halperin restates the obvious.

At this point, there’s no way to avoid concluding that Barack Obama is doing whatever he wants to do in disregard — suggesting disdain — for the Constitution.

“Constitutional professor” was never so wrongly applied as it has been to Barack Obama. He has learned just enough about it to violate it cavalierly. Obama doesn’t care about the document except as one he can violate.

Our nation has gone around a bend as to ethics and respect for our founding principles. I blame Obama and the corrupt Progressives for encouraging and allowing this to happen because without their appeasing, Obama would be facing life in a federal penitentiary.

Lourdes on February 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

And Ron Fornier is just now having difficulty defending it…defending it?

d1carter on February 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Note the weaselly qualifier. The GOP has offered several serious alternatives- but the Dems have locked them out.

Bat Chain Puller on February 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

the lefties seem to skip that part….

cmsinaz on February 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Wacko Bird McCain and Peter King are just furious….LOL.

d1carter on February 11, 2014 at 12:14 PM

THOUGHT POLICE: FIRMS MUST SWEAR OBAMACARE NOT A FACTOR IN FIRINGS
Is the latest delay of ObamaCare regulations politically motivated? Consider what administration officials announcing the new exemption for medium-sized employers had to say about firms that might fire workers to get under the threshold and avoid hugely expensive new requirements of the law. Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. How will the feds know what employers were thinking when hiring and firing? Simple. Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs. You can duck the law, but only if you promise not to say so.

Von Kleist on February 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Nothing new. Before the 2012 election Barky and his junta told firms (with thinly veiled threats) not to send out law-mandated layoff notices to employees. It was due to BarkyCare and the retard and his junta decided that they didn’t like that law, so they instructed the corporations to break it … or else.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 11, 2014 at 12:15 PM

New thread but same question asked of libfree or any other leftist who wants to chime in:

Is Dog Eater breaking the law with his arbitrary delays?

Yes [ ]

No [ ]

Bishop on February 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I’m sure you’ve noticed that he/she/it hasn’t bothered answering what is a straightforward question.

Happy Nomad on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Why does obama hate the individuals in the US?

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Is there any need for Congress anymore..?

d1carter on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Heh, Obama’s openly demeaning the French Pres., Hollande, from the White House while the diminutive Hollande just stands there with a plastered, frozen smile on his face.

On FOX, live at this moment.

Lourdes on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

He’s got a pen and a mouth.

One is for passing laws for show, the other is for manipulating laws for political gain.

fogw on February 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

As Legend say “he also has drones”.

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The Dems are successfully re-writing their own law in order to not suffer the consequences of it. It will work. Sheeple are too stupid to remember.

TerryW on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

At this point, if he elects to disobey the part of the Constitution that says he has to leave office in January 2017, what difference does it make?

ConstantineXI on February 11, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Why does obama hate the individuals in the US?

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

He’s stuck in childhood animosities and doesn’t appear to even recognize that about himself. So he strikes out against “them” or whoever he’s deemed responsible for NOT INDULGING him.

His mother used to push him into a closet and lock the door while Obama continued his childhood tantrums when he “didn’t get his way” about whatever.

He’s still engaged in that same level of tantrum, only he’s acquired cosmetic skills as display. Obama is antisocial at best.

Lourdes on February 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

If ObamaCare is such a great law, why aren’t Democrats clamoring for full implementation to take effect immediately?

Bitter Clinger on February 11, 2014 at 12:09 PM

You change a babies diaper because it stinks. Same goes for Obamacare. Dear Leaders daily footnotes are nothing less than an admission of failure.

That’s the campaign ad for the GOP this fall.

fogw on February 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

OT – I can see at least 3 pigs in this picture.

In dire times they should not waste so much.

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

GOP does not care.

Starlink on February 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

The GOP is too busy still trying to collude with Barky on the treasonous aid and comfort for illegals. barky should have been impeached and then criminally prosecuted for that but the GOP has chosen, instead, to ally with him against what-used-to-be America.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Time for serious civil disobedience.

BuckeyeSam on February 11, 2014 at 12:20 PM

If the law is such a great deal just enforce it, wouldya?

Any business has had YEARS to plan for the implementation of it.

Sorry that it’s a political loser, but it is the law you wanted, pushed for and passed.

The Left should want and push for that.

And any member of Congress should bring the President to court for NOT enforcing the law AS WRITTEN.

ajacksonian on February 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Leftists, why do you hate the individuals and favor the corporations?

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Time for serious civil disobedience.

BuckeyeSam on February 11, 2014 at 12:20 PM

PAST time if you ask me.

Obama de-legitimizes his administration and this government DAILY.

No one is obligated to obey an illegal order or law, not even “common” peasants like us.

Obama has turned this country RINO

Republic
In
Name
Only

ConstantineXI on February 11, 2014 at 12:24 PM

And where is the proof Obama’s intentions were “good”? On the other hand, his actions and words more than support the thesis that he is simply but tragically forcing the nation down a path to socialism at best and to communism at worst. Somewhere along the line people must stop pandering to this guy and expose the true state of the nation and its left wing leadership.

rplat on February 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Next up: Big Government forcing medical health professionals to accept Obamacare patients.

“We’ll make this turkey fly if it kills them! The history books MUST show the first African-American president as a success!”

otlset on February 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Leftists, why do you hate the individuals and favor the corporations?

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Corporations that collaborate with Obama (ie: have passed the boodle) are GOOD corporations. IE: GE, Warren Buffett, etc.

Corporations that don’t collaborate with Obama (ie: don’t contribute) are EVIL corporations and will be PUNISHED. IE: Gibson Guitar.

ConstantineXI on February 11, 2014 at 12:27 PM

and then hotair will run out of material to bash the President on…that’s what you’re really afraid of, right?

nonpartisan on November 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

You know, libfree might be right. Democrats will be running on the White House version of Obamacare, not the version that was passed.

Oh, and with 27 Executive alterations to the law, can we all agree that “Obamacare” is the appropriate name (or substitute “care” for something else if you like, but leave “Obama”) for this heaping pile of feces? It certainly isn’t “CongressionalCare”. They want no part of it. And the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is laughable. It doesn’t protect patients, and it doesn’t appear to be affordable for anyone.

Chris of Rights on February 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I’m sure you’ve noticed that he/she/it hasn’t bothered answering what is a straightforward question.

Happy Nomad on February 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Well, there’s no way to twist and turn that question around so that Republicans are the bad guys, so of course he hasn’t responded.

PetecminMd on February 11, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Next up: Big Government forcing medical health professionals to accept Obamacare patients.

Well, since Obama is repudiating whole sections of the Constitution, WHY NOT the 13th Amendment? Ironic for the first African-African President, no?

“We’ll make this turkey fly if it kills them! The history books MUST show the first African-American president as a success!”

otlset on February 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

There is nothing short of divine intervention that can make this Presidency a success so deep the hole he’s in is. And Obama isn’t exactly the praying type. Except to the image in his mirror that is.

ConstantineXI on February 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Fournier – Prime example of “You can’t fix STUPID!

GarandFan on February 11, 2014 at 12:30 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 11, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I’m left wondering how much longer will good men sit idly by….

Von Kleist on February 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Delay the trainwreck but really do nothing that is basically what he did it was for show and political gain.

sorrowen on February 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I’m with a lot of you. The GOP should be held accountable for allowing Obama to break the law.

Kanga on February 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Dear Leader may need a third term to get this straightened out….?

d1carter on February 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

It’s pretty simple actually. Shoot for the moon initially, and then scale back as you find out what works and what doesn’t. The same concept applies when trying to sell something. Price it high, and then settle for something less than that, but still satisfying to you.

The dems threw the kitchen sink at health care, and now they’ve learned what will work politically and what won’t, and they’re adjusting (or recalibrating to use the term du jour). It’s all about the politics of it though. Always has been, always will be.

Meanwhile, republican squishes in congress fight and re-fight the same battle, over and over again. And expect different results.

We are governed by completely insane people. Since we voted ‘em in to begin with, that must mean we’re insane too.

Dumb all over, and maybe even a little ugly on the side…

dinahmoehumm on February 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

THOUGHT POLICE: FIRMS MUST SWEAR OBAMACARE NOT A FACTOR IN FIRINGS

Von Kleist on February 11, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The US is no longer a free country. Businesses are forced to create crime…by the IRS…

Pitchfork all in Nov., politically, and after that we’ll see.

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Bishop on February 11, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Mark brainfree’s silence, the coward won’t answer.

NotCoach on February 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Fascist America is on display, from both parties.

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Fournier is a socialist in sheep’s clothing.

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Wow, when even Halperin and Fournier are criticizing it, you know this 1,000th delay to the law (all of them illegal) must be looking very bad. Yet, of course, the Little Sisters of the Poor do not deserve any birth control exemptions

Dr.B on February 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I’m left wondering how much longer will good men sit idly by….

Von Kleist on February 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Hard to say. Too many are still hoping that everything will, somehow, return to normal. it might take some time until a large enough number realize the massive IRREPARABLE damage that has been done and that America, as we knew it, is long dead.

Then again, this society might just be too weak to do anything – sort of like the GOP. Again, hard to say. But, we’ve all seen the lawlessness and anti-Americanism in Barky since back in the 2008 campaign (when he should have been tossed and jailed for holding the largest political rally fo the campaign in a friggin foreign nation for friggin foreigners, not to mention the illegality of the AVS turnoff, giving a million to ACORN GOTV and lying about it, …).

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 11, 2014 at 12:41 PM

This is just a guess. But I’m thinking the GOP is so terrified of making BO a martyr they will not hold him accountable for anything.

yhxqqsn on February 11, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Troll-free thread so far…can they even defend this clusterfark anymore?

Royal Fizzbin on February 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM

When this “law” was passed, we were told that it had to be done now — that we couldn’t wait any longer. The fact that is was delayed initially for 3 years flew in the face of this argument right off the bat. Now, we have about 27 changes to the “law” without any of them coming from the Congress, they have all been by executive fiat. They have almost all been done for basically political expediency.

Where have the checks and balances gone in our system? The Congress passes the law and the Executive is suppose to carry it out. That is the way it is written in the Constitution. That has gone by the wayside. The Congress has made itself irrelevant and the Executive is making itself all powerful.

The only place left for the people is at the ballot box — that is the only real recourse we have to change this. I have never been a fan of term limits because I believe we already have the power to limit their terms. It is time for us to reverse the curse — instead of 90% or so being re-elected, it is time for 90% or more to be un-reelected.

Do not stay home this November — Get Out The Vote and Throw The Bums Out.

CPRforAmerica on February 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Time for serious civil disobedience.

BuckeyeSam on February 11, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Are you waiting for someone else to go first?

Bat Chain Puller on February 11, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Good men don’t.

I put this on another thread but I’m going to put it on any that fit.

God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts,true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in prifate thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
By Josiah Gilbert Holland

crankyoldlady on February 11, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Do not stay home this November — Get Out The Vote and Throw The Bums Out.
CPRforAmerica

I agree, including the establishment Republicans who we did not vote for to cave to the Democrats.

Kanga on February 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I want the ACA to work because I want to health insurance provided to the millions without it, for both the moral and economic benefits.

Learn the difference between health insurance and health care. We can provide health care without necessarily providing health insurance.

I want the ACA to work because, as Charles Lane wrote for the Washington Post, the link between work and insurance needs to be broken.

And you would be the first in line to protest if business started dropping health insurance policies in order to break that link.

I want the ACA to work because the GOP has not offered a serious alternative that can pass Congress.

The ACA could not pass Congress right now and the Dems are unable to legally amend it to fix its inherit problems because they know they can’t. I guess that makes it not a serious alternative either.

PackerBronco on February 11, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I asked my auto insurance why the new rates were so high. She replied that the insurance companies are expecting significantly higher medical claim costs as ObamaCare rolls out.

bw222 on February 11, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Next up: Big Government forcing medical health professionals to accept Obamacare patients.

“We’ll make this turkey fly if it kills them! The history books MUST show the first African-American president as a success!”

otlset on February 11, 2014 at 12:25 PM

That would actually be harder than you might think. Licensure is a state issue. And the feds only have any authority if you chose to participate as a Medicare/Medicaid provider. Doctors have a lot of room to go Galt–simply decline to participate and go to a cash only basis, either on a per visit plan or a monthly fee. I know one group here in town that is currently making this transition.

I guess they could mess with your DEA number for leverage, but still, their leverage is limited over individual doctors so long as the docs are willing to take the plunge without medicaid or medicare. You’ll be seeing more and more of this in the next couple of years.

Doc Holliday on February 11, 2014 at 1:22 PM

It does not scream of ‘POLITICS’, you ignorant Son of a B!t@h…

It screams of ‘CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS!’

oBAMA HAS ILLEGALLY MODIFIED OBAMACARE OVER 2,500 TIMES – DIRECT VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION, SPECIFICALLY THE ‘SEPARATION OF POWERS’ ACT.

easyt65 on February 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Somewhere, in a parallel universe…

Democrats, Media Slam President Romney Over Health Care Law Changes

Chris of Rights on February 11, 2014 at 2:22 PM

The only place left for the people is at the ballot box

No, the ballot box is no option at all anymore. You have to get you mind away from the usual things that used to be done. Things are different now. We’re dealing with dictators. Voting is no longer an option.

crankyoldlady on February 11, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Ron Fournier at National Journal was on the FOX News Special Report all-star panel last night and he was, in a wierd way, defending all these changes saying that they were “Merely changes in the tax code, which was, after all, what Obamacare was. A tax.”

Well, well, now the liberal spin is that a president can change tax code whenever he wants to. Oh really? Then I say that the next Republican president should just issue an Executive Order and do away with the death tax, the capital gains tax, and all dividend income tax. Let’s see what Congress has to say about that.

By allowing Obama to make all of these changes to a law on his own, how can you now stop any future president from doing the same thing to any law he doesn’t like? I really wonder if the mainstream media would be this tolerant if a Republican was in he White House? I’ll give you three guesses, and he first two don’t count.

Libertyship46 on February 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

NS,S.

Knott Buyinit on February 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I want the ACA to work because, as Charles Lane wrote for the Washington Post, the link between work and insurance needs to be broken

Lane and Fournier conveniently (maybe ignorantly) forget that the whole reason work and insurance was linked was so employers could attract talent in the midst of taxes and regulation that would otherwise have made adding employees much too expensive.

The problem of too much government is the well-documented cause of their healthcare concerns and yet all they do is advocate for more of tha same. Total fargain idiots.

beselfish on February 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I want the ACA to work because, as Charles Lane wrote for the Washington Post, the link between work and insurance needs to be broken.

My translation: “We have observed that health insurance through employment works very well, and therefore we must destroy it. It makes Obamacare look bad.”

Charles Lane is an idiot, and Fox News needs to set a higher bar for participation on ‘the panel’ on their primary hard news program.

slickwillie2001 on February 11, 2014 at 3:32 PM