Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on February 11, 2014 by Allahpundit

‘ObamaCare” is useful shorthand for the Affordable Care Act not least because the law increasingly means whatever President Obama says it does on any given day. His latest lawless rewrite arrived on Monday as the White House decided to delay the law’s employer mandate for another year and in some cases maybe forever…

Either ObamaCare is ushering in a worker’s paradise, in which case by the White House’s own logic exempting businesses from its ministrations is harming employees. Or else the mandate really is leading business to cut back on hiring, hours and shifting workers to part-time as the evidence in the real economy suggests…

Changing an unambiguous statutory mandate requires the approval of Congress, but then this President has often decided the law is whatever he says it is. His Administration’s cavalier notions about law enforcement are especially notable here for their bias for corporations over people. The White House has refused to suspend the individual insurance mandate, despite the harm caused to millions who are losing their previous coverage…

Liberals say the law isn’t harming jobs or economic growth, but everything this White House does screams the opposite.

***

[W]hatever it might tell us about the White House’s assessment of its administrative and political difficulties, it surely reinforces something we already knew about the administration’s assessment of its obligations to the rule of law — namely, that the administration believes it has none.

We have here a written statute that levies a fine on large employers who fail to provide insurance coverage as a benefit to their employees. It defines a large employer as “an employer who employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the preceding calendar year,” provides a relatively detailed set of criteria for applying that definition, and states that the provision “shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” We have already seen that latter date pushed back by a year without obvious legal authority, and now we see it pushed back by another year for some affected employers while the requirement is loosened for others. If this kind of selective enforcement of a public law is legitimate, then how exactly would the president describe the limits of his ability to engage in such selection? Is he bound in some definable way to the particulars of statutes as written and passed by Congress, or does he merely take them as suggestions for how he might proceed?

***

Courts are unlikely to do anything here either, as it is not clear who would have standing to challenge the latest rule. In order to demonstrate standing, a plaintiff must show that they are directly and personally injured by the government action at issue. While delaying the employer mandate means some people will not get employer-provided insurance this year, it is difficult to figure out who those people are and even more difficult to prove what a given firm would have done were the mandate enforced on schedule. Some firms would likely provide insurance to their employees, as the law anticipates, but others might elect to pay the penalty instead. For standing purposes, it’s a matter of conjecture which firm is which. And without the ability to demonstrate a concrete and particularized injury that was caused by the government’s action (and that would be redressed by a favorable court judgment) there is no standing to sue…

The Obama Administration is not the first to take liberties with the laws it is charged with executing, and it will not be the last. Yet the increasing brazenness with which the Administration is disregarding inconvenient or ill-conceived portions of its signature legislative achievement lowers the bar to a disturbing degree. Even where ad hoc administrative revisions seem justified to ease the law’s implementation, such moves are illegal if not authorized by Congress. The Executive Branch is supposed to faithfully execute the laws Congress enacts, not rewrite them.

***

But beyond the specifics of the new rule or the policy impact of these latest deferrals, it is yet another example of the administration losing credibility with the public, the insurance industry, and the business community over the implementation of the ACA.

Small-business owners have been trying to understand and plan for the impact the ACA will ultimately have on their bottom line and benefit packages since the law passed in March of 2010, and it hasn’t been easy. With the administrative agencies putting out rules on delayed timelines only to reverse them, releasing new guidelines every year, making important policy changes via obscure FAQ documents, and blatantly ignoring the legislative text when making these decisions, what is left of the law is highly confusing and disruptive to companies trying to plan for the future.

***

[T]o make an insurance system work you have to have a set of consistent and consistently applied rules. You can’t have some people choosing to be out today and in tomorrow. You can’t have a system where insurers price products based upon one set of conditions and then you keep backing off on the conditions consumers and employers have to follow.

The administration really has three options:

1.Full speed ahead––enforce all of the original rules. Just take the political heat believing you have crafted a system that will work. This is what they have been telling us for almost four years now!
2. Do a comprehensive and rational fix that provides for a modified system for everyone learning from the mistakes that were made.
3. Let it unravel one step at a time caving in to every constituency that threatens a vulnerable Democratic Senator and end up with a worse mess.

Looks to me like they are on track for number three.

***

Now, if all this haphazard implementation were only a matter of improving what are onerous and poorly written facets of Obamacare, that would be one thing. A bad thing, yes. But what makes this free-for-all an especially blatant abuse of power is that the delays are enacted almost exclusively for political reasons.

If some of your deep-pocketed cronies visit the White House, delay the law’s employer mandate. Why not? If the risible Medicare cuts you concoct to sell ACA to voters by keeping the price tag under a trillion dollars become distasteful to voters leading up to an election, just delay the cuts until you have a more advantageous environment. If caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs haven’t panned out like you promised — delay for another year. Small Business Health Options Program? Delay. Employee Auto-enrollment? Delay. Pre-existing conditions insurance sign-up? Delay…

Notice that even [news] outlets must admit that the impetus for delay is a political consideration — “limit election-year damage” and “defuse another potential controversy” — not an effort to craft a more useful law. Normally, when policy is as burdensome and ungainly as the Affordable Care Act has been, an honest person might admit that perhaps something isn’t exactly right with the law itself. Not today. A never-ending fount of partisan defensiveness makes it impossible to rethink — much less repeal — any part of Obamacare.

***

What’s striking here is that liberals have gone along with these moves from the White House…

The problem with this is that, of course, if it becomes accepted American Constitutional tradition that the President can apply whatever laws she wants, well, that tradition applies to Republicans as well as Democrats. Now that the Obama Administration has set a precedent that the White House can decide not to apply parts of Obamacare, it has given the authority to the next Republican administration to rewrite the health law at will, without even having to go to Congress. But, apparently, this doesn’t make liberals blanch.

Of course, the next Republican administration might want to use this new presidential superpower to rewrite all sorts of laws. Entitlement laws. Labor laws. Environmental laws. Abortion laws. Financial regulations. Civil liberties. The list goes on.

For decades, conservatives have been dreaming of enough power to reshape an American government that, despite the Reagan revolution, still remains fundamentally liberal in its structure. The Obama Administration may be handing it to them. With a liberal cheering section.

***

Washington D. C. — In a move certain to please his conservative supporters and infuriate his critics, President Romney announced this afternoon that his administration would make yet another change to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In a terse release, posted without fanfare to the Department of Health and Human Services website, officials revealed that the law’s employer mandate would be suspended until 2016 for all businesses that employ between 50 and 99 people…

“This is an utter disgrace,” griped Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). “This law was passed through Congress, signed by the previous president, and upheld by the Supreme Court.”

Schumer’s colleague, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, described the Romney administration’s behavior as “the nuclear option.” “This abuse of executive discretion is beyond the pale,” Reid fumed. “I’m a lawyer, I know.”…

An unfortunately timed remark, made by Romney as he left a meeting at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello this morning, is certain to throw fuel on the fire. “That’s the good thing as president,” he was heard to joke, “I can do whatever I want.”

***

***

***

Via the Daily Rushbo.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

morning renalin :)

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:02 AM

the helicopter and christie controversy was a bust apparently…..shame on msdnc…

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:04 AM

nicole wallace loving boehner

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:09 AM

mika equating the gop house as hoodlums?

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Looking forward to hearing from KJ this morning and hoping all is well with him and his family.

esr1951 on February 12, 2014 at 6:21 AM

esr1951 on February 12, 2014 at 6:21 AM

ditto

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:23 AM

cmsinaz — watching the clowns at MSLSD so you don’t have to.

Top of the day, Lad.

Jaibones on February 12, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Jaibones on February 12, 2014 at 6:24 AM

morning JB :)

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Man, it is fcuking cold and windy tonight…

OmahaConservative on February 11, 2014 at 10:51 PM

That’s because it’s 16 degrees.

63 here.

Lanceman on February 11, 2014 at 10:51 PM

In my dreams it was 16. -4 right in Chicago, but that’s the end of below zero for us! Spring is in the air!

Jaibones on February 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM

Jaibones on February 12, 2014 at 6:27 AM

brrrr

come on down to arizona…80s for the rest of the week…

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:30 AM

0 degrees here in Maine this morning. Life as it’s supposed to be.

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2014 at 6:32 AM

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Is Arizona a good place to live. I mean politically. I’m aware of the summer heat. Is it expensive?

crankyoldlady on February 12, 2014 at 6:58 AM

7 degrees in Almost Heaven. Yay, global warming.

Royal Fizzbin on February 12, 2014 at 7:06 AM

the helicopter and christie controversy was a bust apparently…..shame on msdnc…

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Rachael Madcow
Chris Hayes
Special Ed
The MJ crew………

MSDNC has no shame!

Good Morning cms!

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:08 AM

0 degrees here in Maine this morning. Life as it’s supposed to be.

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2014 at 6:32 AM

19 degrees here inside the beltway. I always thought hell would be a bit warmer.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:09 AM

COL we have McCain right now so theres that
Depends on which area but its relatively inexpensive…. houses are cheap

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Uh oh. What is wrong with KJ? I haven’t been on in the morning, for a week or so.

herm2416 on February 12, 2014 at 7:13 AM

Morning HN :)

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Goooooood morning, cms! A balmy 0 here right now, with a high of 20. Snow in the backyard well over my knees!

I LOVE this weather!

herm2416 on February 12, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Morning Herm

Mrs KJ was under the weather….. we hope she doing well now

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Cms, thank you! And prayers!

herm2416 on February 12, 2014 at 7:32 AM

OT-

Did you all see that Lake Superior is going to be completely frozen over? Currently at 91%. Paging Al Gore, there is an incovenient fact you might want to see.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.

orru I’m late. We got sprung from the Hospital at 11 last night. the preliminary read-outs on the stress test were normal. The doctor will call my bride today to give her the lowdown. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!

This one is for bluegill.

We say keep your change, we’ll keep our God, our guns, our constitution.

– Sarah Palin

My take: Sarah! at 50

kingsjester on February 12, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Courts are unlikely to do anything here either, as it is not clear who would have standing to challenge the latest rule. In order to demonstrate standing, a plaintiff must show that they are directly and personally injured by the government action at issue.

We can defend against bad guys like Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini but against Obama we are his puppets? Nonsense.

Herb on February 12, 2014 at 7:52 AM

OT-

Did you all see that Lake Superior is going to be completely frozen over? Currently at 91%. Paging Al Gore, there is an incovenient fact you might want to see.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:38 AM

I wish someone would load Al Gore into a plane and drop him onto Lake Superior, naked, with nothing but his inconvenient truth book. Yeah, I said Al Gore naked.

Key West Reader on February 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

We are at minus 5 this am , which feels like a heat wave after the minus 18 yesterday morning.

I lived in Tucson in the early 1970′s. It was a beautiful place during a beautiful time.

esr1951 on February 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM

I wish someone would load Al Gore into a plane and drop him onto Lake Superior, naked, with nothing but his inconvenient truth book. Yeah, I said Al Gore naked.

Key West Reader on February 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Or treated like a surplus giraffe at a Danish zoo.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Or treated like a surplus giraffe at a Danish zoo.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:59 AM

He gonna get his “chakra” goin’

/Sorry… couldn’t resist

Key West Reader on February 12, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Good to hear KJ….
Give your bride a hug for us

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 8:06 AM

I wish someone would load Al Gore into a plane and drop him onto Lake Superior, naked, with nothing but his inconvenient truth book. Yeah, I said Al Gore naked.

Key West Reader on February 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Or treated like a surplus giraffe at a Danish zoo.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Oh dear. That is an image that won’t soon go away.

esr1951 on February 12, 2014 at 8:06 AM

I wish someone would load Al Gore into a plane and drop him onto Lake Superior, naked, with nothing but his inconvenient truth book. Yeah, I said Al Gore naked.

Key West Reader on February 12, 2014 at 7:53 AM

Did you have to bring up that image this early in the morning. Key West sounds like a neat place…in winter.

crankyoldlady on February 12, 2014 at 8:18 AM

COL we have McCain right now so theres that
Depends on which area but its relatively inexpensive…. houses are cheap

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 7:09 AM

I’ve been through AZ and I like it. Who is your other senator? McCain won’t be there forever. I’m getting old to be moving but I’m thinking about it. At least I would like to go there in winter.

crankyoldlady on February 12, 2014 at 8:22 AM

COL….Flake is the other

Come on down :)

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 8:32 AM

I lived in Tucson in the early 1970′s. It was a beautiful place during a beautiful time.

esr1951 on February 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM

I’ve seen Tucson. I thought it was beautiful there. I suppose it’s full of illegals now.

crankyoldlady on February 12, 2014 at 8:35 AM

COL….Flake is the other

Come on down :)

cmsinaz on February 12, 2014 at 8:32 AM

I’m thinking get a small motor home (my little ranger won’t tow anything but a tent) and go someplace warm. I would like to see CA again but not to stay.

crankyoldlady on February 12, 2014 at 8:38 AM

My take: Sarah! at 50

kingsjester on February 12, 2014 at 7:52 AM

…HA!…and look at the 1st thread of the day!
Hope Mrs. kj will be ok!…glad she’s home!

KOOLAID2 on February 12, 2014 at 8:39 AM

KOOLAID2 on February 12, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Me, too, my friend. Thank you.

kingsjester on February 12, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Oh well, bullet not dodged, quiet though.

Bmore on February 12, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Report: 100% of Tax-Exempt Groups Singled Out For Audits By IRS Were Right-Leaning…
Via WSJ:
A Republican House committee chairman said the Internal Revenue Service targeted tax-exempt conservative groups for audits, widening the scope of GOP ire over the agency’s oversight of political activities.

House Democrats pushed back, saying Republicans were seeking to use the IRS controversy to score political points with their conservative base in an election year.

“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”
http://weaselzippers.us/173302-report-100-of-tax-exempt-groups-singled-out-for-audits-by-irs-were-right-leaning/

DinaRehn on February 12, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Hacked X-Rays Could Slip Guns Past Airport Security
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — Could a threat-simulation feature found in airport x-ray machines around the country be subverted to mask weapons or other contraband hidden in a traveler’s carry-on?

The answer is yes, according to two security researchers with a history of discovering flaws in critical systems, who purchased their own x-ray control machine online and spent months analyzing its inner workings.

The feature is designed to train x-ray operators, and to periodically test their proficiency at spotting banned items. It allows supervisors to superimpose a chosen image of contraband onto the screen of any baggage system in the airport. That same capability would allow someone with access to the airport supervisor’s workstation to superimpose a harmless image of socks or underwear over an x-ray scan that would otherwise reveal a weapon or explosive.
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2014/02/tsa-airport-scanners/

DinaRehn on February 12, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Oh well, bullet not dodged, quiet though.

Bmore on February 12, 2014 at 9:06 AM

It is getting fierce. It won’t be pushed around anymore.

Lanceman on February 12, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Some rockabilly for OC:

Nat Couty & The Braves – “Woodpecker Rock”

Anti-Control on February 12, 2014 at 2:07 AM

Thanks, found it this morning…

OmahaConservative on February 12, 2014 at 10:28 AM

0 degrees here in Maine this morning. Life as it’s supposed to be.

Cleombrotus on February 12, 2014 at 6:32 AM

-5 in etna.
normal february morning.

dmacleo on February 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM

kj…nice SP ‘my take’..
glad the wife is home and mending..

KA2 glad you made it thru the night.. get the blower fixed yet?
if you need any help give me a shout…ill check back later..
your close to Armstrong Millwrights…so I know the area..

going2mars on February 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

going2mars on February 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I’ll catch up with you this evening on QOTD to take up the conversation where we left off. I had to crash. ; )

Bmore on February 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM

rodger mr Bmore..
lets hope a raw lumber bill is coming up for a vote
and the QotD will be like woodcity..!! (as if)
we wouldn’t want to be OT and yelled at by the guppy…
adverts are still popping up on my screen from that thing
Sparky bought …days ago…laffs (sanding disc)

going2mars on February 12, 2014 at 2:10 PM

going2mars on February 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

…thanks bud!…had heat by noon…only reason it took that long is the guy had to go to Livonia for a double shat blower motor!…a little pricey since I’m a shopper…but when its below 50 in the house…the Dutch goes out of me!
…notice how the South is starting to look like the North with the weather?…heck!…even the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is voting on weather to become UNION! (:->)

KOOLAID2 on February 12, 2014 at 7:20 PM

KOOLAID2 on February 12, 2014 at 7:20 PM

great news about your new blower…..cept the price part..
I know what you mean…I am paying wayyy more for
firewood that id like to pay here too..
yeah I saw the weather down south…lightweights…laffs
and I also say the VW plant cant wait to ‘go Detroit’
they should remember…VW can always move back to the mother ship.. Germany
ford and GM have no other place to go…
VW can move that assy line out…just as fast as it went in..
the cars are not designed here…they have no steel work being don’t here from mining the stuff to die stamping it into a fender..
(the BUDD Company isn’t making their dies)
the motor blocks are not poured in America nor machined here…
its easy to move a simple Assembly line…
maybe Mexico would give them a deal…
my point…before you vote union in Tenn…look what happened in Detroit…we lost more union jobs here in the last 20 years
than there are union jobs left…
where was the union during all that??
Detroit has lost lose to 2 million union jobs…
think about it Tennessee..

going2mars on February 12, 2014 at 8:29 PM

Detroit has lost lose……close to 2 million union jobs…sorry

going2mars on February 12, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6