Oh, by the way: Obama just quietly suspended ObamaCare’s individual mandate until 2016

posted at 11:21 am on March 12, 2014 by Allahpundit

He forgot to mention it. Minor oversight, could have happened to anybody.

The mandate, remember, has already been suspended this year for people who had their old insurance canceled and who now regard it as a “hardship” to purchase insurance on the supposedly affordable Affordable Care Act exchanges. For them, as Ezra Klein put it at the time, “ObamaCare itself is the hardship.” But there’s an obvious problem with that scheme: The “hardship” exemption applies only to people who used to have insurance, and it applies only for this enrollment period. The mandate penalty would continue to bite people who didn’t have insurance before, which seems unfair, and it’d be back in full force this fall even for people who did have it, right around the time that America votes in the midterms.

And so a political problem gets a policy solution. Again.

That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether…

But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you “believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy” or “you consider other available policies unaffordable.”

This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person’s belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that “you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance,” which only requires “documentation if possible.” And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.

In other words, the new and improved “hardship” exemption isn’t limited to people who used to have insurance. Anyone can claim it, purely on their own say-so that they can’t afford it, which is an … interesting loophole coming from a guy who’s now going around the country nudging people to drop their cable and cell phones to pay for his expensive insurance instead. I wonder if he’s seen this graph. I’m thinking he probably has:

afford

Yuval Levin saw the new suspension coming back in December, when the “hardship” exemption was originally extended to people with un-canceled plans:

[T]he individual mandate is probably done for.

I would now assume that no one will pay the individual mandate fine for 2014. The administration may give up on the mandate in the course of the ongoing enrollment period if the political pressure is great enough, or they may keep up the pretense of it through the end of the enrollment period in March (when it will have finished its work, so to speak, since its purpose is to influence choices made during that period) but then exempt everyone from it as they did with the employer mandate for this year. Having now exempted from the fine people whose policies were canceled and who haven’t spent the money to get more expensive and less appealing new coverage, the politics of still applying the fine to everyone else who is uninsured this year will probably just not be sustainable, and the politics of exempting people from it (especially if they can hold out on doing so until after March 31) will be far too appealing for this White House to resist. They may claim the mandate will be back in 2015, but if they do exempt everyone from it in 2014 it will be hard to bring it back.

The IRS was never going to enforce the mandate strictly this year, but now they don’t have to enforce it at all. Anyone who’s declined to buy insurance by April 1st can simply claim hardship and that’s that. This makes three major rule changes to the core components of ObamaCare in the past month alone: On February 10th, the White House delayed the employer mandate for small businesses until 2016, and then, 10 days ago, it extended for two more years the rule allowing insurers to un-cancel plans for consumers who want their old, cheaper coverage back. Little did we know until now that, on the same day, they also all but suspended the individual mandate until 2016. And like Levin says, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever bring it back. Why would the next president, eager to begin his/her term on a strong note, want to reinstate a harsh financial penalty for noncompliance with O-Care when the guy who signed the law was unwilling to? The mandate is dead. Obama’s repealing ObamaCare himself, piece by piece. And he’s creating a two-tiered, less sustainable health-insurance system in the process.

Two questions, though. One: Why extend/delay all of these components until 2016, when they’ll land in Democrats’ laps during an election year yet again? Why not 2017 so that they’re off the table for the next election too? I assume that’s because Democrats want to keep the next extension in their back pocket for a well-timed unveiling during the 2016 campaign. Imagine the headline in May of that year, when Hillary and her Republican challenger are going toe to toe: “Consumers spared higher premiums this fall as Obama waives regulations again.” Democrats will drink in the glory and gratitude of systematically undoing the crap they dumped on America in the first place. Two: Why do this in secret, with little fanfare? If this is all about politics in November, why not trumpet it? “Yes! You too can now be exempt from the mandate!” One obvious reason is that they’re eager to get as many sign-ups as possible before the March 31st deadline and don’t want to do say or do anything that might discourage that. But in that case, why did they reveal the new mandate extension before the deadline had passed rather than later? Odd. The other reason to keep things quiet, I suppose, is that it’s simply too humiliating for the White House to admit that a provision they fought all the way to the Supreme Court to protect is now being punted into oblivion because it’s so radioactive to Democrats. So they’re going to let people who want/need the exemption discover it on their own. If the IRS phones to find out why someone hasn’t bought insurance, the agent will presumably ask if they’d like to claim a “hardship” exemption and the answer inevitably will be yes. No muss, no fuss.


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We’re a nation of effete men, not laws.

turfmann on March 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

The law is dead now Obama killed it ironically.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I, for one, am grateful to our Founders that they had the wisdom and foresight to grant our Chief Executive unilateral legislative powers such as these.

steebo77 on March 12, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Does the law called ObamaCare exist..?

d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:27 AM

…what does Chief Justice Roberts say?

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM

To think that George Washington turned down the opportunity to be king. Might have saved a whole lot of time getting where we are now.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

What Was the Point of ObamaCare?
Last week, the Washington Post delivered a bombshell report: “Only one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private plans through the new marketplaces enrolled as of last month.” Instead, the overwhelming majority of those who are enrolling in insurance plans on the ObamaCare exchanges already had insurance.

The lie of the year for 2013 was President Obama’s promise that, “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” The lie of the year for 2014 is going to be the claim that ObamaCare would insure the uninsured.

Emanuel gives us one big answer to our question. What was the point of ObamaCare, if not to insure the uninsured? To destroy the insurance companies.

To be sure, Emanuel’s answer is only semi-honest. In one of a spate of new articles touting his book, he proclaims: “Insurance Companies as We Know Them Are About to Die.”

But as he tells us in yet another new article, “Choice Is Overrated.” When we get to make lots of choices, you see, it’s more expensive. And the purpose of ObamaCare is to prevent us from spending our own money on our own care. That’s why it has to herd us into HMOs—excuse me, ACOs—that will limit our options.

So that’s the goal of ObamaCare: to allow bureaucrats like Emanuel to redesign the health care system in a way that flatters their pretensions of being super-geniuses who know what’s best for the rest of us—while shifting responsibility onto others for the actual results.

But the Ezekiel Emanuels own ObamaCare, and they deserve to take the fall as reality exposes all of their glowing promises.
http://thefederalist.com/2014/03/11/what-was-the-point-of-obamacare/

DinaRehn on March 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

It is what he says it is…
I bet Boehner is absolutely livid…LOL

d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Once he has killed those dastardly insurance companies, where will Americans turn to get insured..? Yup. You guessed it.

d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Unconstitutional acts by the Obama administration — what else is new?

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on March 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

It’s gonna be fun watching whomever is the dem’s candidate in 2016 trying to campaign while also not criticizing the Light Bringer — because that would be racist! The GOP candidate is just gonna be hammering this lawless, incompetent regime, and the dem candidate will be standing there going “Ummm…ahhh…good intentions!…umm…ahhh…racist!” I don’t see how the dems do this without another black candidate.

Rational Thought on March 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I bet Boehner is absolutely livid…LOL

d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Yeah but nobody is madder than Obama.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Presidency Pffft underway!

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Didn’t Ted Cruz take a whole bunch of flack for something just like this?

So now the insurance companies will be headed towards managed risk corridor bankruptcy. I wonder what happens after a couple years of that…

oldroy on March 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

…what does Chief Justice Roberts say?

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I’m optimistic enough to think he might be itching for a do-over — his court’s legacy is at stake and he made a huge, huge mistake. He knows it. The whole country knows it. Very interested to see how he votes on some of the upcoming challenges to the law. He twisted the law like a pretzel to OK ocare; he can twist it again to correct his epic mistake.

Rational Thought on March 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

There goes the funding for the law…Obama’s executive overreach is his own downfall.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

He’s gutting this obscene healthcare law that his congressional stooges shoved up the rectum of America. The man is totally lost and has neither a compass or a map.

rplat on March 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM

‘Obamacare is such a fabulous law, which people are hungry for, is working great, and will be vindicated in 2014 that it can never be fully implemented even though we will run on it and win.’

- The Democrats

It’s. The. Law. It’s. Whatever. We. Say. It. Is. On. Any. Given. Day. Except. A. Tax. Because. We. Promised. Never. To. Raise. Taxes. On. The. Middle. Class.

Resist We Much on March 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Here come the lawsuits…

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Not a surprise. Kick the can down the road politics.

Very few pay attention, they’ll ignore the failures until their Dear Leader is safely on the lucrative lecture circuit, making appearances on late night TV and having Bill Ayers work on his memoirs, while the next POTUS will deal with bear the full brunt of the disaster and ultimately share the blame for it’s failure (along with Congress – even better when the GOP takes back the Senate).

reaganaut on March 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

The man is totally lost and has neither a compass or a map.

rplat on March 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Heart and soul missing as well.

VegasRick on March 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Wonder if Feinstein will be concerned about this separation of powers issue.

29Victor on March 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Now we can forget that Obamacare thing looming over our heads and all rush to the polls and vote those Democrats back into office.

It hasn’t hurt us yet, so why not.

Typical, warped thinking of the left.

We MUST vote every one of them out of office, no letup in our efforts.

mollymack on March 12, 2014 at 11:42 AM

What a fine, little republic we have left. Now our POTUS can delay laws as he chooses just by fiat. Look on the bright side, we will never need to repeal Obamacare. We can just delay it forever!

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Pelosi: “We have to pass it so that we can ask President Obama what’s in it.”

BuckeyeSam on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Wonder if Feinstein will be concerned about this separation of powers issue.

29Victor on March 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

If she is around when a GOP POTUS delays the law what do you think?

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I think Dear Leader knows exactly what he is doing…

d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Need to start making tv, radio, internet ads trumpeting this now. Whole page ads every day in every newspaper from now until election day. Set up phone banks and start calling everyone about this. Every single political talk show needs guests and hosts to hammer this home day after day after day. Rub the leftist’s collective nose in this until they scream, and then do it again the next day, and again, and again.

Cicero418 on March 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

What a fine, little republic we have left. Now our POTUS can delay laws as he chooses just by fiat. Look on the bright side, we will never need to repeal Obamacare. We can just delay it forever until shillary! gets into office.

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

More accurate.

VegasRick on March 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

…what does Chief Justice Roberts say?

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I’m optimistic enough to think he might be itching for a do-over — his court’s legacy is at stake and he made a huge, huge mistake. He knows it. The whole country knows it. Very interested to see how he votes on some of the upcoming challenges to the law. He twisted the law like a pretzel to OK ocare; he can twist it again to correct his epic mistake.

Rational Thought on March 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

correction — Ted Olsen twisted the law like a pretzel, Roberts just put the mustard on it!!!

GKChesterton99 on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Need to start making tv, radio, internet ads trumpeting this now. Whole page ads every day in every newspaper from now until election day. Set up phone banks and start calling everyone about this. Every single political talk show needs guests and hosts to hammer this home day after day after day. Rub the leftist’s collective nose in this until they scream, and then do it again the next day, and again, and again.

Cicero418 on March 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM

+++
*and add in shillary screaming “what difference does it make!”

VegasRick on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

MJBrutus on March 12, 2014 at 11:43 AM

No worries – once the socialism of the Democratic National party has failed and thoroughly defeated (as socialism always is) and Liberty restored we will one and for all be rid of the Obamacare Fustercluck.

DinaRehn on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I’m optimistic enough to think he might be itching for a do-over — his court’s legacy is at stake and he made a huge, huge mistake. He knows it. The whole country knows it. Very interested to see how he votes on some of the upcoming challenges to the law. He twisted the law like a pretzel to OK ocare; he can twist it again to correct his epic mistake.

Rational Thought on March 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I hope you’re right.

Kaffa on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I think Dear Leader knows exactly what he is doing…
d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM
I used to think that but he is plugging holes on a sinking titanic of his own making even his executive power can’t save him.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Obama: “So let it be written–then unilaterally overturned by me–so let it be done.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bQnxlHZsjY

BuckeyeSam on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Allow me to quote Admiral Ackbar – “It’s a trap!”

Steve Eggleston on March 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

This is such not a surprise that I can’t even be speechless…

ladyingray on March 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

guffaw guffaw .. delay and defund!? impossible.. harrumph harrumph

GKChesterton99 on March 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Obama: “The mid-terms made me do it.”

BuckeyeSam on March 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Delay and defunded by its creator ironic but the damage to his party is done.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

All the Taxing. None of the Benefits!

portlandon on March 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Adam C. Smith: David Jolly’s victory spells trouble for Democrats nationwide
Sink and Jolly both tried to argue repeatedly that the race to succeed the late C.W. Bill Young had more to do with local politics than it did national. Nonsense.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus had every reason to gloat Tuesday night over Rep.-elect Jolly.

“His victory shows that voters are looking for representatives who will fight to end the disaster of Obamacare, to get Washington to spend our money responsibly, and to put power in the hands of families and individuals,” Priebus said. “In November, voters all across the country will have the chance to send the same message that Pinellas County voters have sent: Democrats’ policies are not working for America.”

Don’t be surprised to see vulnerable Democrats across the country start distancing themselves from health care reform in a way that Sink did not.

Nobody seriously expected Democrats to win back a majority in the U.S. House in November, but Sink’s loss in a winnable swing district makes Democrats’ hold on the U.S. Senate majority look more tenuous than before the special election.

Obama at this point looks like a drag for Democrats in November, just as he consistently has been for Sink.
http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/local/adam-c-smith-column-david-jolly-victory-spells-trouble-for-democrats/2169745

DinaRehn on March 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

There is no law so defund the so-called whatever it is. It`s a series of politically motivated whims.

Philly on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I’m optimistic enough to think he might be itching for a do-over — his court’s legacy is at stake and he made a huge, huge mistake. He knows it. The whole country knows it. Very interested to see how he votes on some of the upcoming challenges to the law. He twisted the law like a pretzel to OK ocare; he can twist it again to correct his epic mistake.

Rational Thought on March 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Here come the lawsuits…

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Someone somewhere around here suggested that, since it was declared a tax by the SC, that once said tax is actually levied (read: collected), it can then be challenged in court as such and (it is profoundly hoped) found unconstitutional.

So basically, a long, circuitous route to get where we wanted to be a couple years ago.

CurtZHP on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

2017: “I left a working, mandated healthcare system in place when I left office. Just look at how badly these Republicans have ruined it. These healthcaare penalties the Republicans have pushed onto the middle class are killing the economy.”

-President Obama

portlandon on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

“I’m. The. Law.” /BHO

Or, if you prefer old skool:

“l’Etat, c’est moi.”

de rigueur on March 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Allow me to quote Admiral Ackbar – “It’s a trap!”

Steve Eggleston on March 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Seems like we’re living in Star Wars, if not Animal House or Monty Python & the Holy Grail. :)

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

He seems to have forgotten to tell Sebelius about this. Or maybe she’s lying to Congress this morning:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that there would be no unilateral action by the Obama administration to delay the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate or 2014 enrollment deadline.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) noted the dozens of changes or delays the administration has enacted since exchanges went live on Oct. 1, many of them to accommodate those who were unable to enroll because of the broken website. He asked Sebelius directly if the individual mandate or enrollment deadline were next in line.
“No sir,” Sebelius responded on both counts.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/200554-sebelius-no-individual-mandate-or-enrollment#ixzz2vlR6kTrR
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

kcewa on March 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

2017: “I left a working, mandated healthcare system in place when I left office. Just look at how badly these Republicans have ruined it. These healthcaare penalties the Republicans have pushed onto the middle class are killing the economy.”

-President Obama

portlandon on March 12, 2014 at 11:53 AM

And BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

My goodness.
People are making difficult decisions affecting healthcare insurance based on the threat of paying fines. If the threat is unilateraly removed after people made the decision in the context of paying the fine as an alternative, then the admin is screwing them (in addition to the rest of us). Think about it… what if you made the decision (the lesser of two evils) and then 0boobi comes back before the midterms and says “just kidding”? Ugh!

freedomfirst on March 12, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Next Pres. Daffy Duck can ban CO2 by executive order all will be fine and dandy in Daffy Duck land.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 12, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I must say these executive orders are weak and useless. But again lawsuits and choas

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:57 AM

It’s good to be King – King Preezy Choom the Magnificent I

workingclass artist on March 12, 2014 at 11:57 AM

I don’t think whatever is written in the law matters. We are no longer a nation of laws. It’s whatever Obama says that matters. And he may change his mind tomorrow.

Axion on March 12, 2014 at 11:58 AM

So, what happens in April 2015 if the IRS starts withholding refunds because taxpayers have not provided proof of insurance?

The IRS can easily argue the President cannot unilaterally waive the law, and the Individual Mandate is still in effect. Courts would almost certainly have to back them up.

Beauty of doing this is that it postpones the pain until after the 2014 election. It will be too late then to change the composition of the Congress elected in November.

No Truce With Kings on March 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Obama’s biggest problem is the fact he never believed he would be re-elected. …and in a sane world he would have been right.

Dems live on using the taxpayer credit card to exchange toys for votes. They plan to be out of office and have their own personal empires firmly established long before the bill comes due.

I imagine the JEF’s first comment, when told he was going to be POTUS for another four years, was “Oh shit”.

Megyn Kellys Lipstick on March 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM

There goes the funding for the law…Obama’s executive overreach is his own downfall.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Nah…I print more money….now kwitcher b*tchin’ K? – King Preezy Choom the Magnificent I

workingclass artist on March 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM

On whim changes are very short sighted and in Obama’s case all but useless.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM

It really says something about the state of this country that I read this story, and just started laughing.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the stench of failure.

I must confess to a certain … schadenfreude.

And Lord knows we could use more schadenfreude at Hot Air right now.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Ok, so let me see if I understand this. The Obama Administration fought to uphold the individual mandate, going all the way to the Supreme Court, won in no small part by defending it as a tax, then gloated about it incessently, and now is doing away with it anyway?

And so am I safe in assuming that with no enforcement of the mandate coupled with insurance companies no longer being allowed to deny anyone coverage, that everyone can if they choose go without insurance until they get sick and then go sign up for a plan?

And am I also safe in assuming that with insurance companies doomed for bankruptcy under this new system, that only one of two outcomes is possible? Either the insurers go under, leaving the government as the only provider of health insurance(i.e. single-payer) or the insurers survive thanks only to the risk corridor provision and are at the mercy of the government(i.e. a defacto single-payer system).

No wonder the Dems can’t run on Obamacare. Never mind its unpopularity. No one even knows what the hell it is anymore.

Doughboy on March 12, 2014 at 12:01 PM

The law is dead now Obama killed it ironically.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I’m glad someone knew the ACA was a disaster and took steps to thwart it’s implementation, even though it was Obama doing the thwarting. I’m sure if the GOPers ever got the Presidency and both houses of Congress, they would not have done as good a job killing Obamacare as Obama is doing.

timberline on March 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

If I had purchased an ACA policy I would certainly cancel it now. Why should anyone keep paying – for what amounts to a ripoff – after this?

I’m optimistic enough to think he might be itching for a do-over — his court’s legacy is at stake and he made a huge, huge mistake. He knows it. The whole country knows it. Very interested to see how he votes on some of the upcoming challenges to the law. He twisted the law like a pretzel to OK ocare; he can twist it again to correct his epic mistake.

Rational Thought on March 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

How are you certain he knows he made a mistake? Have you seen something? Link?

Shay on March 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

It was a mandate then a tax and now its history.

JimK on March 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Today’s New York Post showed him shopping at K-mart. Clean-up on Aisle 2016!

cbenoistd on March 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM

This multitrillion dollar turd is coming apart like a Mexican space shuttle and every single liberal in my life insists I’m delusional.

Chuck Schick on March 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Adam C. Smith: David Jolly’s victory spells trouble for Democrats nationwide

DinaRehn on March 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

RT @DKElections: Democrats narrowly lose special election for New Hampshire Executive Council bit.ly/1gkPagN

Flora Duh on March 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM

This crap is going to tie up the courts for years!

Sven on March 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

ObamaCare, ‘the law of the land’ doesn’t really appear to be ‘the law of the land’.

GarandFan on March 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Trolls are a little quiet this morning……

Hello……hello….?

JGinGJ on March 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

“I think Dear Leader knows exactly what he is doing…
d1carter on March 12, 2014 at 11:45 AM
I used to think that but he is plugging holes on a sinking titanic of his own making even his executive power can’t save him.

Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

Napoleon Bonaparte.

GrassMudHorsey on March 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Obama’s weakness is hubris and these “delays ” are only causing more confusion as for the single payer. Obama is making a better case against now then for it through his useless executive orders that will not save Dem’s in Nov. It’s a desperate sign from a desperate man

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 12:08 PM

“Trolls are a little quiet this morning……”

Must be out composing cowboy poetry, free from the repressive shackles of job-lock.

GrassMudHorsey on March 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

A nation ruled by grifters.

JeremiahJohnson on March 12, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Seems like we’re living in Star Wars, if not Animal House or Monty Python & the Holy Grail. :)

22044 on March 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM

It’s National Lampoon – it’s too crude for Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Steve Eggleston on March 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

I kind of think of Obama as a small man who talks big and crap like that but when it comes down to it he is spineless.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

With no mandate, is it still a tax system?

plutorocks on March 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM

With no mandate, is it still a tax system?
plutorocks on March 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM
At this point no one knows what it is…not even Obama.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

For everyone saying lawsuits, I think this is more of an effort to take that off the table. If everyone can now declare the cost of insurance is a hardship, the courts will say, how are you harmed by it?

lowandslow on March 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Wow…. This is a tacit admission that even the Obama administration knows the law sucks and should not be implemented.

I look forward to the next WH press conference where a reporter asks “At this point, aren’t you forced to admit that the law has been a failure?”

Cuz, they totally ask hard questions like that, right?

bettercallputin on March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Gee, I guess this makes the Tea Party, Ted Cruz and the House republicans that voted for a delay look like geniuses huh? Just imagine if all of the Republicans had backed the effort last fall. What a missed opportunity. Stupid is as stupid does!

Jackson on March 12, 2014 at 12:24 PM

All I know is that I now have no health insurance.

WhatSlushfund on March 12, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Someone needs to tell the IRS because I had to answer those “do you have a qualifying health insurance plan” questions on my tax return, and there was nothing about an exemption for an unspecified hardship anywhere.

Johnnyreb on March 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

So what do you suppose the newly hired IRS agents are going to be doing for the next two years?

Jackson on March 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

I look forward to the next WH press conference where a reporter asks “At this point, aren’t you forced to admit that the law has been a failure?”

Cuz, they totally ask hard questions like that, right?

bettercallputin on March 12, 2014 at 12:22 PM

They don’t. It’s easy to make Jay Carney cry so they stick with stuff like asking how the President enjoyed his taxpayer paid golf weekend with the yeti and brats. That bit of down time only cost us $2500/night.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM

We have to delay it in order to enact it.

Good Lt on March 12, 2014 at 12:36 PM

I kind of think of Obama as a small man who talks big and crap like that but when it comes down to it he is spineless.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

All hat and no horse.

Happy Nomad on March 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

New name for the Bamster, since he loves them so much: Captain EO.

de rigueur on March 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

“Trolls are a little quiet this morning……”

Must be out composing cowboy poetry, free from the repressive shackles of job-lock.

GrassMudHorsey on March 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

…BJ is generally dumb enough to come to a thread like this…with a mouthful!

KOOLAID2 on March 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM

So what do you suppose the newly hired IRS agents are going to be doing for the next two years?

Jackson on March 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Going to the range?

CurtZHP on March 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

So, what happens in April 2015 if the IRS starts withholding refunds because taxpayers have not provided proof of insurance?

The IRS can easily argue the President cannot unilaterally waive the law, and the Individual Mandate is still in effect. Courts would almost certainly have to back them up.

Beauty of doing this is that it postpones the pain until after the 2014 election. It will be too late then to change the composition of the Congress elected in November.

No Truce With Kings on March 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM

What happens when the IRS selectively enforces it, only on Republicans/Conservatives? Of course, we will be told we are imagining it and in the same breath that it is the law so of course we should pay our fine.

cptacek on March 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

All the people who struggled through the website and the exchanges to buy expensive Obamacare insurance and pay high premiums must be feeling really stupid right now–they could have done nothing and had cheaper insurance!

Exit question: at last report, the employer mandate was supposed to take effect in October 2014, right before the midterms. Will Obysmal take out his magic pen and postpone that too?

Steve Z on March 12, 2014 at 12:59 PM

This is terrible news. When the Repubs get the House, Senate, and Presidency by 2016, all ready to fulfill their promise of repealing Oscare, there will be no law left to repeal. The dems will ream them for breaking their solemn promise of repeal to the American people.

NOMOBO on March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

What happens when the IRS selectively enforces it, only on Republicans/Conservatives? Of course, we will be told we are imagining it and in the same breath that it is the law so of course we should pay our fine.

cptacek on March 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

That’s the target of all totalitarians, -an impossible maze of laws open endlessly to interpretation, that can be used only against enemies of the regime, and to keep supporters in line.

Kind of like Lois Lerner’s IRS or the REB’s EPA.

slickwillie2001 on March 12, 2014 at 1:02 PM

So because it’s a tax can we just declare that any tax would be too expensive and a hardship and not pay with no penalty…..just wondering. Lawlessness is very confusing.

Caseoftheblues on March 12, 2014 at 1:05 PM

There goes the funding for the law…Obama’s executive overreach is his own downfall.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Don’t forget the Insurance Co bailout safety-net. Guess who funds that.

Tsar of Earth on March 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

So, what happens in April 2015 if the IRS starts withholding refunds…

No Truce With Kings on March 12, 2014 at 11:59 AM

What are these refunds you speak of.

(Time to add a few more dependents to your W4 form.)

Tsar of Earth on March 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Obama does not for see that his executive actions don’t help the situation you can do this on a whim like this and not have negative consequences. The law as was passed no longer exists and now has had most of its major funding pulled due to our Presidents political whims but he is plugging holes in a sinking ship so his efforts are all but useless. Insurance wants to know things ahead of time this just makes everything more chaotic and unworkable yes even single payer is pretty well screwed because Obama has gutted his own law like a fish.

sorrowen on March 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

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