They have a whole heap of regulations still left to write (at least $1.4 billion in annual compliance costs’ worth, by one estimate), but the employer mandate was part of the actual text of the law. Where is it written that they can just make at-will changes ad infinitum? Watch it at RCP:
Generally speaking, you get past the next election by changing your policies, by announcing new initiatives, but not by wantonly changing the law, lawlessly. I mean, this is stuff that you do in a banana republic. It’s as if the law is simply a blackboard on which Obama writes any number he wants, any delay he wants and any provision. It’s now reached a point where it is so endemic that nobody even notices or complains. I think if the complaints had started with the first arbitrary changes, and these are are not adjustments or transitions. These are political decisions to minimize the impact leading up to an election, and it’s changing the law in a way that you are not allowed to do. … It’s not incompetence. Willful breaking of the constitutional order — where in the Constitution is the president allowed to alter a law 27 times after it’s been passed?
And besides the utter lawlessness of the whole thing, there’s still the question of the tangible price of the White House’s non-legislative mood swings: After the Obama administration’s initial employer-mandate suspension through 2015 that they made back in July, the CBO estimated that it would add an additional $12 billion onto the total cost of ObamaCare because employers wouldn’t be paying penalties (i.e., taxes) on not insuring people, while more people would likely need to seek subsidized insurance through the exchanges because their employers wouldn’t be required to offer it yet. Won’t delaying the employer mandate again add at least ten billion or so more onto the total ObamaCare price tag? Especially if the Obama administration does decide to go through with the rumored (and, incidentally, also lawless) three-year extension of the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” fix for the cancelled plans in the individual market, doesn’t that all increase the likelihood of major “risk corridor” bailouts and/or the law’s fiscal implosion? What is going on?!