Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

09 July 2013

What If A President Romney Had Suspended Obamacare?

By Phil Kerpen

What if Mitt Romney had won the election, and proceeded to disregard sections of Obamacare in precisely the manner President Obama is presently doing?  It would go something like this:

WASHINGTON – The Romney administration faces a political and legal crisis as blowback from its controversial decision to unilaterally suspend central elements of the Affordable Care Act continues to intensify. 

Under pressure from large corporations, the Treasury Department quietly announced the provisions of the law requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage will not be enforced.  The law contains no language granting Treasury discretion for such a move and has a clear effective date of January 1, 2014.  Nonetheless, Treasury official Mark Mazur announced in a blog post that penalties for employers who fail to meet the law’s requirements will simply not be enforced in 2014. 

“President Romney is openly defying the laws of the United States that he swore an oath to faithfully execute,” said the leader of an umbrella liberal interest group that was formed to promote the Affordable Care Act. “Arbitrarily letting employers off the hook for providing health care is not just illegal, but it’s deadly for Americans who are counting that coverage.” 

That umbrella advocacy group, several major national labor unions, and 14 smaller advocacy groups filed a lawsuit last week in the D.C. Circuit seeking an emergency injunction forcing the Romney administration to enforce the law.  The groups are also staging a 24-7 protest in Lafayette Square across from the White House under a large banner reading: “Romney Is Not Above the Law.” A significant number of protesters are calling for the president's impeachment over the issue. 

Refusing to back down, the Romney administration made a move to suspend enforcement of other major requirements of the law late last week, this time the verification requirements intended to ensure that only qualified individuals receive affordability tax credits for the purchase of insurance plans on the new Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges.  Eligibility will instead be on “the honor system.” 

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act objected that the move would benefit large insurance companies at the expense of vulnerable individuals the law was intended to help. “These tax credits are paid directly to the giant insurance companies, but if they are later determined to be erroneous then individuals are on the hook to pay back thousands of dollars to the IRS,” said a liberal interest group leader. “Without verification procedures, the biggest corporations are reaping billions in subsidies but the regular Americans this law was supposed to help can be pushed into bankruptcy.” 

Democrats in Congress accuse President Romney of breaking the law. “The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, whether Mr. Romney likes it or not,” said the House Democratic leader. “We are confident that the courts will find the president’s lawless decision to let the largest employers off the hook for paying even a portion of the health care costs for their workers to be illegal.” 

The White House has rejected calls for the president to personally address the issue in a news conference, insisting that its decision to disregard major elements of the law is simply implementing it “in a careful, thoughtful manner.”


By Mark Steyn

Yesterday, Jonah Goldberg, apropos ObamaCare and the postponement of the employer mandate, said we were now living under an “arbitrary system” in which “the political arm of the White House gets to decide what laws are going to be enforced and which ones aren’t.’ 

I made a similar point guest-hosting for Rush last Friday, noting that this was one of the indictments against George III in the Declaration of Independence:

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

When legislatures pass laws but the head of state decides which ones he’ll implement and which he won’t, that is a monarchy – and not a constitutional but an absolute one. When the English were as mad with James II as the Americans later were with George III, they spelled it out in the first charge of the 1689 Bill of Rights:

Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom; 

By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws and the execution of laws without consent of Parliament;

President Obama has developed a habit of “dispensing with and suspending” all manner of laws from health care to immigration. If he gets to choose which laws he’ll enforce, do we get to choose which laws we follow?



Here is where the technocrat’s mask slips, and the ideologue smiles through. If the Obama team can get away with picking and choosing what parts get implemented and when, flaunting the law to satisfy their electoral aims, why not do it?

Congress, not just Republicans, not just the House, should be livid over this. The Supreme Court ruled that the line-item veto is unconstitutional in Clinton v City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998). Is Obama not granting himself a de facto line-item veto? If the line-item veto passed by Congress and signed into law by the President was unconstitutional, is there any doubt that Obama’s de facto line-item veto is even more unconstitutional?

To Republicans, if Obama can pick and choose which parts of a law – even one that for which he heavily agitated – he will enforce, why would you trust him to enforce other parts of other laws…like the border enforcement provisions of immigration reform?

To Democrats, if you say nothing about Obama’s imperial power grab, which belittles the Congress and your power, do you not fear what a future President, one with whom you may have vehement disagreements, will do with such a precedent?


Dictatorship in Two Steps

By  Mario Loyola

The Obama administration’s shocking decision not to enforce the employer mandate in Obamacare has gotten quite a bit of attention. (I wrote about it here over the weekend; Michael McConnell has a great piece on it in today’s WSJ).

I’d like to point out one implication that has largely escaped notice so far.

The administration and its supporters devoutly believe that the federal government should regulate every aspect of everything. They are rapidly turning the federal code into a nightmare straight out of the Soviet GOSPLAN. 

Well, if you combine pervasive regulation of everything with the arbitrary power to suspend whatever law you like, what you get at the end of the day is arbitrary power to say what the law is. So, a tax on everyone’s income, minus the president’s suspension of the tax on people he likes, becomes simply a tax on whomever he doesn’t like. That’s just a dictatorship.

The administration’s refusal to execute duly enacted laws of Congress is a power grab against the most essential constitutional prerogatives of Congress. The House of Representatives needs to think very seriously about whether they’re going to let this administration get away with it. If refusing to see that the laws are faithfully executed is not an impeachable offense, maybe it should be.

At the very least, a resolution of censure is called for.

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