American rule of law died earlier this week. It was 227.
After spending the past few years in critical condition, it died peacefully March 25 when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unilaterally granted an extension to the Obamacare enrollment “deadline” from March 31 to April 15.
Rule of law was preceded in death by the decrees of emperors and monarchies. It is survived by administrative policies, executive orders and the whims of the chief executive.
Consider this: Does Obamacare, or any U.S. law, have meaning if the executive branch can make arbitrary changes to it on a near-daily basis for political convenience?
Do laws mean anything when nobody, not even those who craft them, know what they say?
The Obamacare extension was the latest manipulation to the thoroughly flawed and widely unpopular Affordable Care Act since it was enacted. By one tally, since 2010 the president has tweaked at least 16 parts of the law at least 27 times.
The new loophole grants an extension to those who say they “tried” to enroll in the federally-run HealthCare.gov exchange before March 31. Their reason for missing the original deadline is immaterial because the administration said it will make no attempt to determine an applicant’s truthfulness.
“The administration is now resorting to an honor system to enforce it,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “What the (heck) is this, a joke?”
No, jokes usually are funny. This is the latest attempt by the Obama administration to push people into the system to hit its enrollment “goal” of 7 million and, more important, make the law as repeal-proof as possible when Democrat legislators lose seats after midterm elections.
“The administration has now handed out so many waivers, special favors and exemptions to help Democrats out politically ... it’s basically become the legal equivalent of Swiss cheese,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Indeed, would such shenanigans be necessary if the ACA was truly wonderful legislation?
Obamacare was forged in the crucible of partisanship. It took bribery to get it passed – pork-filled goodies were tossed to senators who voted for it. Now it’s culminating in incompetence and lies. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius flat-out lied to the House Ways and Means Committee last week by saying the open enrollment period would not be delayed past March 31 – just before it was.
Unbelievably, she now even claims the deadline change isn’t an extension. Good grief, the truth means less to these people than deadlines and laws!
So should we be expected to believe the White House when it says more than 6 million people have signed up for this new health coverage?
Obamacare never was popular. Half of Americans were opposed when Congress passed it more than four years ago. That tens of millions of allegedly insurance-starved Americans didn’t rush the insurance exchanges when they finally opened for business in October shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Recent Gallup polling shows Americans who say they were hurt by the law is twice the number of those who say they were helped. No doubt, people have lost insurance plans they liked and doctors they were comfortable with. They have seen health care costs skyrocket. They have watched businesses lay off employees and drop benefits.
Perhaps the scariest part of Obamacare is the problems that have yet to occur. In this 10,000-page monstrosity, we don’t know what we don’t know. Neither do the lawmakers who created it.
“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi famously said.
Of course, the mainstream media should view these problems and the constant post-enactment manipulations as a sign of the implosion to come, but they apparently are starstruck by entertainers the administration has enlisted to promote Obamacare, including Jennifer Hudson, Lady Gaga and Amy Poehler.
It’s safe to say Lance Bass, Michael Cera, Olivia Wilde and the rest of Hollywood’s cheer squad won’t be trading in their Screen Actors Guild heath benefits for Obamacare. The only “bronze plan” in their future involves a tanning bed.
Star power alone is not enough to stop this train wreck conceived behind closed doors and under the most partisan of atmospheres.
Obamacare is the biggest clunker to roll off the Beltway assembly line.
It’s not even fair to compare Obamacare to an Edsel. At least the Edsel started the first time you turned the key.