2014 has started and it seems that the new Affordable Care Law is in bigger trouble than it already appeared to be in.
11 Republican state attorneys general are concerned that the Obama administration is breaking the law by sidestepping Congress, in its effort to change the healthcare law. This report came from the Washington D.C. investigators at The Hill.
President Obama’s executive actions have allowed health insurance companies to continue offering insurance plans to the public that have already been cancelled because they do not meet Obamacare rules. Those rules are “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law,” they charge, and this is the main reason they are not happy with the administration.
The attorneys general wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, saying “We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action. The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”
President Obama and his administration think they can go around the system any time they like, just as dictators do. This is the very reason that checks and balances sere set up in our system of laws.
You are not likely to be surprised to hear that Kathleen Sebelius did not respond and neither did anyone from HHS.
The author of the letter was West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and it was co-signed by attoneys general in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia – all Republicans.
Skirting the law by telling the insurance companies they can ignore it is not the only thing the states have a problem with. The Obama Administration also delayed the employer mandate written into the Obamacare law, for one year. They say this is also a congressional matter and not for the president to decide. They contend Obama’s move defies a Supreme Court decision in the 1985 case of Heckler v. Chaney, in which the court concluded that some enforcement of laws might be subject to judicial review first.
That case centered on lethal injection, and the lawyers for the condemned man argued the Food and Drug Administration had not certified that the lethal drugs were “safe and effective” for human executions, and should be barred.
Here are the questions that arise from the court case: Did the FDA have jurisdiction to undertake the enforcement actions requested? If they did, did they have the jurisdiction whether or not its actions were subject to court review?
This much we know: Millions of Americans have already lost their insurance, as insurance companies complied with the beleaguered law. This happened despite President Obama’s personal promises on many occasions, guaranteeing the freedom of choice to keep the old policies.
Although it is freezing cold in Washington D.C., the political heat is most certainly on the president.
The focus for the attorneys general is on the violation of precedents set by the Supreme Court and security concerns around the state and federal health insurance exchanges and their websites. The group says the department of Health and Human Services continues to “ignore the widespread public outcry over the security of consumers’ private information on exchanges.”
The Obama administration has apparently decided not to “propose and implement rigorous privacy standards for outreach personnel.” If this was a private company, the government would come down on them like a ton of bricks.
As the political cycle goes around, the midterm elections are coming up, and with political pressure mounting on President Obama, it seems likely that major changes to the new health care law will be made before angry Americans reach the ballot box. Only time will tell if it is too late. How short is our collective memory. Certainly, the opposition will have lots of healthcare-related ammunition to throw at democrats.