When the Supreme Court ruled that the healthcare mandate was Constitutional several months ago, I have to be honest, I thought the fight against Obamacare was over. (I still think the Court was wrong about Obamacare – the government argued it was not a tax, and then Justice Roberts’s opinion approved the legislation as a tax – the ruling makes no sense.) It seemed unlikely that we could ever get enough of a majority in the legislature, plus a President in the White House to overturn this mess without the Supreme Court’s help. However, what is happening to Obamacare is even more surprising to me. The egregious set of laws is falling apart on its own, likely due to the fact that it is simply a badly produced piece of legislation.
In such a rush to get something done were the Democrats and liberal groups who crafted this monstrosity that they built a Frankenstein’s monster that was very unlikely to stand on its own two feet.
Just a couple of weeks ago the government announced that it would be postponing the employer mandate, which had been the governments’ “teeth” to ensuring the success of the rest of the scheme. In short:
“To start, the purpose of imposing a $2,000 (or $3,000) penalty per worker on businesses with over 50 employees which did not offer acceptable health coverage was to discourage businesses from dropping coverage in response to the health care law and dumping their workers on new government-run exchanges. But absent that penalty, will more businesses now be motivated to drop their current coverage?”
So now how many millions more will go without insurance because the government has essentially given these mid-size to large businesses a way out of paying anything towards their employees insurance? Postponing the employer mandate is a huge blow to Obamacare.
Well, now another blow with equally powerful repercussions has hit the White House’s attempt to enact this massive legislation.
The federal government was going to make sure that Obamacare had established stringent anti-fraud measures to protect the country’s investment into the system. That plan, which seemed ambitious from the start, has proven to be unwieldy. So instead of setting up a system where fraud is weeded out and everyone is provided benefits that meet the standards established by the federal government… now the government will simply rely on self-reported data. As Philip Klein reports, it’s a recipe for “rampant fraud”:
“A man who earns $50,000 per year and gets insurance through his employer could log on to the new government website and say he earns $20,000 and gets no insurance through his employer, and the government would not even attempt to confirm that the information is accurate before forking over generous taxpayer subsidies. It’s a recipe for rampant fraud, which is already widespread in Medicare and Medicaid.”
It’s well documented that these haven’t been the only problems with the Obamacare legislation. The government has already dropped other features of the program, like the CLASS Act and the Medical device tax, The Courts are likely to rule other aspects of the law unconstitutional.
A lawsuit against they against the government over the birth control mandate was filed by a group of businesses and they’ve recently won a key decision in their fight. It seems likely that this case will make its way all the way up the ladder to the Supreme Court, and if that is the case, there is at least a 50/50 chance that the birth control mandate is ruled unconstitutional. The swing vote on the issue would likely be Justice Kennedy, who generally swings towards civil rights liberties; it would seem out of character for him to judge against someone’s religious convictions.
There are many structural problems with Obamacare as legislation and yes, conservatives would hate it, simply as a course of principle. However, Timothy Carney points out the biggest issue with the law, “But the biggest problem is not that Obamacare was made by liberals – but that it feels like it was made by amateurs.”
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