Over at National Journal, Ron Fournier is tired of defending Obamacare. He writes:
It’s getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation. . . .
Put me in the frustrated category. I want the ACA to work because I want health insurance provided to the millions without it, for both the moral and economic benefits. I want the ACA to work because, as Charles Lane wrote for the Washington Post, the link between work and insurance needs to be broken. I want the ACA to work because the GOP has not offered a serious alternative that can pass Congress.
Unfortunately, the president and his team are making their good intentions almost indefensible.
I hate to break it to him, but even if the ACA were implemented fully and properly, millions of people would remain without health insurance. There were ways to break the link between health insurance and work that didn’t induce such a disincentive to work, as the CBO found Obamacare does, for instance.
And the GOP has been increasingly active in proposing alternatives to Obamacare, so it’s not like Fournier has to support the ACA just because he wants expanded coverage. But even if it is probably true that they can’t pass Congress right now, just give it a little time — a raft of more delays, a new wave or two of insurance cancellations — and I suspect lawmakers will soon be ready for reforms.
Fournier notes that so far there have been 27 major adjustments to the ACA without congressional approval, which seems problematic even to a believer in a strong executive branch like him.
On that point, the best (and funniest) analysis on this issue has been by David Harsanyi over at the Federalist. In ”ObamaCare Is Just Another Word For Laws We Ignore Together,” he writes:
Another Obamacare fiasco? Guess what? We’ll rationalize that disaster into something awesome, tout de suite. You can’t keep your insurance if you like it? Consider yourself lucky. Obamacare disincentivizes work. Be grateful! The Affordable Healthcare Act will cost three times as much as initial estimates? Spending creates jobs. The exchanges have been a disaster? Stop rooting for the president to fail, for God’s sake.
The Treasury Department just announced it will delay a coverage mandate for companies with 50 to 99 employees for a year. And liberals who grouse about the anarchic tendencies of grassroots conservatives will be prepared to rationalize why this news is not only unavoidable but great for Americans. It always is.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the Obama administration has probably missed half of the deadlines of the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a list of 13 executive alterations Now, if all this haphazard implementation were only a matter of improving what are onerous and poorly written facets of Obamacare, that would be one thing. A bad thing, yes. But what makes this free-for-all an especially blatant abuse of power is that the delays are enacted almost exclusively for political reasons.
There is more here.
Finally, if you were planning to go shopping on the federal exchange on February 15 and 16, don’t bother. According to the Hill, HealthCare.gov will be out of service on those days. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’s timing is unfortunate, since February 15 is the last day people can sign up to obtain coverage that begins on March 1, and I assume that many people will be rushing to try to meet the deadline.