Patterico's Pontifications


Utterly Corrupt Obama Rewriting ObamaCare Unilaterally (Again)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

The Wall Street Journal has an eye-opening piece about how Obama is (again) rewriting ObamaCare to benefit Congrressmen and their staffers. The details are a bit complicated, but the essential story is simple:

  • ObamaCare ended up inadvertently screwing Congress and its staffers.
  • Obama doesn’t want a legislative (i.e. legal) fix because Republicans might demand concessions.
  • So Obama is simply planning to ignore the law, dictator-style, and rewrite it so that everybody in Congress will be happy.

Here are the ugly and enraging details:

[T]he statute means that about 11,000 Members and Congressional staff will lose the generous coverage they now have as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Instead they will get the lower-quality, low-choice “Medicaid Plus” of the exchanges. The Members—annual salary: $174,000—and their better paid aides also wouldn’t qualify for ObamaCare subsidies. That means they could be exposed to thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket insurance costs.

The result was a full wig out on Capitol Hill, with Members of both parties fretting about “brain drain” as staff face higher health-care costs.

My response: oh well. Sucks to be you, Congress. That’s what you get for voting for something when you had no idea what it said. But never fear! SuperObama is here!

Democrats in particular begged the White House for help, claiming the Reid language was merely an unintentional mistake. President Obama told Democrats in a closed-door meeting last week that he would personally moonlight as HR manager and resolve the issue.

And now the White House is suspending the law to create a double standard. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that runs federal benefits will release regulatory details this week, but leaks to the press suggest that Congress will receive extra payments based on the FEHBP defined-contribution formula, which covers about 75% of the cost of the average insurance plan. For 2013, that’s about $4,900 for individuals and $10,000 for families.

It’s unclear what mechanism the White House is going to use, but whatever mechanism it is, it will be illegal:

This latest White House night at the improv is also illegal. OPM has no authority to pay for insurance plans that lack FEHBP contracts, nor does the Affordable Care Act permit either exchange contributions or a unilateral bump in congressional pay in return for less overall compensation. Those things require appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by the President.

But the White House rejected a legislative fix because Republicans might insist on other changes, and Mr. Obama feared that Democrats would go along because they’re looking out for number one. So the White House is once again rewriting the law unilaterally, much as it did by suspending ObamaCare’s employer mandate for a year. For this White House, the law it wrote is a mere suggestion.

Luckily we have a free press which will call Obama on this and not let him get away with that. (If you believe I meant that, put on a dunce cap and go away forever.)

This guy just keeps ignoring the law and the Constitution, and apparently nobody seems to care.

It’s getting to the point where a massive act of civil disobedience seems to be our only remedy. We can’t use the courts because we will be denied standing. We can’t petition Congress because they are the ones benefiting from this. What choice do we have, other than to say: if you won’t obey the law, why should we?

Of course, the reason is: if we don’t obey the law, they will point guns at us and make us go to jail. If they don’t obey the law, they’ll just rewrite it so the law says what they want it to say.

This country has become utterly corrupt at the hands of this President.

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