Obamacare at Six: Six Ways the Administration Violated Its Own Health Care Law (Conclusion)
Today marks the 6th Anniversary of Obamacare. Earlier this week, the Ways and Means Committee kicked off a blog series spotlighting the six ways the Obama Administration has flagrantly violated the letter and spirit of its own law.
Below are the final two violations in the series:
Violation #5: Extending Non-Compliant Health Plans
We all remember the empty promise President Obama made to the American people when he was promoting Obamacare.“If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” he said.
We know how that worked out. In the Fall of 2013, millions of Americans received notices from insurance companies that their coverage would be cancelled for 2014 because their plan was found to be“non-compliant” with the President’s new law. Responding to the enormous public criticism, the Administration introduced a “transitional policy” that allowed non-compliant plans to remain in effect through 2014. The Administration encouraged states to adopt the same policy, which was again extended until the end of 2016.
In making this change, the Administration effectively ignored the statutory mandate that all plans meet Obamacare’s requirements after January 1, 2014. What’s worse, as a result of this miscalculated political maneuver, fewer people enrolled in the Obamacare exchanges, and the cost of compliant plans increased for both insurance companies and the public. In other words, the Administration not only undermined the law, it created the illusion of relief for American families before forcing them into expensive one-size-fits-all government mandated plans.
The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing last year examining this and other flagrant violations and continues to investigate the Administration’s disregard for its own law.
Violation #6: Delaying the Employer Mandate … Twice
Under current law, businesses that employ more than 50 full-time equivalent workers are required to offer health coverage to their workers or pay penalties beginning in 2014. Despite a statutory requirement for the employer mandate to go into effect on January 1, 2014, the Administration delayed the employer mandate. Not once, but twice.
In a blogpost on July 2, 2013, the Treasury Department announced a delay for all employers in 2014 while also delaying employer reporting requirements that were critical for compliance and administration of the law’s subsidies. The employer mandate was later delayed again for all employers with fewer than 100 full-time employees. Just like violation #5, above, this illegal action is yet another example of how the Administration has chosen to implement the law it wishes it had written, instead of the actual law — passed by a Democrat-led Congress and signed into law by President Obama six years ago.
Ways and Means members have been working to bring this and other illegal delays to light and have repeatedly called on the Administration to repeal the employer mandate and provide relief to America’s job creators.
On the 6th Anniversary of Obamacare, with year after year of delay, modification, and outright disregard for the law, perhaps it is time for the Administration to work with Congress to replace Obamacare with something Americans actually want and can afford.
While the Administration continues to peddle its failing law, House Republicans are working to develop a patient-centered health care system that improves access, choice, and quality; lowers costs; promotes innovation; and strengthens the safety net for the most vulnerable.
To read yesterday’s blog post on the unconstitutional uses of funds to maintain the law, click here.