The Insiders: Obamacare creates new ways to prosecute American business

February 11
HealthCare.gov (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
HealthCare.gov (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

It’s been a bad week for Obamacare.  Incredibly, the White House has had to grant yet another delay in the employer mandate. This time, employers with between 50 to 99 employees who don’t already offer health insurance to their employees have until 2016 to comply with the shifting Obamacare requirements.  This latest delay represents another political calculation by the White House.  They are counting on the fact that the criticism they will face now for bungling incompetence and disregarding their own law is less than the criticism they would receive for damaging American business closer to the elections.

And the fine print of the latest announcement from the Administration is worse than the terrible headlines. This rule includes a provision that says you have to have the right motives for having a certain number of employees to be in compliance with Obamacare. Bear with me, that’s right: You must certify to the IRS – under the threat of perjury – that the reasons for your employee head count have nothing to do with your opposition to or avoidance of Obamacare. This president doesn’t just selectively enforce the law as he sees fit; now he is actually inventing new crimes.  It’s jaw-dropping that if you fall below 100 employees, the burden will be on you to prove that you meant no disrespect to Obamacare.  I can’t wait to see the video of the first Democrat who tries to defend this new threat of prosecution within Obamacare.  In fact, look for the White House to fix this and somehow drop this provision altogether.  It’s completely indefensible.

This comes immediately on the heels of another body blow to Obamacare; specifically, the CBO announced that under Obamacare, the projection of hours worked will represent “a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”  While this statement got all the attention from the press, another stunning revelation in the CBO report is that in the decade after implementation, there will be still be roughly 31 million uninsured Americans under Obamacare.  Why did the Democrats want Obamacare in the first place?

On the one hand, Republicans are blasted for wanting to repeal Obamacare, and the Democrats and their allies routinely remind us it’s the so-called “law of the land.”  But the president can amend the law, ignore the law and now even create new ways to prosecute you if you try to avoid its burdens, and the Democrats all fall in line.

In politics, one of the worst things you can do is to deny the obvious and defend the indefensible.  Well, the president is putting the Democratic party in the unenviable position of trying to do exactly that.  If it were nine days instead of nine months before the next election, maybe they could pull it off.  But Obamacare is failing in its original purpose of providing insurance for the uninsured, it unnecessarily burdens American families and businesses, and now the White House has opened the door to prosecuting those they deem to be insufficiently committed to Obamacare. When will the nightmare end?

 

Follow Ed on Twitter: @EdRogersDC

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