November 17, 2013

I’m certainly not the constitutional scholar that President Obama is, but I can’t find anything in the Constitution that gives the president the power to change laws passed by Congress, as he has done yet again with Obamacare [“Obama offers an insurance fix,” front page, Nov. 15]. Now the insurance companies will decide whether to bend over backward to comply with Mr. Obama’s latest decree and make the necessary changes to their systems, notify their former customers, process responses, payments, etc., and have everything working smoothly in the six short weeks. If they won’t, or can’t, then of course it’s their fault.

Mike Keder, Silver Spring

Like Captain Renault in the film “Casablanca,” who is incredulous that gambling is taking place in Rick’s Cafe Américain, Charles Krauthammer [“Why liberals are panicked about Obamacare,” op-ed, Nov. 15] professes to be shocked (shocked!) that under Obamacare some people will be paying for “coverage they don’t want and don’t need — so that the overcharge can be used to subsidize others.” But that’s how insurance works: The healthy pay for the sick; pooling risk is how insurance companies make money.

Conservatives who bayed about the horrors of socialized medicine, ensuring that a single-payer system never had a chance, now inveigh against the Affordable Care Act, which funnels millions of new customers to insurance companies and lets the market work its magic.

People of all political stripes have been slamming President Obama for his broken promise and the Department of Health and Human Services for the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, and rightly so. But it’s disingenuous for Mr. Krauthammer and other conservatives to pretend that what we’re seeing from insurance companies under Obamacare is anything other than business as usual.

Elliott Vanskike, Takoma Park

I’m afraid that it’s a bit late for President Obama to win back those disaffected with the Affordable Care Act. His inattention, aloofness, failure to effectively communicate his ideas to the nation and, yes, arrogance have taken an irrevocable toll. As a liberal, I fear that this man will have done more to set back the cause of liberalism and, specifically, the struggle for universal health care than any radical conservative ever could. The act was poorly conceived, and it remains too complicated to become a truly effective national health-care program. A single-payer system should still be the ultimate goal, but Obamacare may well make this impossible for at least another generation.

Lou Candell, Williamsburg