by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Seth Mandel of Commentary magazine doesn’t appear particularly surprised that President Obama has delayed — until after the next midterm election — implementation of a key component of the 2010 federal health care reform law.
[T]he administration announced it would postpone by one year the mandate that businesses with more than 50 employees offer them insurance. The mandate is an unbearable financial burden on businesses, so it was delayed until after the midterm elections to give Democrats some breathing space before the economic damage they have done fully sets in.
But there are a couple problems with that. First, the administration’s action is of dubious legality. Second, delaying the employer mandate could drive up the cost of the new law by driving more people seeking insurance into the exchanges. But that’s not how the Congressional Budget Office scored the bill, a point Paul Ryan is making when he asks the CBO to re-score the bill without the first year of the employer mandate–to score the actual law as we have it now, in other words, instead of letting the administration bypass Congress and game the system to fool the CBO.
Of course, we have no idea what the administration is going to do with the employer mandate (or any other part of the law) going forward now that it has bestowed upon itself the power to unilaterally “suspend” parts of laws when it makes electoral sense to do so. In that respect, it’s not so easy for the CBO to comply with Ryan’s request–there’s really no telling at this point what the administration is going to pretend the law says.
But that’s not the only reason Ryan wants the CBO to re-score the bill. He also wants them to consider yet another piece of news about the ObamaCare rollout: the administration’s announcement that rather than verify that those seeking ObamaCare subsidies meet the eligibility requirements, it will be content with the honor system. …
… Believe it or not, there’s more. The administration isn’t only running into trouble when trying to suspend parts of the law. It’s also realizing that the law was written in a way as to make certain regulations contradictory or incompatible.