by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jonathan Tobin explains for Commentary readers why he doesn’t believe the latest delay associated with the Affordable Care Act’s implementation will lead to political benefits for embattled Democrats.
The motivation for this latest delay is transparently political. By delaying yet one more element of the law until after the midterm elections, the administration hopes to save some faltering Democratic red-state incumbents who, unlike the president, are faced with the difficult task of running for reelection in the wake of the ObamaCare rollout. Though the pain of the health-care law is already being felt by millions of Americans who have lost their coverage and are facing higher costs for insurance that fails to meet their needs, Democrats are trying to do anything they can to put off the devastating impact the law will have on employers and, by extension, the economy.
But the problem here is not only the flagrantly political nature of this decision. Rather, it is the spectacle of a law being stretched to the breaking point by an administration that thinks it can selectively cherry-pick what parts of the law it will enforce. With ObamaCare enrollment numbers already falling millions short of what they would have to be for the law to be cost-effective, no amount of playing fast and loose with enforcement can disguise the fact that the scheme appears to be headed for collapse. …
… Seen in totality, it appears that ObamaCare is unraveling like a cheap sweater. But though the administration is trying to limit the number of those who are inconvenienced or hurt by the law, this latest decision is one more shred of evidence that proves the assumptions about the law’s popularity were completely unfounded. Democrats assumed that once the law began to be implemented the benefits it distributed would quickly make it as beloved as Social Security or Medicare. But it is now abundantly clear that the numbers of ObamaCare losers may well equal or exceed the total of those who will benefit from it. No amount of lawlessness on the part of a president who lacks the constitutional power to enforce only the laws or the parts of laws that he likes can conceal the enormity of the ObamaCare fiasco.