Obama Administration Pulling An Illegal End-Run Around The States On Obamacare

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One of the best reasons for the states refusing to implement the Obamacare health insurance exchanges is that the Obamacare law provides no provision for subsidizing insurance policies through the federal exchanges. If the states don’t set up the exchanges, the federal government cannot disperse the subsidies and tax credits that are a key element of the overall law.

Except, the Obama administration has decided they’re just going to ignore that provision of the law and do an end-run around the states refusing to implement the exchanges and at least one state is taking the feds to court over it:

Federal bureaucrats have already begun rewriting the law when the provisions of the actual statute prove inconvenient. When it became obvious that many states would refuse to create exchanges, the Obama administration decided to funnel tax credits and subsidies through federally-created exchanges, ignoring clear language in the law indicating that such premium-assistance was restricted to state-run exchanges. The IRS recently finalized a regulation signaling its intention to illegally provide premium assistance through federal exchanges.

This outrage prompted the state of Oklahoma to file an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. The state points out that “The State of Oklahoma has exercised its right not to establish an Exchange” and that the provisions of ObamaCare “not only permit the State of Oklahoma to make this policy choice, but also created a mechanism … by which the State of Oklahoma can put its decision into effect.” It goes on to show that “The [IRS] Final Rule renders the mechanism inoperative.” In other words, Oklahoma complied with the provisions of the law and now the IRS has illegally ignored those provisions.

One of the greatest travesties of Obamacare isn’t just that it is going to make health insurance dramatically more expensive, but also the assault it represents on the rule of law. Obamacare is such a monstrosity, it is such a maze of policy, that complying with the letter of the law is nearly impossible.

Not only are states and insurance companies expected to begin complying with the law without fully being aware of specifics such as the Essential Health Benefits that will be mandated, but when the federal government finds a part of the law they don’t like they simply ignore it.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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