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Heartland Institute Experts React to President Obama’s Announcement about the Affordable Care Act
Date:11/15/2013

uary 1 solely because of this ill-conceived and poorly implemented law. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and enact reforms that put patients and providers at the center of health care, not politicians and bureaucrats.”

Sean Parnell
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
Author, The Self-Pay Patient

“President Obama’s ‘fix’ amounts to unilaterally rewriting a massive, integrated package of legislation adopted by Congress. The ‘fix’ amounts to new legislation – but enacted without Congress. The president has no constitutional authority to rewrite statutes, especially in ways that impose new obligations on people, and that is what the fix seems to entail. Indeed, Congress is working on legislation quite similar to the president’s fix, demonstrating the primarily legislative nature of these issues.

“President Obama did not specify what statutory authority, if any, he thinks authorizes him to make such dictats, and given the gargantuan length of the Obamacare statute, he might still be looking. Apparently, the president is claiming a broad enforcement discretion. It is true that the chief executive has some room to decide how strongly to enforce a law. But here, Obama is apparently suspending the enforcement of a law for a year – simply to head off actual legislation not to his liking.

“Indeed, the fix goes far beyond ‘non-enforcement’ because it requires insurers to take certain new action to enjoy the discretion. This is government by decree, not by law.

Eugene Kontorovich
Professor of Law, Northwestern University
Policy Advisor, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute

The

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