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Republican Leaders Don’t Care How Many Obamacare Deadlines He Blows

Obama Delays Obamacare Deadlines
Avik Roy, writing for Forbes online recently brought this remarkable statistic to our attention:  the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Congress’ non-partisan in-house think tank, compiled 82 deadlines that Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) mandates upon the first three years of its own implementation. Remarkably, it turns out that the White House has missed half of the deadlines legally required by the Affordable Care Act. And some of those deadlines remain unmet to this day.

We all know that in recent months, President Obama and his subordinates have waived or delayed a number of Obamacare’s notable features, such as the law’s employer mandate, and its procedures for protecting taxpayers from fraud and identity theft – but missing 41 of 82 deadlines – who knew?

Well, apparently Congressional Republican leaders knew, or should have known because their research arm compiled the report, and yet they still oppose Senator Mike Lee’s effort to defund Obamacare.

According to Roy’s analysis, “As of May 31, 2013, when the CRS analysis was completed, the White House had yet to meet 9 of 12 deadlines from the first year after the Affordable Care Act was enacted. It failed to meet 22 of 53 deadlines in the second year; another 8 became moot after Congress did not appropriate funds to complete the assigned tasks. In year three, the administration missed 10 out of 17 deadlines. That’s a total of 41 out of 82 deadlines missed.

If you exclude the 9 deadlines that became moot because Congress never appropriated the funds to meet them, the Obama administration missed 41 out of 73 deadlines, or 56 percent.”

Roy says that in analyzing the CRS report, he erred on the side of generosity. If the administration missed a particular statutory deadline by a week or less, he counted it in their favor as a “met” deadline. In any case where there was ambiguity in the CRS report, he assumed that the administration had met the deadline. “So these 50-56 percent missed deadline figures should be seen as slightly conservative,” Roy claims.

Admittedly, some of the catalogue of missed deadlines read like a “caricature of bureaucratic busywork” as Roy put it, or as a fine example of liberal Democrat legislative philosophy and drafting as we prefer to think of it, but the law is the law.

What’s more, a number of the recently announced high-profile delays, such as the delay in Obamacare’s caps on out-of-pocket insurance costs (announced after May 31, 2013) are not included in the CRS report.

As Avik Roy so rightly pointed out, “We should make one thing clear. The law isn’t going to “collapse unto itself” or any such thing that conservatives appear to pine for. For every missed deadline or White House waiver, there are nine aspects of Obamacare that are being implemented as we speak.

Obamacare may fail at reducing insurance premiums, or at wisely using taxpayer funds. But the law is scheduled to spend $1.9 trillion over the next ten years. At that, it is unlikely to fail.

A significant amount of that money may not go to the people for whom it’s intended. It may not have the benefits on health outcomes that the law’s most zealous supporters insist it will. But barring substantial Congressional action, that $1.9 trillion will still get spent, along with trillions more thereafter. Only new laws, not wishful thinking, will change that.”

All of this begs the question, why are Republican leaders opposed to defunding a law that isn’t being followed by its own proponents?

The Republican establishment is, as usual, operating from the shadows, using behind the scenes political pressure and the usual Capitol Hill Republican say one thing, do another culture, rather than actually engaging in an open debate based on conservative principles about the merits of the strategy to defund Obamacare.

If principle isn’t enough to persuade them, then this CRS report and Avik Roy’s analysis should prove to reluctant Republicans that defunding Obamacare is necessary to stop its implementation.

Republicans, by voting to fund Obamacare, are facilitating the Obama administration’s serial law-breaking, as well as putting people out of work, driving up healthcare costs, hurting families, and they’re not listening to voters who hate the law if they fund Obamacare.

In light of the disclosure of the CRS report, any Republican, starting with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who chooses to fund Obamacare should be primaried.

With 54 percent of those polled telling CBS that they disapprove of Obamacare and 38 percent saying they expect to be personally hurt by the Obamacare law, the advertisements in those Republican primaries, as Erick Erickson said, write themselves.

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UnaffordableNoCareAct

If Repubs vote to fund it then it is the same as if they voted for it. Period!