Half Of Obamacare’s Implementation Deadlines Missed Thanks To Presidential Delays, Waivers

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Statistics from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reveal that the Administration of President Barack Obama has missed half of the deadlines required to legally implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The CRS, an arm of the Library of Congress that functions as a nonpartisan Congressional research and reference center, has tabulated 82 separate deadlines that represent mandatory stepping stones in the rollout of Obamacare. Each one is a part of the ACA, and enforcing each is required if the law (and its enforcers) are to retain their integrity.

But, as Forbes contributor Avik Roy points out, the Obama Administration has already missed 41 of them — and the start date is still six weeks away.

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.

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

Dated June 5, the CRS research doesn’t even take into account the President’s recent announcements that he’s unilaterally delaying the very pillars of his signature piece of social re-engineering legislation. Large businesses now get a one-year break before they have to offer employees insurance under the new law; insurers now have one more year before they have to cap consumer out-of-pocket costs. And Obama, who’s been the “Decider” throughout it all, can’t blame Congress or Republican opposition. He’s been working within the Administrative and bureaucratic structure to unilaterally (and illegally) pick and choose which pieces of his puzzle he’s ready to put into place.

We’ll get Obamacare when it’s good and ready.

“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,” writes Roy. “Only new laws, not wishful thinking, will change that.”

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.