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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Stone Cold Illegal

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Rick Esenberg, of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, pulls no punches in his analysis of recent actions by the Obama Administration.
 
The employer mandate, in turn, was said to be necessary to limit the number of people who would have to purchase individual coverage and,if their income was low enough, require government subsidies. This is why the law provides subsidies only for those who cannot get coverage from their employer and penalizes employers for each employee who receives a subsidy due to that employer’s failure to provide coverage.
 
Now, one of the law’s necessary features has been removed. Without the employer mandate, the law provides for no subsidies. Those too should not go into effect until 2015. Without the subsidies, millions will be unable to afford the insurance that they are now legally compelled to buy.  The contraption seems about to come a cropper. In for a dime, the President should go in for a dollar and illegally delay the whole thing.
 
That won’t happen and here’s how. Last Friday, we learned that the subsidies are now on the honor system. Take a penny, leave a penny. Tell us you need thousands of dollars in tax credits and you’ve got them.
 
In so doing, the administration has effectively rewritten the law. What started as a supposedly "market- driven" three-legged  stool of employer mandated coverage, an individual mandate for those who did not obtain employer coverage and subsidies for those who could not afford it has been turned into a massive game of money for nothing. That can’t last – costs will spiral out of control and the insurance market will collapse – but it can last past the 2014 elections.
 
Don’t expect the courts to stop this. Under current procedural rules, it is not clear that anyone will have standing to sue.  A plaintiff must have suffered a personal injury and even persons employed by a business that does not offer coverage may have a hard time proving that her employer would have done so had the mandate penalties been ...Read the rest.

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