by John Hawkins | February 12, 2014 6:50 am
Barack Obama didn’t pass Obamacare by himself and he doesn’t have the power to cancel, delay or add to the existing law without the approval of Congress. What he’s doing is flat out illegal and demanding that businesses submit to illegal regulations he made up out of thin air is so far outside of the law it merits calls for impeachment.
Once again acting without Congress, President Obama has unilaterally changed his signature health insurance law, delaying its employer mandate — the second time he’s done this — to 2016, after the mid-term elections.
BUT: To be eligible for the additional delay, the Obama administration says an employer “may not reduce the size of its workforce or the overall hours of service of its employees” unless it can justify those reductions to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Affordable Care Act, as passed by Congress, says companies with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees must provide “minimum essential coverage” starting on Jan. 1, 2014 or pay a fine.
On Monday, the administration issued new regulations saying that employers with 50 to 99 workers don’t need to provide minimum essential coverage until 2016 — two years beyond what’s written in the law.
And large employers (those with 100 or more workers) must provide coverage to only 70 percent of their workers in 2015.
But the regulations also say that effective yesterday, employers may not shed employees or work hours just to get below the 100-employee threshold — and thus avoid Obamacare’s penalties for another full year.
One scholar called the latest changes “Orwellian.”
“So, figure out what that means,” Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute told Fox News’s Megyn Kelly Monday night. “American businesses have to justify their hiring decisions and firing decisions to the IRS. So, if you have 101 employees and you lay off two people (to get into the 50- to 99-employee category), you have to tell Big Brother why you did it. And you have to justify it. I mean, that is Orwellian.”
Thiessen said hiring and layoff decisions are none of the government’s business:
“We have a free market economy, not a command economy. It’s not the government’s business to tell you.”
Thiessen said under Obamacare, “the government creates a false incentive to lay off workers and then punishes you on pain of perjury, a criminal offense, for doing what the incentive leads to you to do…I mean, it is just insane.”
The regulations say employers that reduce workforce size or overall hours “for bona fide business reasons” are still eligible for the relief, but the changes must be certified with the IRS.
Also, the regulation says there will be no “relief” for employers who fail to maintain their previously offered health coverage during the period beginning Feb. 9, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2015.
What Obama is doing is wrong, illegal and un-American and members of Congress should be saying so, not just those of us in the conservative media.
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