October 24 2013

An ObamaCare Thought Experiment

Carrie L. Lukas

It’s a temptation that most conservatives try to avoid:  The thought experiment of how the press would react if something that’s being done or said by a Democrat was instead done by a Republican. 

Imagine the reaction if a Republican president jetted off to a campaign trip with high rolling donors while an American ambassador and 3 other Americans killed?  Imagine if we learned that under a Republican administration the IRS was targeting liberal grassroots groups and preventing them from organizing citizens?  Imagine….

One could go on endlessly and it’s usually only useful for increasing one’s blood pressure and creating a sense of hopeless frustration.

Yet there are times when it can be useful, and one can hope that Democrats might even themselves follow us down the path.

The Administration is apparently now toying with a delay of the individual mandate for health insurance.  The reason is obvious:  The ObamaCare exchanges are a complete disaster, and it is crazy to penalize people for not buying a government-approved product that the government then makes impossible to purchase.   To add to the small issue that most people can’t actual purchase insurance through the exchanges, people are also running the risks of compromising their privacy and exposing themselves to identify fraud when the visit the government websites.  

These are among the reasons why many on the Right have been calling for a one-year delay of the law for months. 

Yes, we also think ObamaCare is fundamentally an awful law and should never be implemented, but we really do also believe that it’s better at least to give people some certainty that the new system is going to function before destroying the old one.  Of course, the President rejected that notion, and refused to even consider it during the government shut down debate.  Indeed, the press went along with the notion that Republicans were unreasonable for asking for such a thing and the President was right to give them the stiff arm.

And now here we are, a few weeks later and the President’s people are slowly admitting the blindingly obvious fact that this system is not ready for prime time.  Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of Americans are being dumped from their health insurance because of ObamaCare. 

So the Obama Administration might delay the individual mandate.  Maybe.  Maybe for just a few weeks, maybe for longer.  It depends on how the double-secret “tech surge” goes.   

I have yet to see any suggestion that Congress would be involved or expected to weigh in on this change to the law of the land. So let’s take a moment:  Imagine if it was President Romney toying with the idea of unilaterally failing to implement major swaths of ObamaCare one year after his election.  Do Democrats really want the President to have the power to issue an edict and decide which laws he wants to bother with and which ones to ignore?  What happened to the rule of law?

Journalists in particular should consider this and ask if they have really been serving the public’s interest in covering ObamaCare and the debate about delay.  The President is supposed to execute the law; not a king making decrees.   Journalists know that when covering Republicans.  Can’t they also try to keep that in mind with this President? 

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