Ed Driscoll

Ruling Class Grants Itself ObamaCare Waiver

“Ready your pitchforks,” Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks writes at the Daily Caller:

Reports indicate President Obama will soon confirm what many of us have long suspected, that Congress wants and will soon have a waiver from Obamacare.

You read that right.

We already knew that Congress intentionally crafted the health care law to permit the president to grant waivers to politically connected unions and corporations. And he has duly done so, more than 1,200 times. Now we learn that Congress also managed to wrangle a waiver for itself.

The monumental hypocrisy of this is breathtaking. It’s yet another example of how, more and more, the divide in American politics is not between left and right or between Republican and Democrat — it’s between us and them.

Unacknowledged for four years, and through two election cycles, this waiver news was first exposed last night in reports by Politico and CQ Roll Call.

Politico says the special treatment will be formally acknowledged next week by President Obama’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which is the federal government’s H.R. department, charged with administering federal benefits within the government.

According to CQ Roll Call, OPM will announce that it has decided that “the federal government will help pay the cost of premiums” on the new government-run “exchanges” for members of Congress and their staffs, who in turn will “not be eligible for the law’s tax credits and subsidies to buy insurance.”

This decision is a potential blockbuster for three reasons.

1) Its legality is extremely doubtful. In fact, it runs 180 degrees counter to what the statute seems to say, and to what its authors claim to have intended. People in exchanges are supposed to get federal exchange subsidies, not federal workplace subsidies. OPM is saying the opposite. By what legal authority?

Legal authority? Emperor Hussein don’t need no stinkin’ legal authority! As Bryan Preston writes at the PJ Tatler, “The OPM’s move is illegal.” But, so what, you guys?

Congress passed an amendment to Obamacare that mandated that Congress and staff had to abide by it themselves. OPM doesn’t have the power to change the law any more than Obama had the power to delay the employer mandate.

As Obamacare fundamentally transforms our health care system, it’s also fundamentally transforming the nation itself. We were once a nation of laws. Now we’re a nation of the whims of bureaucrats.

The only fix here is to repeal the entire thing. Defund it. Repeal it. Rip it out root and branch. Obamacare delenda est.

Why isn’t John Boehner fighting the White House’s usurpation of Congress’s powers? Oh right — that question answers itself, doesn’t it?