Obamacare Counterfactual: What if Romney won and delayed the ACA, indefinitely?

August 25th, 2013

Before the 2012 election, I considered what would happen to the DOMA litigation if the Romney Administration changed course, and decided to defend the law in Court. Try another counterfactual.

President Obama has taken it upon himself to delay certain parts of Obamacare, often without making a big deal about it, until 2014. Why? Well, because it won’t be ready yet. Why a year? Some cynics argue that these delays are politicized, and aimed at pushing the tough medicine of the Affordable Care Act past the 2014 elections. Others criticize Obama for failing to discharge his duties, and take care that the laws are faithfully executed. Others criticize the President for not getting this law ready in time, or worse, launching an incomplete version in conflict with the will of the congress.

What if Romney had won the 2012 election (stop laughing for a moment so we can consider this question)? Relying on the same authority (whatever that may be) that Obama relies on, Romney decides to delay the *entire* Affordable Care Act until 2014. He says, you know, it won’t be ready. But his real reason for delaying it is hopes that the Senate would turn Red in 2014, and there would be enough votes to repeal it. Or, maybe, he found it necessary to delay because he did not allocate enough resources to the implementation. Or maybe he delays it until 2016.

I take it that now, no one has standing to challenge Obama’s inaction. Would anyone have standing to challenge Romney’s inaction?

The entire notion of the executive *not* doing what the law says, because just saying, troubles me for one main reason–there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Whether you agree with Obama’s inaction or not, I think he sets a really, really bad precedent. Think no further than what would happen with a Romney Presidency and the Affordable Care Act.