Talk about deja vu. The Attorney General of West Virginia wrote a letter on behalf of 11 states (Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia) arguing that the President’s “fixes” to Obamacare are illegal. The Hill has the story:
Eleven GOP attorneys general say the Obama administration is breaking the law by repeatedly making changes to ObamaCare without going through Congress.
The attorneys general specifically criticize President Obama’s executive action that allowed insurance companies to keep offering health plans that had been canceled for not meeting ObamaCare’s more rigorous standards.
“We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”They say the healthcare fix was “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.”…
The officials point to the 1985 Heckler v. Chaney case, in which the Supreme Court concluded that some enforcement actions of laws might be subject to judicial review first.
Of course, the constitutional challenge to Obamacare began with a letter on behalf of thirteen states in December of 2009. That number would ballon up to 26 states by March 2010.
Here is the core of the legal argument:
The President’s “administrative fix” is unlawful for several reasons. First, it is a violation of the President’s responsibility to “take care” to execute the laws faithfully. Second, it unlawfully creates either a new statutory obligation in violation of the separation of powers or a new rule in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
But unlike the letter from years ago, they stop short of threatening legal action.
The undersigned Attorneys General support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage. However, the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through congressional action. The illegal actions by this Administration must stop.
Really, what could they do? There is no standing here.