With Employer Mandate Fix, The President is “Making a Temporary Modification to the Health Care Law”

August 1st, 2014

In remarks yesterday in Kansas City, I think the President said more than he intended when characterizing his decision to delay the employer mandate:

One of the main objections that’s the basis of this suit is us making a temporary modification to the health care law that they said needed to be modified.  (Laughter.)  So they criticized a provision; we modify it to make it easier for business to transition; and that’s the basis for their suit.  Now, you could say that, all right, this is a harmless political stunt — except it wastes America’s time.  You guys are all paying for it as taxpayers.  It’s not very productive.  But it’s not going to stop me from doing what I think needs to be done in order to help families all across this country.  (Applause.)

Modify is a synonym for change. This is precisely what the President did. He changed the law by extending deadlines, altering reporting requirements, and exempting certain companies from the mandate. He can’t modify, or change the law.

What the President meant–but didn’t say–is that he was using his discretion to delay the enforcement of the law. But he said what he knew is the case. He changed the law.

Also, I’m not sure that the delay helped families. It exempted businesses from providing health insurance to their employees. I’m not sure if the people in the audience even know what they’re applauding for.

Putting aside the issue of standing for a moment, I will love to see the government’s brief on the merits. Quotes like this won’t help. Remember when he said that Obamacare was not a tax?