Obamacare: Are Fixes President Obama Proposes 'Legal'?
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
While some democrats try to distance themselves from President Obama's fix for 'Obamacare'.
Some are questioning, what gives President Obama or for that fact any President the authority to decide on his own which parts of a law congress has passed, he will enforce.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says, "The secretary's authority can be used in narrow circumstances to ease implementation short of legislative changes. And this is one those instances."
Beyond that, neither the White House nor President Obama, in his hour-long appearance on Thursday, cited any specific statute as to the legal basis for his latest proposed fixes to Obamacare.
That dreary business was instead spelled out in an 800-word "fact sheet" the White House issued, which only cited, as Jay Carney did, the inherent authority of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
In addition, added, "HHS will consider the impact of this transitional policy in assessing whether to extend it beyond 2014."
Since then, prominent figures in both parties swiftly challenged the constitutionality of it all.
House Speaker Rep. John Boehner says, "I am highly skeptical that they can do this administratively. I just don't see, uh, within the law their ability to do that."
This past summer, when the President delayed the employer-mandate provision, his aides cited the same authority they do now - again without invoking any particular statute - by asserting some vague executive branch power to provide, quote, "transitional relief" to selected citizens during the early stages of a law's implementation.
The fact is, the original Obamacare Law, the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 20-10 provided for people to be able to keep the plans they had as of that date.
It was a rule issued quietly by Secretary Sebelius, 90-days later, that changed the ground rules for which plans could be "grandfathered in."
Oklahoma Attorney General, Scoot Pruitt says, "It was his secretary that created the problems we have today. She, through rule - Secretary Sebelius, through her rule, did not comply with the statute."
So can President Obama do this?
It will likely end up in court, possibly the Supreme Court.