Six years ago today, President Barack Obama gave the Affordable Care Act his signature. There is no sense in marking the ACA’s anniversary, however, because the ACA is no longer the law.
Realizing the law he signed was unconstitutional and unworkable. President Obama and the Supreme Court have since made a series of dramatic revisions that effectively replaced the ACA with something we now call “ObamaCare.”
ObamaCare–not the ACA–is the law under which Americans now live.
- Under ObamaCare, the Supreme Court used Congress’ taxing power–a power Congress declined to use under the ACA–to force Americans to purchase government‐approved health‐insurance plans.
- Under ObamaCare, the Supreme Court severed the connection between the (ineffective) Medicaid expansion Congress enacted and the rest of the Medicaid program–a bifurcation Congress never contemplated, much less intended.
- Under ObamaCare, the president imposed and the Supreme Court green‐lighted taxes on nearly 100 million Americans whom Congress clearly exempted.
- ObamaCare gives members of Congress a special exemption from the ACA. (It’s good to be the king.)
- Under ObamaCare, the president can tax and subsidize whom he pleases. Even if Congress didn’t provide the funding. Even if Congress says he can’t.
The ACA, in effect, is dead. ObamaCare is the law governing Americans’ health care–even if we don’t know what that law is from one day to the next. The ACA had legitimacy. No legislature ever approved ObamaCare. It has no legitimacy.
Unfortunately, ObamaCare doesn’t work much better than the ACA. ObamaCare is still causing Americans to lose their health plans. As one voter pointedly reminded Hillary Clinton, ObamaCare is still driving premiums higher. It is still causing their coverage to erode.
If you want to celebrate something on March 23, celebrate the anniversary of the last time Democrats put the legislative process and political legitimacy ahead of their ideological goal of universal coverage.