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Obamacare exemptions prove law's folly

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: February 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm •  Published: February 14, 2014

IN his first inaugural address in 1869, President Ulysses S. Grant declared, “Laws are to govern all alike — those opposed as well as those who favor them. I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”

Apparently, President Barack Obama agrees with the second sentence of that quote, if not the first. Which is why he continues to unilaterally prevent strict enforcement of the bad law that is his signature achievement: Obamacare.

The latest change came when the administration announced that the employer mandate, already delayed for one year, would be delayed another year for many companies. Now, businesses employing 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t be required to provide insurance until 2016, while companies employing 100 or more will be required to cover only 70 percent of employees in 2015.

When Obamacare was being debated, Democrats claimed the law was necessary to help more Americans get health insurance coverage. That was then; this is now. The new exemption will definitely exclude about 28 percent of workers, and up to 30 percent of another 74 million individuals at firms with 100 or more employees, from one alleged benefit of the law. Yet those workers will remain subject to the punitive individual penalty.

For Democrats, delaying the employer mandate (again) may conveniently prevent the law’s impact on employment from being felt in late 2014, when voters might express displeasure at the polls. Yet the postponed mandate only delays the inevitable. Countless signs indicate that the law is collapsing.

An estimated 4.5 million people have lost pre-existing coverage due to Obamacare mandates, a figure that may well exceed the number of previously uninsured people who have gained coverage under the law. And a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office projects Obamacare will reduce the total number of hours Americans work by an amount equivalent to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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