Opinion
              FILE - In this June 7, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama gestures as he talks about the Affordable Care Act in San Jose, Calif. President Barack Obama

Employer mandate delay confirms Obamacare doesn’t work

Photo of Benjamin Domenech
Benjamin Domenech
Research Fellow, Heartland Institute
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      Benjamin Domenech

      Ben Domenech analyzes health policy and edits <a href="http://healthpolicy-news.org">Health Care News</a> for The Heartland Institute, a free market thinktank based in Chicago. He spent several years working and writing on national health care policy, beginning with a political appointment as speechwriter for U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, and continuing as chief speechwriter for U.S. Senator John Cornyn during the Medicare Part D debate on Capitol Hill.

      In addition to his work with Heartland, Ben serves as Editor in Chief of The City, an academic journal of faith, politics, and culture. He previously worked as a book editor for Eagle Publishing, where he edited multiple bestsellers pn politics, history, and sports. A co-founder of Redstate, a prominent conservative activist community site, he continues to write for <a href="http://www.newledger.com">The New Ledger</a>, an internet publication focused on politics, foreign policy, and the marketplace, and hosts a popular weekly podcast on the economy and marketplace issues sponsored by <a href="http://biggovernment.com/author/newledger/">BigGovernment.com</a>.

      Ben has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, and his columns have been widely published. In 2009 he was chosen as a new media fellow by the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution. He lives in Virginia. You can follow Ben on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/bdomenech">@bdomenech</a>.

Since its passage, Obamacare has served as an ever-evolving example of cronyist public policy in the era of unrestrained bureaucracy and a dominant K Street. The approach is straightforward: you pass a law which creates burdens on everyone under the guise of solving a problem, and then you pick and choose who actually has to abide by the law in practice. Policymaking becomes the business of traded favors with lobbyists and stakeholders, and whoever can extract favors and waivers the best. It doesn’t matter that the law put the date of implementation in stark terms.

Kathleen Sebelius’s HHS has used the wide latitude granted them under the law to hand out favorable treatment, twist the arms of the unwilling, and come down like a ton of bricks on their political enemies. The employer mandate delay is the most public example of this — a reminder that employers have better lobbyists than individuals, and that no matter what Congress says, we live in an era of rule by the regulators who always know what’s best.

Benjamin Domenech is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute (http://heartland.org) and editor of The Transom (http://thetransom.org).