Politics

Krauthammer: Not enforcing Obamacare employer mandate ‘unconstitutional’

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On Tuesday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer called President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care reform law a “bait and switch” and said the administration’s recent move to delay the employer mandate is unconstitutional.

Elaborating on a claim he made earlier in the week, Krauthammer explained that the postponement of certain provisions of the law — including the delay until 2015 of the requirements that employers provide coverage to employees and that beneficiaries show proof of income — creates more problems.

“Look, the promise of this president was Obamacare won’t cost a penny now,” Krauthammer said. “Anybody who’s got a mind would understand if you’re going to give health care to 30 million people who haven’t had it — there is no free lunch. But he kept pretending and they kept putting provisions in the law that would make the CBO create estimates on these provisions that would show that it would pay for itself. Now a lot of them have already been completely discounted. Now, one of them is this employer mandate. That was supposed to be a source of revenue. Well lo and behold we’re not going to have that.”

The administration announced early this week that it would also suspend a requirement that people seeking taxpayer-subsidized health care prove financial need. This change is said to make it easier for those in need of subsidies to purchase health insurance at exchanges created by the law, but Krauthammer pointed out that it is an open invitation to fraud.

“There have been other elements of the law,” he continued. “For example, if you want to be eligible for the government subsidies of this health insurance from the exchanges you have to prove that you’re eligible. Well that was tossed out last week as well. So, on one side we’re getting less revenue. On the other side we’re going to get huge amounts of waste and fraud. We know the costs are escalating. And we know it’s going to cost a fortune to the Treasury and we’re going to have to raise taxes and that’s the bait and switch.”

Krauthammer went on to speculate the “mathematically impossible” law would lead to a hike in taxes and perhaps even a valued-added tax.  But he added that it is unconstitutional for the Obama administration to announce it is not going to enforce a key provision of an existing law — the employer mandate provision.

“Of course it’s unconstitutional,” he said. “The Constitution says the executive has to faithfully execute the laws and here it is faithfully ignoring a law it doesn’t like in the same way it wantonly passed the DREAM Act unilaterally — an act that the Congress had rejected. It is absolutely lawless in the things it does. This is only the latest example.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter