No “Fixes” for Obamacare

We have been told numerous times that the ACA, “Obamacare,” is the law of the land. Some of the law’s supporters have even called it the “settled” law of the land to emphasize the idea that it may not be changed.

Of course, even while these claims were being put forth in the media, our President was already diddling around with it, delaying the employer mandate feature of the law. This he did on top of other exemptions he had granted to one favored party or another.

Even some Democrats who strongly support it, or at least had supported it, are now urging that it be delayed. They have been stung by the ineptitude of the program’s introduction to the real world. Senators who supported the law and are up for reelection in 2014 are worried that their support may get them voted out of office.

Now we are hearing various suggestions for how to “fix” the law, and a cadre of computer programmers have been set to the task of correcting the code that is supposed to make it run smoothly. This process may not trouble some legislators who are always asking approval to “revise and extend” their remarks. But it disturbs me and should concern us all. These code writers could insert changes to the law either inadvertently or on purpose. Their craft is arcane enough that the ordinary citizen or congressional committee would be unable to monitor, let alone stop, any such changes. Indeed it might be tempting to “simplify” the law rather than create the code to make it run as originally conceived. To do so would be legislating by computer code, something that would be unconstitutional and start us down a slippery slope that could plague us for years.

The way to avoid it altogether is to repeal the law legislatively and start over again.

Dwight Boud

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