Mark Caserta: Individual mandate change cripples Obamacare

3 Apr

obamavcareApr. 03, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Obamacare is falling apart. And honestly, it’s been altered or delayed so many times Americans are no longer able to take this legislation seriously.

Piece by piece, we’ve watched the Affordable Care Act (ACA) crumble. And last week the Obama administration witnessed the very core of the president’s signature healthcare law severely crippled — the individual mandate.

On Tuesday, the Health and Human Services Department announced the six-month open enrollment period for Obamacare that began in October 2013 and was supposed to end March 31 would be extended for two years for those with canceled policies who qualify under a broadened “hardship” requirement.

Previously, the HHS had provided exemptions only in substantial hardship cases. But facing potential backlash from millions of voters who will be liable for a “shared responsibility” payment or fine for every month they don’t have coverage or an exemption, the agency chose to “broaden” the scope of those qualifying for exemptions. Now, anyone who claims that going into an exchange would constitute a “hardship” would qualify. They would simply “check a box” signifying they’ve “experienced a hardship” that prevents them from getting health coverage.

This “relaxed” accommodation mortally compromises the individual mandate which the Obama administration told the Supreme Court was “essential” to the administration of the ACA.

The president’s role in the demise of Obamacare is really quite ironic.

When Republicans attempted to delay components of the Affordable Care Act, the president and complicit liberals berated them, saying, “You can’t shut down Obamacare. It’s the law.” But in glaring hypocrisy, the president repeatedly broke his own law and delayed it as needed to keep it alive.

On July 2, 2013, the administration delayed for one year the mandate forcing businesses to provide health coverage or pay fines, and delayed it again for another year in February 2014.

On Nov. 14, 2013, the president gave a last-minute extension for insurance plans that would have been canceled at the end of 2013 because they failed to meet Obamacare’s minimum requirements.

On March 5 of this year, Obama gave Americans the option to renew their health care plans that were canceled because of the law until 2016 and keep them until 2017.

And finally, the Obama administration’s most recent extension of the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare, essentially crippling the president’s “buy it or else” mandate.

While Obama was successful in legislating his ideology upon our nation, it’s important to remember that many Americans were simply misled about the Affordable Care Act.

But as the truth is revealed, more Americans are becoming disenchanted with this president and his healthcare legislation. A recent ABC News poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans now support getting rid of the individual mandate.

Leading up to the November elections, I expect Obamacare to become more of a “suggestion” than a mandate. And unless the GOP wins the Senate in November, look for Democrats to begin pitching a single-payer, government run healthcare system as the only viable solution.

But without the individual mandate, Obamacare will be history.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

One Response to “Mark Caserta: Individual mandate change cripples Obamacare”

  1. Brittius April 3, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Reblogged this on


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