Friday, December 20, 2013

Unequal Branches

We have yet another rule change on “health care reform” this week, this one being that people who had their health insurance policies cancelled are exempted from being reqiuired to carry health insurance next year. This is the most recent in a long list of changes made by executive order to this legislation, to a law passed by Congress.

Apparently laws passed by Congress are now interpreted by our executive branch as merely suggestions, which it can execute or waive in accordance with its latest whim. Not content with mere “signing statements” used by his predecessor, Obama writes executive orders actually changing the substance of laws passed by Congress and no one blinks.

There was significant objection when Bush used signing statements to the effect that he would not enforce as passed certain portions of laws that he was signing into law, but there is no objection at all when Obama writes executive orders which entirely change the substance of portions of laws passed by Congress and which he has earlier signed into law. The infamous, “It’s okay when a Democrat does it.”

If part of the “Affordable Care Act” as passed by Congress is making Democrats look bad Obama can just change that law as needed to suit the public relations needs of the Democratic Party. Maybe that’s why we call it “Obamacare” rather than the name that was on the act passed by Congress. It isn’t really a law, you see, because Congress no longer has any real power in our government. All it can do is make suggestions, which the executive branch can either accept or ignore as it sees fit.

The article points out that, “…in October 2011, the administration scrapped a long-term care insurance program created by the new law, saying it was too costly and would not work.” It was the will of Congress that this program would be included in the reform, and when Obama’s staff decided that “it was too costly and would not work” Obama did not go back to Congress and ask them to remove it, he simply removed it by executive order. There has been no objection by Congress to him changing the law passed by Congress, no comment by the media, and no outcry by constitutional scholars or lawyers.

It is simply accepted fact that the executive and legislative branches of our government are no longer equal, as they were created by the constitution; that Congress is subordinate to the executive.

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