Krauthammer: Obamacare Delays Stuff of 'Banana Republic'

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 11:14 PM

By Greg Richter

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The latest delay in the Obamacare employer mandate is more like something done in a "banana republic" than in a democracy, says conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Appearing on Fox News Channel's "Special Report"  on Monday, Krauthammer was part of a panel discussion on Monday's delay of the employee mandate  for yet another year, taking the issue past this year's midterm elections.

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"The whole idea here that the administration is trying to promote that it's a timing issue and we've got to ease them into this is a farce, " Krauthammer said. "It's the substance of it." In the end, he said, the White House may have to cancel the mandate altogether because it will increase joblessness.

"Generally speaking you get past the next election by changing your policies, by announcing new initiatives, but not by wantonly changing the law lawlessly," Krauthammer said. "This is stuff you do in a banana republic. It’s as if the law is simply a blackboard on which Obama writes any number he wants, any delay he wants on any provision."

The Affordable Care Act has seen so many changes that no one even notices or complains anymore, he added. If complaints had started with the first "arbitrary changes," Krauthammer said, perhaps they could have been stopped.

"And these are not adjustments or transitions," he said. "These are political decisions to minimize the impact leading up to an election. And it’s changing the law in a way that you are not allowed to do."

National Journal's Ron Fornier argued against Krauthammer's "banana republic" line, saying that the White House now says that Obamacare is a tax and, therefore, the Treasury Department has the ability to amend regulations.

Krauthammer disagreed, saying that while they can amend regulations in order to implement the law, they could not do so just to ease political pain.

Fornier conceded, saying “Fair enough, when you put it that way I agree with you.”

Earlier in the conversation, Fornier had agreed that the administration's purpose was to push the issue past the midterms.

He noted that as an Obamacare supporter, he could say that the law needs flexibility and that Republicans are just being political in their opposition, but there's more to it.

"The problem is," Fornier said, "this thing is getting as flexible as Gumby, and if you keep stretching it, it's going to break."

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related Stories:

Republicans Slam Obamacare's Employer Mandate Delay as 'Train Wreck'

Kaiser Foundation: Obamacare Not Affordable for Middle Class Families

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