Heartland Institute Experts React to Latest Delay in Obamacare Mandates

December 20, 2013

The Obama administration announced it is lifting the mandate to buy insurance - as well as the penalty for not buying insurance - from those who had their individual coverage plans canceled this year. People in such a situation will be allowed by buy “catastrophic” health insurance plans, which were outlawed by the Affordable Care Act.

The following statements from health care policy and legal experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“The president’s latest decision to effectively exempt a portion of the American people from the individual mandate is the most egregious and unlawful step he has yet taken in the failed rollout of his health care law.

“By using the ‘hardship exemption’ loophole for those who have lost their insurance and are unable to sign up for subsidized coverage, the president is admitting the hardship he has caused millions of Americans by disrupting the existing health insurance market and eliminating insurance plans for countless Americans, offering them insurance that costs them more and offers narrower networks, disrupting the care of the sick and raising costs for millions.

“Expect this latest step to result in lawsuits from those who were not previously insured but want access to the same exemption from Obamacare - and really, who can blame them?”

Benjamin Domenech
Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
The Heartland Institute

“The decision to grant ‘hardship’ waivers to millions of Americans losing their coverage as a result of Obamacare barely begins to correct the massive damage inflicted by Obamacare on an already troubled health care system. For political reasons the administration has chosen to grant special exemptions for some Americans, while others who also can’t find affordable coverage they want to buy are still subject to a tax for not purchasing insurance.

“While it’s unlikely that the Obama administration will grant similar hardship waivers to tens of millions of other Americans struggling under Obamacare, this decision has shown that a future president may be able to grant widespread waivers under the law. Hopefully this will be a focus of discussion during the 2016 presidential nomination and election process, and candidates will recognize it as an opportunity to effectively repeal the individual mandate through executive action.”

Sean Parnell
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute

Parnell is the author of The Self-Pay Patient.

“Rarely, if ever, in the history of the Republic has so little been accomplished for so few by so many with so much noise and distraction - while wasting so much time, energy, and resources.

“Years of partisan bickering, litigation, and a so-called ‘government shutdown,’ it transpires, will in the end have been unnecessary as the people watch Obamacare and its namesake administration collapse under their own weight.

“Given that nationalized health care has been a ‘progressive’ goal for over a century, one would have thought that a Democratic party bent on forcing it on the people with a razor-thin partisan majority would have spent the next three years making sure that its ‘system’ worked. It appears instead to have been merely exhortation.”

David L. Applegate
Policy Advisor, Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute

“Democrats like to say Obamacare is the ‘law of the land.’ Not really. It is just the name of the law.”

Jane M. Orient, M.D.
Executive Director
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons

“Seems more and more arbitrary, tossing aside the rule of law and acting along fascistic lines. Mussolini would love this.”

Tibor R. Machan
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
Auburn University
R. C. Hoiles Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise
Argyros School of Business & Economics
Chapman University

“The simplest distinction between socialism and fascism is that in socialism, the government takes ownership and control of the means of production; in fascism, the government takes control, but leaves ownership in quasi-private hands. Obamacare is fascist health care.”

Howard Maccabee
Founding President
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness
Policy Advisor, Health Care
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 29-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.