NY Times: Obamacare Extensions 'A Sweeping Exercise of Executive Power'

On Christmas Eve, the Obama administration announced yet another Obamacare enrollment extension on its HealthCare.gov blog for anyone who claims to have missed the myriad sign-up deadlines due to problems with the website.

The New York Times called the announcement "vague" and noted that "it was not clear on Tuesday how many people would be affected, or how consumers would prove that website errors had prevented them from signing up by the deadline on Tuesday night." 

The Obama administration announcement also failed to note when the "special enrollment period" would cease; however, White House spokesperson Tara McGuinness assured Americans it is not offering a "blanket extension" but will consider "assistance to individuals on a case-by-case basis."

Insurance industry experts say the White House's endless rounds of delays and shifting deadlines create more confusion and uncertainty in an already murky market.

"The goal posts keep moving," insurance lawyer William G. Schiffbauer told the Times. "That raises questions about whether insurers can collect premiums in a timely manner to pay claims from doctors and hospitals."

Legal experts have questioned the constitutionality of the Obama administration's "on the fly" changes, delays, modifications, and extensions to settled law. The Times conceded that "taken together, they amount to a sweeping exercise of executive power." 

George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley said the Obama administration has engaged in a "pattern of circumnavigating Congress in the creation of new major standards, exceptions or outright nullifications."

A new CNN poll finds that Obamacare's approval rating has now hit an all-time low of just 35%.


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