The mandates might be delayed, but the regulations just keep coming
You've got to wonder just how bad Democrat prospects in 2014 were looking for Obama to make this move. How would you like to be one of the imperiled Dems who has to defend this hot mess on the campaign trail? Especially since the employer mandates keep getting rewritten, but the individual one is still coming down like a ton of bricks? Even the clumsiest Republican candidate can make a great "Democrats don't care about the little guy" campaign out of this, throwing in a few personal stories of ObamaCare victims - a dash of rate shock, doc shock, and "if you like your plan, you can keep it" betrayal for extra spice.
But evidently the political consequences for leaving the mandates in place were even worse. I think this is a calculated effort to accept an electoral beating in 2014 to preserve the Democrats' viability for 2016. Imagine what the CBO projections for '15 and '16 would have looked like, after a laser blast from the fully armed and operational Death Star of ObamaCare. We had stories last week about the Democrats accepting that they wouldn't be able to take the House; this signals that they're close to giving up on holding the Senate, too, just as the Republicans signaled their optimism about taking the Senate by passing that "clean" debt ceiling increase today.
I wonder if Obama called any of those walking-dead 2014 Democrats to say goodbye. I wonder if any of them would have picked up the phone and risked being seen talking to him.
But at any rate, the tidal wave of economy-crushing ObamaCare regulations is still coming, even as the mandates are tinkered with. The American Action Forum warns of 28 new regulations this year, which will devour 45.7 million hours of our time and cost $1.4 billion to comply with. That brings the total paperwork burden from the Department of Health and Human Services up to 645 million man-hours, valued at $35.3 billion.
You had another $1.4 billion lying around to pay for the greater glory of Barack Obama, didn't you, America? Are you beginning to lose patience with increasingly strident demands for your compliance, even as Obama's government grows more openly contemptuous of the rule of law? Do you understand how that's not ironic or hypocritical? Your freedom will always diminish as the government grows more lawless, and vice versa.
I suppose some of the regulations the AAF alerts us to will be changed or delayed because of Obama's latest illegal employer mandate rewrite, although some of the junk on their list has little to do with said mandate. But even those regulations tied to the part of the law Obama just rewrote are likely to grow more complicated, rather than being mercifully delayed. Complying with complex laws is tricky. Complying with arrogant non-law is a nightmare.