America’s staunchest scholars in opposition to Obamacare are undisputedly the Cato Institute’s Michaels Tanner and Cannon. Debbie and I know each and, in a matter of days, will be speaking with them first hand about the job-killing beast that is O’Care. In the interim, you get an opportunity to read from Mr. Tanner what he most astutely refers to as to the disappearing ink of O’Care.
If it seems like only the other day that an article in the Daily Kos was suggesting that opponents of Obamacare who failed to fully implement every jot and tittle of the health-care law should be jailed for sedition . . . well, it was. But then, it’s different when the president does it. After all, as President Obama told French president François Hollande, being president means “I can do whatever I want.”
That is not to say that “whatever he wants” just means eliminating parts of Obamacare. Sometimes it means creating new parts of the law. For example, the plain language of the law limits subsidies to insurance plans sold through the exchanges in the 17 states that chose to establish them on their own. The law provided no subsidies for plans on federally run exchanges. A technicality, the president decided, and ordered the IRS to make the subsidies available anyway.
The health-care law was 2,562 pages and 511,520 words long. We could have saved 511,513 of those if Congress had just written: “The president can do whatever he wants.”
Someday, of course, Democrats may come to regret this precedent. After all, now that we know that laws can be written in disappearing ink, there is nothing, except maybe respect for the constitutional order, to prevent the next Republican president from doing whatever he wants — such as, say, postponing the whole darn mess forever.