EDITORIAL: Obamacare is falling apart

The president counts on the IRS to fix it

The Department of Health and Human Services has just updated the Obamacare enrollment figures, and it’s clear that the scheme continues to unravel.

Through the end of January, 3.3 million Americans signed up for government-approved insurance plans, and about 82 percent of them did it to get on the dole. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, that can’t work.

Young people must pay more to keep premiums sustainable for the old, the halt, the lame and the ill under President Obama’s “signature” accomplishment. So far, it’s a signature nobody would dream of forging.

The system must be changed, but the current Congress won’t do it, so Mr. Obama is free to continue changing it as he pleases.

The delay of the employer mandate until the Democrats see the November elections in the rearview mirrors applies the same creative thinking that enables the president’s loyalists to call eliminating 2 million jobs a good thing, not a bad thing.

Obamacare frees many Americans from work, increasing leisure time, and this is excused as a pleasant and unexpected surprise. The health care scheme inevitably eliminated some jobs, but few guessed that so many jobs would vanish. No one outside the Oval Office imagined that destroying jobs and the need to work would be such a blessing.

We may have to revise history. Americans who lived through the Great Depression did not know theirs was a golden age of abundant happiness and leisure aplenty. They were relieved of their jobs and freed to enjoy the leisure of the bread lines.

Herbert Hoover is revealed as the greatest president since Washington, leaving an example for presidents after him. All those rabbits died in vain. Who knew?

Rather than move right away to eliminate more jobs, however, the president put such good news off until 2016 by exempting businesses with fewer that 100 employers from the mandates of Obamacare.

Larger companies get no such relief, but the small-business exemption will give his supporters ample time to reassure the employed that their time of leisure is coming.

The White House frets that larger businesses will conclude that they, too, can slim payrolls to get to the magic number of 99, and win an exemption by becoming a smaller business.

The White House told the IRS to enforce a new requirement that any company that dismisses employees to get to 99 must certify under oath that its motives are pure. The IRS will be empowered to investigate the purity of motives and impose criminal sanctions if it finds evidence otherwise.

The president lacks the legal authority to rewrite laws, but Obamacare has been so thoroughly rewritten since it was signed that few in Congress could recognize it as the legislation they voted for.

Neither does the president have the right or authority to create new criminal law all by himself or to authorize an agency such as the IRS to act as his enforcer.

None of this bothers Barack Obama, but it should bother congressmen to discover that they have been so emasculated and are singing in a higher octave. The rest of us should understand that we are vulnerable to IRS thuggery, too, and be very, very afraid.

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