- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sen. Mike Lee argued Sunday that “any high school civics student can tell you” President Obama is stretching his executive authority by ameliorating the effects of his health care law with numerous tweaks and delays to its mandates on employers and individuals.

The Obama administration last week delayed for a second time the part of the Affordable Care Act that requires large employers to provide health coverage or pay fines.

The “employer mandate” was supposed to take effect in January. But now, mid-size firms of 50 to 99 employees do not have to comply until 2016, and the requirements will be phased in for employers of 100 or more full-time workers.

Mr. Lee, Utah Republican, told Fox News Sunday that if Mr. Obama can change the law through rules from the Treasury, “then there’s almost no limit to his authority.”

Fox host Chris Wallace said the text of the law is quite clear, stating the mandate “shall apply to months beginning after Dec. 31, 2013”
Rep. Xavier Becerra, California Democrat, defended the president with a broad reading of that clause.

“It will begin after December 2013,” he told Mr. Wallace.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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