Obama Declares Budget Cuts Don't Apply to ACA

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
03/14/2014
       
Obama Declares Budget Cuts Don't Apply to ACA

Remember the pen President Obama promised to use if he needed a new law and couldn’t count on Congress to pass it? He’s using it.

In his proposed budget for 2015, the president removed his healthcare plan from the list of federal programs that will be subject to the automatic cuts triggered by the sequester.

A report published Wednesday by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFP) first revealed the president’s plan.

The blog post reports:

The administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its report to Congress on Monday detailing the sequester’s impact on mandatory spending programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and it shows a notable about-face on the fate of the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies. The OMB had previously indicated that they were subject to sequestration just last year.

The estimated $8 billion in cost-sharing subsidies scheduled to be paid to insurers in FY 2015 will therefore be spared the sequester’s roughly 7 percent haircut, as will the $156 billion projected to be spent over the following nine years.

How will the president make up the difference? By making deeper cuts in other federal programs. CRFP’s report indicates:

Importantly, this exemption slightly increases the percentage reduction that other mandatory programs will face, including two of the three R’s intended to protect insurers against adverse selection in the health exchanges — risk adjustment and reinsurance payments. Together, these two programs, which help plans that end up with higher-cost enrollees, are set to be cut by nearly a billion dollars in FY 2015 as a result of the sequester. 

Remember the grants the president promised to send states to help them set up the exchanges required under the Affordable Care Act? Those, curiously, will not be spared the sequester’s scythe. The CRFP blog claims that “The sequester would also reduce funding for grants to help states run their ACA insurance exchanges, by $61 million in FY 2015.”

Putting aside for a moment the manifold ways the ObamaCare behemoth violates the Constitution, the president’s usurpation of the right to make laws is yet another leap along his path toward tyranny of the executive.

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