I was looking over a recent poll by High Point University, and one of the questions sparked my interest. The question read:
Would you say this statement is true or false?
“The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare refer to the same U.S. health care reform legislation that was signed into law on March 23, 2010.”
At first glance, the answer to this question would seem obvious. For the last four years, the word ‘Obamacare’ has been used synonymously with The Affordable Care Act. Even the president himself referred to the bill as Obamacare and embraced the fact that such a controversial bill held his name.
However, after the terrible rollout of the law back in October, and following an apologetic news conference concerning the bill last Nov. 14, the word Obamacare seems to have disappeared from the mouths of Obama and his surrogates.
Unlike most conservatives, I believe that Obamacare and The Affordable Care Act are two completely different things; and they deserve two completely different names. Surprised? Here’s why.
The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act was passed four years ago in March of 2010.
As the public learned that we actually couldn’t keep our plans, and that premiums would rise and individuals would lose their insurance, the popularity of the law and Obama began to plummet.
How did the President plan to “fix” the problems that were destroying the poster child of his administration and what he envisions as his legacy? Through administrative and executive orders of course!
While the president issued executive order after executive order, delay after delay, and exemption after exemption, the media stood silent, except to blame Congress for problems and to congratulate the President “for taking action, while it continues to be gridlocked”.
The law we now have is no longer the same law passed by Congress. It is now truly Obama’s law and can rightly be called “Obamacare.”
President Obama was quoted saying he has a “phone and a pen” and that he’s “ready to take action”. Problem is, he’s not in any position to take legislative action or make executive orders to the ACA that legislatively change the bill.
Any American who has sat through a high school civics class knows that our government is made up of three separate but equally powerful branches. If one of the branches oversteps the bounds of their power, it is the job of the other two branches to “check” the usurping branch.
The president is the head of the executive branch; and in short, the executive branch’s job is to execute the laws passed by the legislative branch. The legislative branch legislates, or passes laws; and the judicial branch interprets the legality of the laws passed and the way the laws are executed.
The president has the power to make executive orders; but when these executive orders begin to change a law, that executive order then becomes unconstitutional. The president isn’t allowed to legislate; but that is exactly what Obama has been doing, issuing more than a dozen executive orders regarding the ACA.
The current state of The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act is completely different than what was passed four years ago. This is what separates the ACA and Obamacare – they are two fundamentally different bills because the president himself has radically altered the law.
The ACA is what Congress passed four years ago, and Obamacare is the current state of the bill. He has made the changes – they are his and his alone. Now it’s time for Congress and the courts to perform some oversight on the president’s actions and decide whether the executives orders are constitutional or not.
Spoiler Alert: THEY AREN’T!
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom