Tuesday, January 7, 2014

11 GOP Attorneys General Criticize Obama For 'Flatly Illegal' Obamacare Fixes

This is from the Huffington Post

Eleven GOP attorneys general have joined the chorus of Republican lawmakers arguing that the Obama administration’s changes to the Affordable Care Act are “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law."

The Dec. 26 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius specifically criticizes President Barack Obama's executive decision to give insurance companies another year to continue offering health plans that had been canceled for not meeting ACA standards. That decision came after the political turmoil surrounding hundreds of thousands of canceled insurance plans.

“We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action,” states the letter, authored by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. “The illegal actions by this administration must stop.”

In addition to Morrisey, the attorneys general of Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia cosigned the letter.

The officials argue that Obama’s changes to the ACA were not approved by Congress and exceed the legal limits set in 1985 by Heckler v. Chaney, in which the Supreme Court ruled that some enforcement discretion might be subject to judicial review. ... 

The authors of the legal commentary also took issue with the online implementation of state and federal health care exchanges, citing the vulnerability of personal information and identity theft as critical security and legal issues.

“HHS's regulations continue to ignore the widespread public outcry over the security of consumers' private information throughout the enrollment process on the healthcare exchanges,” the state officials wrote.

The attorneys general outlined a series of policy recommendations to safeguard the health care marketplaces against security threats, including “rigorous background checks on all persons with access to private consumer information.”

Read the full letter from the group of attorneys general here.