House Dem questions legality of Obama’s “administrative fix”

Nick Rahall

The legality of President Barack Obama’s “administrative fix” has come into question by legal scholars who, correctly, note that the administration doesn’t have the authority to arbitrarily delay enforcement of politically inconvenient provisions of Obamacare.

The criticism isn’t coming from critics of the law, but also those who voted for it. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) told CBS News that the legality of the move was one of the reasons he voted for the Republican-proposed Keep Your Health Plan Act, despite a veto threat from the White House.

Rahall was asked if voted for the Keep Your Health Plan Act because he thought President Obama’s fix didn’t go far enough. “I voted yes, perhaps that was part of the reason,” Rahall told CBS News. “But the main reason was, I’m not sure he had the legal underpinning to do what he did.”

Rahall was one of 39 House Democrats who backed the measure, which would allow insurers to extend coverage under these plans to new customers, which would permit insurers to let consumers keep health plans in effect before January 1, 2013 through 2014.

House Democrats who voted against the Keep Your Health Plan Act complained would undercut the Obamacare because it would also allow insurers to enroll new customers into the plans.

Rahall voted for Obamacare in 2010. He’s voted against subsequent repeal efforts, including a vote for full repeal in May of this year.

“There’s more good than bad in the new law,” said Rahall in a statement on Thursday. “Rather than scrapping the law altogether, the pressure should be on Members of Congress to come together with reasonable folks who want to repair the law and ensure access to quality health care for all.”

The Charleston Daily Mail reported last week that 8,800 West Virginians have received cancellations notices from insurers because their plans didn’t meet Obamacare’s regulatory requirements. Just 174 people in the state signed up for a government-approved plan through the federal Obamacare exchange.

Rahall could face trouble back home because of his support for the law. The Cook Political Report rates his district, WV-03, as a “Toss Up.”

H/T: The Weekly Standard

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