Eleven Republican attorneys general are slamming President Obama for what they say is an illegal administrative fix to the health care law.
“The fix is flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law,” they wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary kathleen Sebelius on Dec. 26, as The Hill reported on Thursday. “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.”
The attorneys general are criticizing the president's decision to allow insurers to offer lesser plans for another year after a flurry of cancellation notices made headlines.
“The illegal actions by this Administration must stop,” they wrote, alledging that the changes exceed the precedents set by the Supreme Court in previous decisions.
The letter argues that the administrative fix is unlawful because it violates the president’s responsibility to faithfully enact the law -- but the letter then veers into pointed political territory.
“More broadly, we are deeply concerned that this Administration is consistently rewriting new rules and effectively inventing statutory provisions to operationalize a flawed law,” the letter states. “And the irony, of course, is that the changes being put forth to fix the disastrous exchanges will ultimately destroy the market and increase health insurance premiums for consumers who played by the rules.”
The letter also alleges that the Health and Human Services Department is ignoring the security concerns of the exchanges and presses them to fix it, making a series of recommendations on how to do so.
Notable signatories include Greg Abbott of Texas, who is running for governor next year, and Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli, who just lost a gubernatorial race in November, after trying to turn the race into a referendum on Obamacare.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey penned the letter. It was also signed by Attorneys General Luther Strange of Alabama, Samuel S. Olens of Georgia, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Buddy Caldwell of Louisiana, Bill Schuette of Michigan, Jon Bruning of Nebraska, and Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma.