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Subject: Administration delays implementation of Employer Mandate until 2015 rss

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Chad
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Couple of thoughts on this

1) Certainly does not help Obama's "trust us the government is here for you" if they could not get this figured out in the last 3 years.

2) How is this even legal? I.e. The Administration is going to willy nilly chose what parts of the law to implement on time. Feels like a defacto line item veto

3) Does ACA even make it to fruition? - this is a huge victory for business - do they and the Republicans (undoubtedly) go for more?
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Utrecht wrote:
2) How is this even legal?
If you make the laws, you can also remake them.
 
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Chad
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Geosphere wrote:
Utrecht wrote:
2) How is this even legal?
If you make the laws, you can also remake them.
but that is just it - the Administration didn't make the rules - Congress did.
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I thought the whole point of your system of government was that it is separated into two branches, each supposedly there to act as a check on the other. This is why it's not illegal, it is how it is supposed to operate. Indeed many presidents have delayed the implementation of laws in the past, and congress has refused to honor agreements made by the president.
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Dave G
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More bungling of a terrible piece of legislation by the Obama administration. This whole bill is a colossal embarrassment. It's a terrible half-assed law to begin with, because they neutered the thing trying to gin up enough votes to pass it. The way they let the Republican noise machine win the PR/propaganda battle was pathetic. And now they can't even manage the process well enough to put the terrible bill they passed into effect, and they look even more clueless.

Add this to a growing list of enormous disappointments out of the Obama White House. If it weren't for the forward progress on gay rights under this administration I don't think I could point to a single thing I'm proud of this President for. "Better than Dubya" was a pretty low fucking bar, and I'm sad to say I don't know that he's clearing it by much regardless. Here's hoping we get Huntsman on one side and anyone but Clinton on the other in 2016 so I've actually got something to think about before the election.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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With several hundred pages of text that nobody read before voting on it, is anybody really surprised that the government doesn't have their head wrapped around it yet?

I'm not saying it was much worse than any other piece of pork-laden, ill-conceived, Frankenstein's monster legislation, mind you.
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Dave G
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RoverGuy wrote:
Done strictly to prevent the Democrats from losing the mid-term elections in 2014.

If it had been implemented on schedule (2014 instead of 2015) everyone would have seen what a cluster-fuck it is, how much it is going to increase costs, impossible to manage, loaded with waste, etc. The Democrats would take the heat in the elections.

This way people will not find out until after the elections. Hopefully this is a wake up call against this legislation.
I know this is the party line per Boehner and McConnell, but it's fucking nonsense. This is a bureaucratic fuck-up, not an election ploy. If it were an election ploy, it would be a terrible one--the looming specter of those hypothetical cost increases and what not is far better election ammunition for the GOP than the reality would be. Don't kid yourself for a second, Boehner and the Republicans are making with the frowny faces in public, but in the privacy of their offices they're jerking each other off so hard their dicks are bleeding. This is the best thing they could have asked for going into an election year. They get to point to how badly the Dems fucked this thing up AND they get to run on repeal because the law won't have been fully implemented yet.

It amazes me that some of you Republican types are somehow incapable of seeing through your own side's spin, to the point that you're actually arguing that a great win for your side is exactly what the Dems wanted. I want Boehner or Cantor or someone to come out to your house and explain it to you slowly with small words. "No, Mike, we said that, but it's not what we actually meant. Are you really having trouble grasping why this is good for us?" I think for some of you that's the only way you'd actually understand how politics works.
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Dave G
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ejmowrer wrote:

I'm not saying it was much worse than any other piece of pork-laden, ill-conceived, Frankenstein's monster legislation, mind you.
This is sadly all too true.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
I know this is the party line per Boehner and McConnell, but it's fucking nonsense. This is a bureaucratic fuck-up, not an election ploy. If it were an election ploy, it would be a terrible one--the looming specter of those hypothetical cost increases and what not is far better election ammunition for the GOP than the reality would be. Don't kid yourself for a second, Boehner and the Republicans are making with the frowny faces in public, but in the privacy of their offices they're jerking each other off so hard their dicks are bleeding. This is the best thing they could have asked for going into an election year. They get to point to how badly the Dems fucked this thing up AND they get to run on repeal because the law won't have been fully implemented yet.

It amazes me that some of you Republican types are somehow incapable of seeing through your own side's spin, to the point that you're actually arguing that a great win for your side is exactly what the Dems wanted. I want Boehner or Cantor or someone to come out to your house and explain it to you slowly with small words. "No, Mike, we said that, but it's not what we actually meant. Are you really having trouble grasping why this is good for us?" I think for some of you that's the only way you'd actually understand how politics works.
Dave, this has to have some considerations of 2014 optics involved - RoverGuy is not completely off base. Bottom line, it was decided that perceived cost of the a bureaucratic fuckup was larger than the perceived cost of delay (after all they can spin it as "we want to get it right" - the law does have Obama's name unofficially attached to it.

The Administration has been hyper tuned to perceptions about its brand - and their is no bigger element of that brand than "Obamacare"

However, I can totally see the GOP overplaying this - and going after the individual mandate...
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Utrecht wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
I know this is the party line per Boehner and McConnell, but it's fucking nonsense. This is a bureaucratic fuck-up, not an election ploy. If it were an election ploy, it would be a terrible one--the looming specter of those hypothetical cost increases and what not is far better election ammunition for the GOP than the reality would be. Don't kid yourself for a second, Boehner and the Republicans are making with the frowny faces in public, but in the privacy of their offices they're jerking each other off so hard their dicks are bleeding. This is the best thing they could have asked for going into an election year. They get to point to how badly the Dems fucked this thing up AND they get to run on repeal because the law won't have been fully implemented yet.

It amazes me that some of you Republican types are somehow incapable of seeing through your own side's spin, to the point that you're actually arguing that a great win for your side is exactly what the Dems wanted. I want Boehner or Cantor or someone to come out to your house and explain it to you slowly with small words. "No, Mike, we said that, but it's not what we actually meant. Are you really having trouble grasping why this is good for us?" I think for some of you that's the only way you'd actually understand how politics works.
Dave, this has to have some considerations of 2014 optics involved - RoverGuy is not completely off base. Bottom line, it was decided that perceived cost of the a bureaucratic fuckup was larger than the perceived cost of delay (after all they can spin it as "we want to get it right" - the law does have Obama's name unofficially attached to it.

The Administration has been hyper tuned to perceptions about its brand - and their is no bigger element of that brand than "Obamacare"

However, I can totally see the GOP overplaying this - and going after the individual mandate...
RoverGuy is, as usual, taking the tiniest kernel of truth and presenting it like Zeus himself carved it in granite with his penis. Obviously the Dems are trying to mitigate their losses on this thing, I get that. It's absurd to say that they wanted this outcome, though--what they wanted was to implement this thing smoothly in January so that by November people would have mostly forgotten about it. Which is precisely what would have happened if they'd gotten everything to work. Even if it is bad legislation (and make no mistake, it's awful) the fact is that people are far more attuned to news stories about potential calamity and catastrophe than they are interested in listening to real cost data about something that's turned out to mostly be negatively affecting someone else. That's why this thing was supposed to start this year in the first place, so that the ACA would be a mostly dead issue by this coming election.
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Utrecht wrote:
Couple of thoughts on this

1) Certainly does not help Obama's "trust us the government is here for you" if they could not get this figured out in the last 3 years.
Huh? Setting up the system was complex. Writing the rules in such a way that this could work was complex. So they postpone implementation until more of those complexities can be sorted out rather than move forward with the potential for negative consequences.

Is this not how you would want a responsible government to behave? Why is saying "we want to get this right and not do damage" something that should diminish rather than increase trust?

I swear, there doesn't seem to be a way for government to win. If the mandate stood as originally written, it would have been government rushing in without regard to the consequences. But delaying obviously means that we can't trust government in the first place.

Quote:
2) How is this even legal?
The legislation places regulatory authority over different portions of the law with different portions of the administration. HHS has some, Treasury some others, etc. They are using the authority granted them under the law. If they didn't have that explicit regulatory authority, then this wouldn't be legal.

Quote:
3) Does ACA even make it to fruition? - this is a huge victory for business - do they and the Republicans (undoubtedly) go for more?
#1 - if this is a "huge victory" for the Republicans, then we're redefining "huge victory."

#2 - Unless you get both houses of the legislature with a 2/3 GOP majority before 1/20/2017 when the next president is sworn in, how do you expect the ACA to be removed from the books?

#3 - The ACA has flaws, yes. Shouldn't the goal be to fix the flaws and actually improve care while reducing costs rather than trumpeting that a first step down that road isn't perfect as some form of political victory? I mean, the rest of the industrialized world manages to have national approaches to health care and the overwhelming majority of them work better than ours. Why focus on "The ACA sucks" rather than "Gee, maybe we could provide better care and cut dramatically from the 12% of GDP we spend on that care at the same time."

Is your goal the good of the country and its people? Or is it strictly partisan?
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Dave G
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It's a huge win, Ken, if only because of the public perception. What actually happened is irrelevant. What people see is "small business owners complain that the law is too expensive, Republicans agree, Obama backs down." There's also going to be a perception that even the administration recognizes what a terrible law this is, so they're delaying it while they try to figure out how to make it work.

I know there's more to it than that, but the average American view of politics is incredibly superficial and partisan.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
...but the average American view of politics is incredibly superficial and partisan.
Which is a nauseating state of affairs that we shouldn't encourage. Preferably even engage in.

We don't do ourselves any favors by behaving this way.
 
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I saw this on The Atlantic. I believe they are just quoting Wonkblog though:

Quote:
The Center for American Progress's Topher Spiro explained: "The employer mandate in the House bill was much better constructed from a policy point of view... It was based on the percentage of payroll you spent on health care rather than on how many workers you had, so there’s not this weird disincentive related to part-time workers. But it didn’t have the political support to pass."
The rest of the article is pretty good too. That quote ties into the other thread we had discussing small business and the employer mandate. The 50 person limit is arbitrary. If the GOP would get past trying to REPEAL!!!!! Perhaps they could work with the Democrats on something like the above instead. It will never happen, but that's the way government should work.
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perfalbion wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
...but the average American view of politics is incredibly superficial and partisan.
Which is a nauseating state of affairs that we shouldn't encourage. Preferably even engage in.

We don't do ourselves any favors by behaving this way.
I agree, but what can you do? Half the country doesn't want universal health care solely because it's a "liberal" idea. I know lots of conservatives, and I can count the ones who actually have well-considered and substantive arguments against it on one hand. Same for liberals on the flip side. It's stupid, but politics in the US is just a team sport and looks to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
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Ken,

Effectively, you are making the same points that opponents are - setting this up is complex and if the government is unable to even get the simple things like - when it should start (especially when they have had 3 years to prepare) - how much confidence should be held when tough decisions have to be made.

I agree, that the Administration took the right approach - get it right - but is a year enough? Do they need 2?

However to address your point - about anyway for government to win - how about writing legislation that does not need to be passed first so that we can find out what is in it - that seems like a recipe for butt covering like this delay is.


On the legality, yes you are correct, I had forgotten that Congress gave that part up in its rush to pass it - bad memory.


Finally - on your last point 3 - yes, I agree, the focus SHOULD be on both sides fixing it. However the Dems are acting like it is perfect and no changes are needed and the GOP is acting like it is the by product of Satan. ACA WILL be the law of the land 5/10/50 years from now and nothing (IMO) that the GOP will do can change that - to large a percentage of the population supports it (high 40s if I recall).

I have no goal here (much of what is in the law I like - I strongly dislike how it was passed - and there are some definite stinkers in it) - I just saw no one had posted a thread on it, and wanted to discuss.
 
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
It's a huge win, Ken, if only because of the public perception. What actually happened is irrelevant. What people see is "small business owners complain that the law is too expensive, Republicans agree, Obama backs down." There's also going to be a perception that even the administration recognizes what a terrible law this is, so they're delaying it while they try to figure out how to make it work.

I know there's more to it than that, but the average American view of politics is incredibly superficial and partisan.
I disagree.

Anti-ACA people will see it that way.
Pro-ACA people won't.

And it's unclear how it will play to people who don't care about ACA yet.
 
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Ken
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Utrecht wrote:
Effectively, you are making the same points that opponents are - setting this up is complex and if the government is unable to even get the simple things like - when it should start (especially when they have had 3 years to prepare) - how much confidence should be held when tough decisions have to be made.
This statement is self-contradictory. Setting this up is complex, but government can't do "simple" things like this. If this is the foundation for the argument, it fails at a very basic level.

Quote:
I agree, that the Administration took the right approach - get it right - but is a year enough? Do they need 2?
I don't know. Is there some standard benchmark you're applying to "getting it right" that would indicate that 1 year isn't enough but 2 years and six months is too long? You talk like there's some standard metric in play here. And there isn't. At some point, there will be a decision that it's "good enough" and implementation will occur. And after that, there will be adjustments based on real-world experience with the law.

Why this is even close to controversial is a mystery to me. How many times has Social Security been tweaked over the years? Medicare? Food stamps? Welfare? Rules governing drug approval? Things get tweaked regularly through both regulatory rules and legislation. And the only answer that makes any sense is "they need as much time as they need to make it good enough to release." You do the same thing when you buy stuff (you don't wait for software to be perfect before purchasing, but you're probably not going to buy something that's been reported as terribly bug-ridden).

Quote:
However to address your point - about anyway for government to win - how about writing legislation that does not need to be passed first so that we can find out what is in it - that seems like a recipe for butt covering like this delay is.
This old trope really doesn't hold water. If someone that voted on the legislation didn't know what was in it, they weren't doing their job. And what this really is is somebody saying "we shouldn't be voting on something that invests regulatory power in government agencies without a complete list of everything that they will do once they are given such regulatory power." That is an inherently stupid statement since one of the reasons you grant regulatory power is to allow adjustments more rapidly than changing legislation would otherwise permit. Like delaying the implementation of something because it's just not ready yet.

Quote:
On the legality, yes you are correct, I had forgotten that Congress gave that part up in its rush to pass it - bad memory.
Congress "gave nothing up." They did what Congress does - delegated certain constrained authorities to part of the administration rather than having to micromanage every aspect of many large problems. They retain their ability to modify the legislation, exercise oversight over the administration of the law that was passed, and monitor the actual impact of the law.

That's not "giving that part up." That's governing.

Quote:
However the Dems are acting like it is perfect
Please name one Democrat that acts this way. Just one. ETA: Better yet, name one that holds a prominent position in the party.

Quote:
I have no goal here (much of what is in the law I like - I strongly dislike how it was passed - and there are some definite stinkers in it) - I just saw no one had posted a thread on it, and wanted to discuss.
I'll take you at your word, but note that the tone of the OP doesn't read this way to me at all. Rather than asking "is this a good thing?" you state that it's a "huge victory for business" and an indication that we can't trust the government. Those aren't queries, they are statements, and statements that one can reasonably read to mean you've an opinion on the matter.

Treasury took a prudent step and said "we need more time to make this good enough." That should be lauded, not criticized. If 2015 or 2016 rolls around and we're no closer, then it's definitely getting to be time to ask questions about competence. But seeing as many of the mechanisms that would enable the mandate (like exchanges) weren't scheduled to be in place until this year and that many state governments weren't exactly "Johnny on the spot" regarding their parts of this puzzle, the only "huge victory" here is for people looking to spin things.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
It's a huge win, Ken, if only because of the public perception. What actually happened is irrelevant. What people see is "small business owners complain that the law is too expensive, Republicans agree, Obama backs down." There's also going to be a perception that even the administration recognizes what a terrible law this is, so they're delaying it while they try to figure out how to make it work.

I know there's more to it than that, but the average American view of politics is incredibly superficial and partisan.
I agree with DJ that this is both a disaster and more of a bureaucratic fuck up than an election year ploy.

The majority of small business owners who are complaining about this law (more than 10+ employees, less than 50) are already going to back the Republicans, all things being equal. There are regional variances which matter, of course- these probably trump the ACA in many circumstances. But as a general rule, if someone is going to make ObamaCare the key litmus test of their vote, they're not going to vote Democrat. So it doesn't matter if they get relief in 2014 or not, they weren't going to vote Democrat in the first place.

I'm even more skeptical of 'big solutions' these days, after talking to some friends of mine who came back from Afghanistan and reading Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Little America, his book about the war in Afghanistan since 2009. The same dysfunction which plagued our efforts in Afghanistan are also here in the United States.

I call it the Coriolanus Principle.

To know, when two authorities are up,
Neither supreme, how soon confusion
May enter 'twixt the gap of both and take
The one by the other.


-Coriolanus, Act III, Scene 1.

The bigger the program, the more convoluted the lines of authority become- and when two (or more) authorities have power, but neither are clearly in charge of the issue at hand, the result is conflict and strife.

I think that the difficulties here are structural, in that every American President since Reagan has really suffered from the difficulties of bending the Executive Branch to his will- and Reagan's solution of allowing subordinates to feast at the Taxpayer Trough in exchange for obsequience towards his Free Market ideology isn't exactly a proposal for making government more effective and less wasteful than a recipe for convincing people to dismantle government.

What is needed is to somehow, to use an old Clintonian phrase, 'Reimagine Government'- to clean up the corridors of power, to make lines of authority clear, upgrade the technological base so that they can do more, and encourage more cross-fertilization of ideas. But my fear is that this is impossible- too many entrenched interests, too much inertia to overcome, and too many concerns on any President's desk that needs ones attention NOW NOW NOW, that any attempt at strategically reshaping the corridors of power in Washington would be hazardous at best, and futile at worst.

Darilian
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
More bungling of a terrible piece of legislation by the Obama administration. This whole bill is a colossal embarrassment. It's a terrible half-assed law to begin with, because they neutered the thing trying to gin up enough votes to pass it. The way they let the Republican noise machine win the PR/propaganda battle was pathetic. And now they can't even manage the process well enough to put the terrible bill they passed into effect, and they look even more clueless.

Add this to a growing list of enormous disappointments out of the Obama White House. If it weren't for the forward progress on gay rights under this administration I don't think I could point to a single thing I'm proud of this President for. "Better than Dubya" was a pretty low fucking bar, and I'm sad to say I don't know that he's clearing it by much regardless. Here's hoping we get Huntsman on one side and anyone but Clinton on the other in 2016 so I've actually got something to think about before the election.
Yeah, my sentiment exactly! He's better than Dubya, but that's not really saying much, is it?

I don't know too much about Huntsman. What do you like about him? And what do you dislike about Hillary?
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einsteinidahosu wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
More bungling of a terrible piece of legislation by the Obama administration. This whole bill is a colossal embarrassment. It's a terrible half-assed law to begin with, because they neutered the thing trying to gin up enough votes to pass it. The way they let the Republican noise machine win the PR/propaganda battle was pathetic. And now they can't even manage the process well enough to put the terrible bill they passed into effect, and they look even more clueless.

Add this to a growing list of enormous disappointments out of the Obama White House. If it weren't for the forward progress on gay rights under this administration I don't think I could point to a single thing I'm proud of this President for. "Better than Dubya" was a pretty low fucking bar, and I'm sad to say I don't know that he's clearing it by much regardless. Here's hoping we get Huntsman on one side and anyone but Clinton on the other in 2016 so I've actually got something to think about before the election.
Yeah, my sentiment exactly! He's better than Dubya, but that's not really saying much, is it?

I don't know too much about Huntsman. What do you like about him? And what do you dislike about Hillary?
I like Huntsman because I felt like he was one of the only sensible moderate voices in 2012 GOP primary and he remained committed to that sensible and moderate position even when it was increasingly obvious that it was far more popular to be a crazy partisan extremist. He's a religious Republican who nevertheless supports gay marriage, opposes corporate welfare, and took a firm stance against torture. He's not a perfect candidate, he and I aren't on the same page about all kinds of things. That said, I think he seems to be a man who has some strength of character and the courage to stand up for what he believes in. From a realistic standpoint, I don't know that I could support a GOP presidential candidate under any circumstances since that president would ultimately end up rubber-stamping the nutjobs in Congress and I can't abide that, but if I had to vote for a Republican I think Huntsman is my guy.

Hilary, on the other hand, seems like everything wrong with politics to me. She's a career politician, she's been schmoozing for this job since she was in college. I don't trust her moral compass, I don't trust her to have the strength of her convictions even about the things we agree on, and I don't think she really has any convictions beyond an intense desire to be elected to the next position she sets her mind on. If Obama is too circumspect and wishy-washy for my taste, I'd still prefer him by a long shot to a soulless political creature like Hilary Clinton.
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Ken said:

Quote:
If someone that voted on the legislation didn't know what was in it, they weren't doing their job.
It's just impossible.

There is too much for them to know so they have to rely on other people to tell them it's safe to vote on. And things can be added/inserted/reinterpreted at any time.

We'd probably need to have several congresses (one for each area of government-- dod, education, etc.) for them to have any hope of knowing what was in the bills they pass other than at a very general level.


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maxo-texas wrote:
There is too much for them to know so they have to rely on other people to tell them it's safe to vote on.
You're reading "know" to mean "can recite the contents of the bill in detail and discuss all the fine points with expertise. And that's not what I mean at all. There are aides/staffers on an official's own staff, on committees, and in various parts of the government like the CBO, the Library of Congress, or the Congressional Research Service. Then there's party caucuses, constituency caucuses, party leadership, and even lobbyists.

I "know" a great deal that I did not read on my own or even necessarily experience directly.

"Knowing" doesn't mean "has read every word, comma, and hyphen in the bill and all amendments." It means "is sufficiently educated to vote."
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perfalbion wrote:
I don't know. Is there some standard benchmark you're applying to "getting it right" that would indicate that 1 year isn't enough but 2 years and six months is too long? You talk like there's some standard metric in play here. And there isn't. At some point, there will be a decision that it's "good enough" and implementation will occur. And after that, there will be adjustments based on real-world experience with the law.
Nope - no standard metric for massive social engineering projects - suspect they are on a case by case basis - and agree on the we will get to "good enough" - which touches on your second question.

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Why this is even close to controversial is a mystery to me. How many times has Social Security been tweaked over the years? Medicare? Food stamps? Welfare? Rules governing drug approval? Things get tweaked regularly through both regulatory rules and legislation. And the only answer that makes any sense is "they need as much time as they need to make it good enough to release." You do the same thing when you buy stuff (you don't wait for software to be perfect before purchasing, but you're probably not going to buy something that's been reported as terribly bug-ridden).
A large part of Obama's vision is that Government is the best vehicle to drive change - and the idea that "good enough" is the bar we are trying to get to is both disappointing and sets the stage for not accomplishing the actual goals of the legislation

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This old trope really doesn't hold water. If someone that voted on the legislation didn't know what was in it, they weren't doing their job. And what this really is is somebody saying "we shouldn't be voting on something that invests regulatory power in government agencies without a complete list of everything that they will do once they are given such regulatory power." That is an inherently stupid statement since one of the reasons you grant regulatory power is to allow adjustments more rapidly than changing legislation would otherwise permit. Like delaying the implementation of something because it's just not ready yet.
I am not sure why this does not hold water... IMO legislators should understand what is in a bill before voting on it. Obviously, it is diffifult/impossible as Maxo indicates - but to me that suggest that the legislation is both to large and/or poorly written.

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Congress "gave nothing up." They did what Congress does - delegated certain constrained authorities to part of the administration rather than having to micromanage every aspect of many large problems. They retain their ability to modify the legislation, exercise oversight over the administration of the law that was passed, and monitor the actual impact of the law.

That's not "giving that part up." That's governing.
Absolutely fair point

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Please name one Democrat that acts this way. Just one. ETA: Better yet, name one that holds a prominent position in the party.
Sure - Pelosi, Reid and Jarrett to start

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I'll take you at your word, but note that the tone of the OP doesn't read this way to me at all. Rather than asking "is this a good thing?" you state that it's a "huge victory for business" and an indication that we can't trust the government. Those aren't queries, they are statements, and statements that one can reasonably read to mean you've an opinion on the matter.
But it is a huge win for business - they saw that the could pressure/complain/whine and force change - massive hole in the administrations armour going forward. As far as this being a good thing - well, Jury is still likely out.

Oh, and as far as trusting the government - I do not - regardless of whose party is in the White House. Do I trust business - not much more - but at least I know where it is coming from. Government is to schizophrenic IMO.
 
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Mac Mcleod
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perfalbion wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
There is too much for them to know so they have to rely on other people to tell them it's safe to vote on.
You're reading "know" to mean "can recite the contents of the bill in detail and discuss all the fine points with expertise. And that's not what I mean at all. There are aides/staffers on an official's own staff, on committees, and in various parts of the government like the CBO, the Library of Congress, or the Congressional Research Service. Then there's party caucuses, constituency caucuses, party leadership, and even lobbyists.

I "know" a great deal that I did not read on my own or even necessarily experience directly.

"Knowing" doesn't mean "has read every word, comma, and hyphen in the bill and all amendments." It means "is sufficiently educated to vote."
I can see how you would think that but I'm not.

I'm saying given the huge number of laws they have to pass, and the huge size of those laws in terms of pages, it's not possible to know very much.

I listen to Dan Patrick and he talks about the process on his radio show. Essentially, they buddy system in the Texas senate (which is much smaller than the national congress). Another senator you trust says, "This is about health care- it's okay to vote on." Your staff will give you a little more but you haven't got time to process things other than at a very high level.

Btw, this is while working 12+ hour days. Just too much to do for the number of people we rely on to do it.

The ACA was just one of a series of huge bills they have to vote on.

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Mar 11, 2013 - The Obamacare Law is 20,000 Pages Long and Would Be 7 Feet Tall If Stacked Page-By-Page.
Ken, at 20,000 pages (7 feet tall!), I don't think they even know *now* what is in the ACA and I don't judge them for it. People will crowd source it, find the various bugs, loopholes, mistakes, and they'll be corrected in future sessions. Some things will be abused/pains in our ass for years before they get fixed.

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