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Romney Misinforms Voters When He Promises To Repeal Health Reform Through Waivers

Mitt Romney is running around the country promising conservatives that he will repeal the Affordable Care Act through executives orders (or waivers) that will allow states to opt out of implementing the health reform law. Critics — including some within the Republican party — have argued that a president does not have the authority to eliminate a law passed by Congress, and today, a report from the Congressional Research Service confirms that while Romney would be able to alter certain regulations, issuing waivers through executive authority would “likely conflictwith an explicit congressional mandate and be viewed ‘incompatible with the express … will of Congress’”:

A President would not appear to be able to issue an executive order halting an agency from promulgating a rule that is statutorily required by PPACA, as such an action would conflict with an explicit congressional mandate…However, Presidents have issued executive orders on regulatory review that have increased the President’s involvement in agency rule making generally. […]

A President would not appear to be able to issue an executive order halting statutorily-required programs or mandatory appropriations for a new grant or other program in PPACA, and there are a variety of different types of these programs…However, there may be instances where PPACA leaves discretion to the Secretary to take actions to implement a mandatory program, and…an executive order directing the Secretary to take particular actions may be analyzed as within or beyond the PResident’s powers to provide for the discretion of the executive branch.”

Romney admits that he won’t be able to eliminate the entire law through executive authority and save a Republican majority in the senate, has pledged to use the reconciliation process to undo the rest of the measure. But that too isn’t possible, since “budget reconciliation bill would have to apply only to the budget-related elements of the new law” and would leave many portions of the law intact. Romney would end up “creating a chaotic environment driven by enormous uncertainty over just which parts of the new health care law would be implemented–for consumers, health care providers, and insurers.”

Unfortunately, this reality hasn’t stopped the former Massachusetts governor from telling voters that he will easily repeal Obamacare on “day one.”

By: Igor Volsky, Think Progress, November 30, 2011

December 1, 2011 - Posted by | Congress, GOP Presidential Candidates, Health Reform | , , ,

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