By implementing Obamacare through "unilateral executive fiat," President Obama undermined the Constitution's separation of powers in a way that "threatens the liberty of every American," according to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
"There is no clearer example of the Obama administration’s abusive view of federal power than its implementation of Obamacare," Cruz said in a summary of "the Obama administration's attempt to expand federal power." This is the second installation in a series on "the legal limit" of Obama's authority.
Cruz focuses on the president's delay of certain Obamacare provisions, beginning with the delays of the health insurance requirements, the employer mandate, and the delay of the out of pocket caps that limit the amount of money consumers have to spend on their own care.
"Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires the President to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed,'" Cruz says in the report while discussing the delay of the insurance requirements. "Categorically refusing to enforce laws is the opposite of fulfilling this constitutional duty. Yet that is precisely what President Obama has done with Obamacare."
Cruz explains the legal problem with congressional staffers receiving a subsidy for the individual health insurance plans they must purchase through the exchanges: Federal law only allows the subsidies to go to people with group insurance plans.
"So just like average Americans, these individual congressional staffers will have to purchase a plan for themselves," the report says. "This is not a 'group' insurance plan covering a number of different people. This is an individual plan. So the government lacks authority to subsidize the plans that official congressional staff buy through the Obamacare exchanges. But the president did so anyway."
He also takes aim at the contraception mandate promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Importantly, the issue is not whether individual citizens will have access to contraceptives," Cruz writes. "There is no doubt that every American will retain the right to purchase contraceptives, and Obamacare does nothing to change that. Rather, the issue is whether the federal government can force other Americans to pay for those contraceptives—contrary to their deeply held religious faith."
There is more interesting detail in the report, especially when Cruz juxtaposes the text of Obamacare with regulations that supposedly interpret the law.
"To preserve the rule of law, we must restore the balance of power that ensures our laws are executed as written," Cruz concludes. "We are a nation of laws, not men, and the Obama administration’s willful disregard of the Constitution threatens the liberty of every American."