President's Patch, the 14th Amendment, and 5 Percenters

By Mark Levy

November 16, 2013 5 min read

Dear Mark: The president has done what many of you on the right wanted him to do and letting individuals keep their health insurance plans if they liked them. He is fulfilling his promise, so shouldn't you get off of his case and let his team fix the website? — The Bronze Planner

Dear Bronze: Not so fast. President Obama hasn't actually delayed anything; he's allowing for "enforcement discretion." According to the Washington Times "Mr. Obama will leave it up to state health insurance commissioners to decide which sub-standard plans can still be offered by insurance companies, and he has pledged that his administration won't penalize them for still offering those plans even though they violate the Affordable Care Act."

Let's see, Obama broke his promise to America when he promised we could keep our plans and now insurance companies are supposed to trust that the administration won't penalize them for extending those policies? Obama's solution sounds like running a red light and wondering if the police officer will selectively ticket you or not. Fool me once ...

Also, I'm going to stay on the president's case. Obama has come up with a political — not a practical — solution to one of the major problems with Obamacare. Obama came to this decision after getting an earful from "red state Democrats" that are up for reelection in 2014. He's also witnessed his popularity numbers drop faster than the Titanic, which might be pricking his thin skin.

I have been reading a fascinating book by L.K. Samuels called "In Defense of Chaos." In it, Samuels references sociologist Robert K. Merton, who in 1936, discussed the "law of unforeseen consequences" in a paper called "The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action." Merton discusses several sources of unanticipated consequences, including ignorance, error, and imperious immediacy of interest. The latter describes a situation "in which someone is so eager to do something that he will purposely ignore any possible failure from side effects."

Sounds like President Obama hit all three of these with his Affordable Care Act and his so-called solution.

Dear Mark: How is it that Obamacare and so many of the president's ongoing alterations and carve-outs are not illegal under the 14th Amendment? Wouldn't that also prevent lawmakers and their staffs from exempting themselves from requirements under Obama's "law of the land? — Matt in Arkansas

Dear Matt: You're referring to the equal protection clause, which basically means that everyone has to be treated the same under the law. On the surface, it appears Congress violated the 14th Amendment by exempting itself from Obamacare. The sleight of hand they used is that the taxpayers will be paying 75 percent of their health care benefits. Once again, a group of politicians successfully adhered to the letter of the law while violating the spirit of the law.

Dear Mark: All over the news and Internet people are crying about losing their substandard health insurance policies because of the Affordable Care Act. Personally, I think it's the greedy insurance companies, but either way, people — it's less than 5 percent of the country, and you can all get a better plan. Stop crying and let the ACA finish rolling out. — Waa, Waa, Waa

Dear Waa: The 5 percent of people losing their health policies that Democrats seem to think is no big deal translates to millions of people. With that in mind, what if we were talking about abortions? Would the left accept the premise that we should outlaw all abortions because only 2.2 percent of women have abortions each year? The left would scream bloody murder. (Pun very much intended.) Gosh, I'm sorry to inject logic into an argument with liberals.

Dear Mark is a public platform for your enrichment and entertainment. E-mail your questions to [email protected] To find out more about Mark Levy, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit

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