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So Many Changes To The Health Care Law, But Are They Legal?

Publication Date: 
February 24, 2014
The Sacramento Bee
Tony Pugh

Professor Michael McConnell comments on the changes implemented by the White House in an attempt to smoothly implement the Affordable Care Act for The Sacramento Bee. 

After President Barack Obama bowed to critics in November and allowed people with canceled health insurance policies to keep their coverage for another year, the White House quickly hit the spin cycle.

In a telephone briefing with reporters that same day, senior administration officials said their “enforcement discretion” allowed them to tweak the Affordable Care Act to ensure that it would be implemented with minimal disruption.


“Scarcely a day goes by that I don’t have a call or an email from someone who is trying to think about what the legal response to this could be,” said Michael McConnell, a conservative law professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School. “It’s really getting to the point where I just can’t see how the attorney general can put his name to a legal opinion that this is lawful.”


But an employee who wanted affordable job-based health coverage and was denied the opportunity because of the holdups in implementing the employer mandate may have standing to sue the government, said McConnell of Stanford Law School.