The limits to using an executive order to stop Obamacare
Despite promises by Republican presidential candidates that they would gut key parts of President Obama’s health care law on their first day in office, Congress‘ nonpartisan research agency says that trying to repeal major components of the overhaul through executive order just won’t work.
The Congressional Research Service has weighed in on questions of whether a Republican successor to Mr. Obama could halt portions of the Affordable Care Act by wielding an often-controversial power reserved exclusively for the president.
Courts likely would view an executive order to block new initiatives mandated by the law — such as insurance exchanges and a massive Medicaid expansion — as massively overstepping a president’s constitutional boundaries, the agency concludes.
“Such an executive order would likely conflict with an explicit congressional mandate and be viewed ‘incompatible with the express … will of Congress,’ ” says the report, issued in response to a request by Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican. . . .
“You can’t get rid of the exchanges, or the Medicare cuts or the Medicaid expansion,” Mr. Coburn said. “But you could absolutely gut the vast majority of it.” . . .