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Dangerous precedent

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

It's 2014, and the Affordable Care Act is now reality and eventually will affect almost everyone. We were warned by many that the law was a disaster in the making — including by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont,), a key architect of the law who described it as a ”huge train wreck” in April.

We are now witnessing the train wreck: The website's a joke; there are drastic cost increases, deductible increases, restricted access to providers of choice, numerous tax increases and questions about data security.

These issues are now being widely publicized. However, something more insidious and dangerous has occurred that is not being brought to our attention.

The Constitution reserves the power to create, change or repeal law only to the Congress. Once enacted, everyone from the president on down must obey a law until it is changed or repealed by Congress. As the president has reminded critics of the ACA, “It is the law.”

Yet he has unilaterally and selectively issued hundreds of waivers and exemptions and changed deadlines. He's done this while threatening to veto any changes made by Congress — the only lawful way to alter an existing law.

By definition, the president's acts are unlawful.

President Obama's law by dictate sets a dangerous precedent. If something is not done to curtail his disregard for the separation of powers codified in our Constitution, we will live to regret it.

Michael G. Bitterice

Freeport

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