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Health Law Delays Questioned

The latest delays in implementing the Affordable Care Act are prompting critics to challenge the Obama administration’s legal authority to tweak the law, the Miami Herald reports.

The latest deadline extension, delaying the date for certain employers to offer health benefits to full-time workers, led some Republicans and conservative groups to say it’s a political ploy related to the critical mid-term elections.

Defenders say the president is using a legal “take care” clause within the Constitution that affects the timing and enforcement of laws, the Herald reports. Some, however, admit that there may have been political motivations to the delay.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing hidden about the politics behind the ads being run by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Democratic Party, according to the Miami Herald.

Scott, who is running for re-election, is bashing cuts in federal payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. Democrats replied that it's unseemly for Scott to comment on Medicare, given that he was CEO for Columbia/HCA hospital chain during a time when it committed massive Medicare fraud, according to federal documents. The company settled the case with a $1.7 billion fine; Scott was not charged, and was able to continue working in the health care field.

At the time, as Health News Florida reported in 2010, the federal Inspector General for Health and Human Services lacked the authority to take action against executives.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.