By Bill Hoffmann
The Affordable Care Act is dead in the water — and President Barack Obama is responsible with his endless, illegal tweaks, according to Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC's "The Kudlow Report."
"Obama is basically killing the individual mandate because of its unpopularity, basically killing the tax penalty because of its unpopularity," Kudlow told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"[If] he had called me up two years ago, I could've saved him all of this trouble and said, 'It won't work, sir.'"
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will give more time to Americans who want health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace by the March 31 deadline, but are having difficulty enrolling.
The relaxation of the deadline is similar to one made in late December when a Jan. 1 deadline approached.
Last year, the White House delayed the employer mandate by a year, giving employers with more than 50 employees another year to provide health insurance to their workers under the act.
Kudlow believes Obama has been forced to keep changing the law time and time again, without the approval of Congress, because he knows it isn't working.
"This thing is dying of its own weight and it's being pushed to death … because they know they're going to get clobbered in the election," he added.
"Let's face it, the midterm election is going to be basically a referendum – A, on Obamacare which no one wants and B, on the economy which is very sluggish, substandard, subpar, and particularly the job situation."
He said the healthcare reform disaster, combined with a slowdown of the economy, spells doom for the Democrats in November.
"The Democrats are going to get clobbered. Obama is trying to ease the pain of Obamacare, but it won't work because people don't want it," Kudlow said.
"What is ironic to me is that it is President Obama and his minions who are killing the individual mandate," he added. "I don't believe there will ever really be a deadline for enrolling or paying. I don't believe it.
"They're not going to get their 6 million [enrollees]. I don’t know what they're going to get. They'd be lucky to get 4 million."
Kudlow, 66, is retiring from his weekday show Friday after a 25 year run on CNBC to become a senior contributor with the network.
The network’s president Mark Hoffman told the show’s staff: "Larry expressed his love of the network and personal pride in what had been accomplished on his program over the years but now wanted to slow down just a bit.’’
Kudlow was an associate director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration and chief economist at Bear Stearns. He will continue as a columnist and syndicated radio host.
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