The administration's response to the impending failure of its signature legislation - a failure resulting entirely from its flawed design - has been to ignore the inconvenient portion of the law.
In May, the Internal Revenue Service decided it would issue tax credits to people who get insurance from exchanges established by the federal government.
It has thus exposed firms and individuals to taxes and penalties without any legal authorization. Obviously, that situation sets the stage for lawsuits.
The plaintiffs will have a strong case. Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon - two libertarians, the first a law professor at Case Western Reserve University and the second a health-care analyst at the Cato Institute - have done more than anyone to bring attention to this issue.
They point out that every health bill advanced by Senate Democrats clearly made tax credits conditional on states' establishment of exchanges. They have also uncovered that during the debate over the bill, Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, explicitly said the same thing.
Supporters of the health care law may be tempted to dismiss the challenge to the IRS. That would be to repeat a mistake.
They were contemptuous of the constitutional case against the law, too. Timothy Jost, a Washington and Lee University law professor, even wrote that the attorneys who brought the suits should face professional sanctions for filing frivolous cases.
In the end, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the plaintiffs on their constitutional claims, in one case by a 7-2 margin, upholding the law only by removing parts of it.
There will be many more court battles over the health care law, because it involves so many legally dubious expansions of bureaucratic power.
In addition to the IRS move, there are lawsuits against the administration's ruling that almost all employers must provide coverage for contraception and sterilization, a decision that conflicts with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The law also creates a board of experts to control health care costs, a move that is sure to bring legal action on separation-of-powers grounds.
Supporters of the law see such legal attacks as proof of the fanaticism of the opposition.
Jost is now the leading defender of the IRS's action. "What is it about extending the benefits of our health care system to millions of uninsured Americans that so troubles opponents?" he asks.
One answer: This expansion of benefits is being accomplished in such a lawless way.
The health care plan the Obama administration got enacted isn't going to work.
That doesn't mean they get to rewrite the law unilaterally as they go. It means they should have passed a different law.
Ponnuru, a senior editor at National Review, is a Bloomberg View columnist.