Boehner’s suit against Obama tries to rekindle Obamacare fight

Let’s have a show of hands. Who else is confused about the proposed GOP lawsuit against President Obama?

House Speaker John Boehner (R, Sun Lamp) likes to push his way onto your TV screens with more talk about why he wants to sue the president. First it was that Obama was “failing to fulfill his constitutional duties.” Another day Boehner claimed that Obama was abusing executive power and circumventing Congress by issuing so many executive orders. (Note: Obama has actually issued FEWER executive orders than other modern presidents, as shown in this chart from the American Presidency Project.) Yet another day the Orangman said, “This is about the legislative branch … and it’s not about executive actions.” Well, sure. Why not waste millions of dollars in taxpayer money for a lawsuit that likely will get tossed quickly unless it’s to focus attention on Congress?

When Boehner finally announced the point of the lawsuit, it seemed to be (because it’s early in this process — they could dream up something else screwy) that Obama had delayed implementation of one part of the Affordable Care Act, the requirement that large employers must offer health insurance to employees, until 2015.

OK, let’s back up. In the 50 or so votes (because there are obviously no other problems facing the country) the U.S. House of Representatives has taken to repeal the ACA, some have sought the repeal of the employer insurance mandate. Indeed, those same lawmakers voted to do the exact same thing at virtually the exact same time — defer the employer mandate until 2015.

So … Boehner says he’s suing the president because the president took an action Republican members of the House wanted in the first place.

Huh? Nothing personal here, Mr. Speaker, but do you even listen to yourself? And why are you wasting so much money and time on this?

The GOP has to know this is a losing proposition. Recent reports about the success of the ACA show that the number of uninsured people in the U.S. has dropped from 18 percent to 13.4 percent, according to a recent Gallup Poll. There are 9.5 million fewer uninsured people now, according to a Commonwealth Fund study.

Even worse for the Republicans is the fact that most people seem to really like their new health care coverage. According to Margot Sanger-Katz in The New York Times: “Overall, 73 percent of people who bought health plans and 87 percent of those who signed up for Medicaid said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their new health insurance. Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans liked their plans.”

Seventy-four percent of newly insured Republicans. Wow.

Don’t forget the words of the GOP nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney: “If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states.” Because “an outright repeal would take time,” he reminded GOP voters, “an executive order is the first step in returning power to the states.”

So I guess it would have been OK if a Republican president had done it.

You have to love the official reaction from the White House press secretary: “It is disappointing that Speaker Boehner and Congressional Republicans have decided to waste time and taxpayer dollars on a political stunt. At a time when Washington should be working to expand economic opportunities for the middle class, Republican leaders in Congress are playing Washington politics rather than working with the President on behalf of hardworking Americans. As the President said today, he is doing his job — lawsuit or not — and it’s time Republicans in Congress did theirs.”

No argument here.



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