Obamacare

House to Sue Obama Over Unilateral Obamacare Delays and President's 'Flippant Dismissal of the Constitution'

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Credit: White House / Flickr.com

When House Speaker John Boehner announced his intention of leading the House of Representatives in a lawsuit against President Obama's "flippant dismissal of the Constitution," Boehner identified several possible grounds for the suit, including the president's failure to "faithfully [execute] the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education."

Yesterday that menu of options was narrowed down to one when Boehner released a draft House resolution "Providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President inconsistent with his duties under the Constitution of the United States." Specifically, the resolution points to the president's "failure…to act in a manner consistent with that official's duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to implementation of (including a failure to implement) any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

That "failure to implement" refers to the White House's controversial unilateral action delaying implementation of Obamacare's employer mandate, the provision of the 2010 health care law requiring firms with 50 or more employees to provide qualifying coverage. As Peter Suderman noted in July 2013, the legality of that delay has always been in doubt. In fact, even Democratic supporters of the health care law have raised questions about the propriety of Obama's actions on that front. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), for example, declared, "This was the law. How can they change the law?"

How indeed? Perhaps we'll find out as the House's lawsuit moves forward.

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  1. I think this should be a slam dunk.

    I also think that it was a slam dunk that when the Congress modified a proposed law to eliminate a tax and replace it with a fine, that the Courts would recognize that it wasn’t a tax. And I was wrong.

    1. A lawsuit is idiotic. This is just theater because they don’t have the balls to utilize the real remedy for Presidential malfeasance – impeachment.

      1. The worst part is republicans will slurp it up like they were democrats sucking on Obama’s cock.

      2. Actually, the lawsuit may be unintentionally brilliant. SCOTUS already ruled that the employer mandate is a tax. So what we have here is a situation where Congress passed a law that raised taxes on businesses and the President is arguing he has the power to unilaterally delay the start of those taxes until he feels like them going into effect.

        If Boehner loses the lawsuit, he’s just established a precedent that future Presidents can just ignore attempts by Congress to increase taxes.

        1. Yeah, right. The power to steal my money is about the only thing these fuckwads actually do care about.

        2. If Boehner loses the lawsuit, he’s just established a precedent that future Presidents can just ignore attempts by Congress to increase taxes.

          FTFY

        3. SCOTUS already ruled that the employer mandate is a tax.

          I’m not sure that’s true. The court ruled that the individual mandate was a tax. The employer mandate was not at stake.

          1. Sorry, there was so many mandates in that bill I got them confused in my memory.

      3. No amount of balls is going to result in impeachment impacting the WH, as long as the Dark Lord Reid rules the Senate with an iron fist and a black heart. It would mean trading a lot of political capital for nothing at all.

      4. I agree.

        Option #2 is to cut off funds. They don’t even need the Senate for that.

        Oh wait, that was kinda tried. But kneecapped because the leadership has no balls. Also several cocktail party invitations were cancelled, so you know it was serious.

        Nevermind.

  2. Anyone notice they memory-holed the article with the crush-porn gifs?

    1. That post was getting an inordinate level of traffic from the Manhattan Beach area that was threatening to crash reason’s fragile servers.

      1. Something has to get me through the day.

      2. …”reason’s fragile servers.”

        I understand they are powered by water wheels and the drought has caused problems.

        1. Nuh-uh, they are powered by MILLENIALS!

          Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials! Millenials!

  3. Boehner’s tie matches his skin!

  4. Is Boehner giving Obama a handy in that pic?

  5. Stupid Party living up to its moniker.

  6. First you hate the law, then you wanted the law, despite trying to repeal the law, and now you’re suing the president for delaying the law! When will you teathuglicanwingnutarian peanutgalleryelephantsnorkeltarians make up your minds?

    1. Reminded me of this article.

      “Fuck, we made business practically illegal. Ok, lets just count the illegal shit too.”

      1. Wait, wait, I’ve got it… we’ll call it “fair trade” sex and drug trafficking. They’d go for that, right? Poppies grown organically by co-ops of small-business farmers in sustainable horticultural methods according to their traditions. Small businesswomen exploring their promiscuous freedom by plying their trade over borders and enjoying access to their wealthier neighbors’ affluence. There’s no way they’d criminalize that.

  7. While I admire Boehner for going after him, I see issues with “failure…to act in a manner consistent with that official’s duties under the Constitution and laws of the United States with respect to implementation of (including a failure to implement) any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

    He will claim it couldn’t be implemented.

    Suppose a 2/3 Democratic Congress passes a law mandating a cure for cancer by 1 August 2014. The Republican President failed to comply. Sue him.

    He’s gonna weasel out on these grounds and the Republicans are going to take it in the shorts.

    I’d have impeached him for violating the War Powers Act.

    1. I’d have impeached him for violating the War Powers Act.

      If people like us got elected to positions capable of such, there’d be no reason to, because nobody would’ve elected anyone like Obama to start with.

    2. “Suppose a 2/3 Democratic Congress passes a law mandating a cure for cancer by 1 August 2014. The Republican President failed to comply. Sue him.”

      If the rethug pres didn’t veto it, I would say that’s correct.
      Obo signed this into law, so he’s gonna have a hard time saying he signed something that’s impossible.

    3. There’s a difference between trying and failing, and explicitly telling your underlings not to bother trying.

      Still, I’m not sure what exactly a lawsuit will achieve even if it does succeed. SCOTUS wags its finger at POTUS, he continues to do whatever he wants. What are they going to, throw him in jail for contempt of court? Impeachment (followed by conviction, that is) has no chance of succeeding, but at least the end result if it did is clear enough.

  8. Fake scandal

  9. We shouldn’t implement the employer mandate AT ALL.

    the only way to get rid of the PPACA is going to be to dump everyone onto the exchanges and then deregulate them.
    The employer-based system is the root of all evil in the health insurance market.

    1. There’s a lot of blame to go around, but yeah, doubling down on the worst aspect of the industry was bloody typical of the Dems. Of course they would take the most destructive and most easily reversible element of the healthcare conundrum and make it second most vital feature of their bill, right behind guaranteed issue/community rating/individual mandate crux. I have no love for the GOP, but I’m looking forward to a midterm shellacking in the Senate.

    2. The employer-based system is the root of all evil in the health insurance market.

      No it isnt.

      Giving tax advantages to employer based health insurance and not to private purchased health insurance is ONE of the evils.

      The ban on interstate commerce in health insurance is another.

      I have no problem with employers offering health insurance to employees if they want. There are sometimes advantages to a group plan. But there shouldnt be any tax advantage that encourages an individual to accept it from their employer.

    3. That seems like the best course of action for the Republicans, which is why they will never do it.

  10. So Obama gets to blame the employer mandate on the GOP now. Thanks, guys. #StupidParty

  11. Alt. text: I knew they secretly had the hots for each other.

  12. Any liberal Congressman who opposes this litigation will be cursed with 30 years of conservative Presidents.

    Separately, I thought all taxes were considered unaffiliated – meaning that the government could do with it as it pleases and does not have to conform to the tax payer’s beliefs. If ACA is a tax (uhg), how could SCOTUS determine that it has affiliation with its tax payer?

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