The Spectacle Blog

GOP Hasn’t Surrendered on Obamacare

By on 4.23.14 | 11:19AM

President Obama has taken executive power to a new level with his ongoing unilateral rewrites of Obamacare, but the Republicans have had enough.

Thirty-eight Republican lawmakers signed a legal brief challenging Obamacare on the grounds of a special Obama-decided provision to allow congressmen and their staffs to receive federal health care subsidies. If they were private-sector workers, most of them would make too much money to qualify for government aid.

Senator Ron Johnson, who filed a lawsuit regarding the provision in January, said, “Relief came in the form of a special tax treatment available only to them, granted in a manner that exceeded the president’s legal and constitutional authority."

His accusations were not limited to that one instance, but included a plethora of Obama's other law-changing, politically-motivated orders—when he suspended the employer mandate, extended deadlines, changed the individual mandate, etc. Part of the brief reads:

In pursuing its strategy of unilateral governance, the Executive Branch has aggressively sought to frustrate judicial review of its actions. But courts must not shrink from their duty to enforce limits on executive power when necessary to protect the rights of individuals in actual cases and controversies. This case is a prime example.

The Washington Times summarized the extent of the congressional health care exemption:

The rule issued in October by OPM allowed the federal government to contribute to pay the costs of health care benefits for members of Congress and their staffs — just as it does for other federal employees — even though they would be buying health insurance on a marketplace.

Although Obama certainly overstepped his boundaries here, some Republicans consider this a futile political stunt. Even if the accusations are true, with the Department of Justice against the lawsuit, it doesn’t appear as though it will influence the implementation of the law. Yes, John McCain and Ted Cruz have managed to agree on this, but only a mere 14 percent of Congress signed the brief and the feds claim Johnson cannot sue because the law has not personally caused him any harm.

Needless to say, this “political stunt” has merit. The executive overreach has gone on too long. Terrible cliché and pun intended: It’s about time the president got a taste of his own medicine.

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