Monday, July 14, 2014
The late George Carlin had a great bit about the Champ, Muhammad Ali, who was prosecuted by the federal government for refusing to participate in the draft and take a free trip to Vietnam. As Carlin pointed out, Muhammad Ali’s career involved beating people up. The government wanted him to change jobs. They wanted him to kill people. Ali said that that was where he drew the line. He’d beat them up, but he wouldn’t kill them. So the government said, “if you won’t kill ‘em, we won’t let you beat them up”.
The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) over fifty times since January 2011. Repeal. Tear it up. Throw it away. The Republicans hate the law and want to eliminate it.
Last July the Administration chose to postpone for a year one of the most complicated and confusing portions of the new law, the employer mandate. So what do the Republicans want to do about President Obama choosing to hold off part of the implementation of this law that they hate? The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, wants to sue the President.
Even though the House has tried to postpone and/or eliminate the employer mandate, the Republicans are really offended that the President did it without them. It doesn’t seem to matter to the Boehner and his team whether this was necessary. It is strictly political for them.
All or nothing. Enforce the entire law including all of the mandates, or none at all. Except contraception, but that’s a different issue.
No President has ever delayed the implementation of a law, especially a health care law, on his own without Congressional approval. None, as long as you don’t count George Bush and the Medicare Part D (Rx) rollout in 2006.
At some point we are going to get a Congress interested in governing. This sideshow does nothing to solve the problems with healthcare.gov. This lawsuit or threat of legal action will not help even one more American have access to care.
The Supreme Court’s decision of June 28, 1971 recognized the Champ’s Conscientious Objector status. We have faith, as a country, that the Supreme Court will normally get it right. Normally, but not always.
And soon we will have the spectacle of John Boehner - a man who doesn’t want to be President, he just doesn’t want anyone else to be President – suing Barack Obama. And we are left to wonder if all of this could have been avoided if the President had just taken Boehner golfing more often or if he had invited him to build a snowman.
I know George Carlin would have been amused.