How John Boehner Might Keep Obamacare Around Forever
If the New York Times reports tonight are true, John Boehner may just be destroying any chance the Supreme Court would get rid of Obamacare and making it even more likely Obamacare will never be repealed.Talk about negotiating with yourself. If Boehner gets what he wants — and Obama might just give it to him with enough rope to hang himself — the nation really is screwed.Here’s the relevant part of the New York Times story:
But the president and Mr. Boehner were moving ahead with their plan, aides said, trying to agree on matters like how much new revenue would be raised, how much would go to deficit reduction, how much to lower tax rates and, perhaps most critical, how to enforce the requirement for new tax revenue through painful consequences for both parties should they be unable to overhaul the tax code in 2012.The White House wants a trigger that would raise taxes on the wealthy; Mr. Boehner wants the potential penalty for inaction to include repeal of the Obama health care law’s mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance after 2014.
Here’s why this is important. Headed to the Supreme Court are a volley of lawsuits questioning the constitutionality of the individual mandate. One of those cases ruled that all of Obamacare is unconstitutional because the individual mandate is.If John Boehner gets that trigger, what do you think the odds are that the Democrats, before the Supreme Court can rule, triggers the trigger. They’d thereby save Obamacare by getting rid of the individual mandate and rendering a Supreme Court decision moot.Now, that’s not to say I think the Supreme Court will throw out Obamacare. It all comes down to Anthony Kennedy. But I sure as heck don’t think we should give the Democrats a chance to preclude a Supreme Court decision. And given the chance, I suspect they’d take it.Likewise, Republicans have long maintained that Obamacare must be fully repealed, not “fixed.” Boehner’s strategy would directly undermine that.House Republicans were sent to Washington to repeal Obamacare and hold the line on spending. They’ve failed at the first, failed at the second, and now seem to be letting the Speaker embrace and expand that failure.