When Froma Harrop, in her Thursday column, dismisses House Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against the president’s changing Obamacare without a vote by Congress, I think she is minimizing an important check on executive authority. While I agree that the lawsuit is not likely to fix anything, it might make voters take note of this president’s overreach with respect to his health care law and vote his party out of office in the fall.
The president has not asked Congress for changes to the health care law because he knows that no subsequent Congress would have left it intact. That tells me that the law did not have the depth and breadth of support that such a sweeping change should have before it is enacted. The 111th Congress, the most Democrat-dominated in recent history, passed Obamacare in 2010 without a single Republican vote. Later that year, Republicans made gains in both houses, partially as a result of voter disapproval of the law. I think the lesson to be learned is that the approval of subsequent congresses (and presidents) should be considered when implementing far ranging policy changes. I do not think we need to change the rules, I just think that our politicians need to behave more responsibly, and consider the likelihood of a policy being sustained long enough to achieve its goal (not likely when you cannot even get one vote from the other party). And we the voters should throw the bums out when they overreach.