Political Editors / May 13, 2016

Congress' ObamaCare Win Sets Up Election Fight

Obama trod on the legislative branch's power of the purse.

In another serious rebuke for Barack Obama’s executive overreach, Congress won its lawsuit taking issue with how Obama enacted ObamaCare. Specifically, a federal judge ruled Thursday the administration trod on the legislative branch’s power of the purse. Last year, the House, lead by then-Speaker John Boehner, sued the administration, arguing Obama had violated the Constitution when, without the approval of Congress, he gave money to insurance companies to offset the cost of skyrocketing premiums. Obama tried to downplay his action by saying the sides were quibbling over a federal statute. But Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement: “This is an historic win for the Constitution and the American people. The court ruled that the administration overreached by spending taxpayer money without approval from the people’s representatives. Here, the executive branch is being held accountable to We the People, and that’s why this decision is very good news.”

Last year, Obama taunted Congress, daring the branch to sue him. When Boehner moved forward with the suit, he was criticized by some on the Right who worried his gamble might result in a lost court case and an emboldened executive branch. But this ruling is the third time this year that the courts have repudiated “the constitutional law professor’s” loose interpretation of our governing document, notes The Wall Street Journal, with the other rulings checking Obama’s executive actions on immigration and his Clean Power Plan.

The ruling moves the issue of Obama’s health care legacy to the forefront of this election cycle. Republicans will once again make the case why the system should not exist and Democrats will argue that destroying the subsidies Obama created would price many people out of the system allegedly designed to bring health care to everyone — and it’s all the Republicans’ fault if it doesn’t work. If the House falls into Democrat hands this November, they will simply vote to drop this suit. The Obama administration will also appeal, and the case has a chance of rising all the way to the Supreme Court, giving Chief Justice John Roberts another chance to save ObamaCare from the Constitution.

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