Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Thursday that he’ll file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for breaking the law in his implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate.
Boehner revealed last week that House Republicans planned to sue the president for abuse of executive power, but failed to specify in what department, leaving many to speculate that the case would center around the heath care law’s piecemeal implementation or executive action on immigration. The House released a draft resolution authorizing the lawsuit Thursday evening.
“In 2013, the president changed the health care law without a vote of Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it,” Boehner said Thursday. “That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president should have the power to make laws on his or her own.”
Congress stipulated that the employer coverage requirement must take effect on Jan. 1, 2014 — but the Obama administration unilaterally delayed implementation of the health care law’s requirement for all businesses with 50 or more employees to provide workers health insurance in July 2013, using a blog post just before the holiday weekend. Functionally, the administration said they would waive all fees the employer mandate imposed on businesses until 2015.
The executive branch delayed it again in early February, giving mid-sized businesses until 2016 before the administration begins charging them penalties for not providing workers coverage.
The mandate had been met with serious opposition from business groups who pushed hard for the delay, in fear of skyrocketing costs.
“As I’ve said, this isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats; it’s about the Legislative Branch versus the Executive Branch, and above all protecting the Constitution,” Boehner said in a statement. “He has said that if Congress won’t make the laws he wants, he’ll go ahead and make them himself, and in the case of the employer mandate in his health care law, that’s exactly what he did.”
“If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well,” Boehner concluded.
Initially, the mandate’s delay was met with shock, as it was a central part of the law, along with the individual mandate. But a year later, many liberal Obamacare supporters are now advocating that the Obama administration do away with the mandate entirely.
Obama’s former press secretary, Robert Gibbs, first predicted that the administration would scrap the employer mandate in April. Liberal Obamacare supporters quickly joined the argument, calling the mandate “complicated to enforce” and raising even more concerns that the Obama administration would jettison the entire requirement.