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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The GOP Whiffs Again on Health Care

Republicans are mounting yet another legal challenge to President Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

In advice to baseball rookies, Hall of Fame star Ted Williams said: “If you don’t think too good, don’t think too much.”

This should be taken to heart by bush-league congressional leader John Boehner. The Republican speaker of the House keeps thinking he can knock President Barack Obama out of the game by killing his signature Affordable Care Act.

Even though the landmark law was passed by Congress, has now been upheld twice by the Supreme Court, and is providing essential coverage for millions of previously uninsured Americans, Boehner is still swatting at it. With his Koch-funded tea party majority in control, the House has now swung mightily at Obamacare at least 67 times  — and 67 times they’ve whiffed.

Unable to win on the legislative field of play, the speaker thought and thought… and suddenly, eureka! The way to beat Obama, he decided, is to get the judicial umpires of America’s constitutional game — the Supreme Court — not just to umpire, but to join his team as partisan players.

So Boehner and his lawyers have again run to the courts, throwing a political tantrum over some funds that Obama spent to administer an obscure provision in the health care law.

The president threw an illegal spitter at us, they cried. By spending that money, he usurped Congress’ authority over appropriations. They’re pleading with the judges to do what their own sorry team can’t get done, despite having control of both houses of Congress.

What a bunch of losers. Where were they when the Bush-Cheney regime was autocratically flouting congressional authority? Cheering them on, that’s where.

And yet they wonder why the GOP-led Congress’ approval rating is hovering around 14 percent — and the people who approve are probably family members, anti-Obama nuts, or corporate lobbyists.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower