Boehner leaves behind fraught legacy in fight against ACA

When John Boehner retires as Speaker of the House, it will mark the end of the Ohio Republican's complicated and conflict-ridden relationship with the Affordable Care Act.

In many ways, Boehner has been one of the ACA's fiercest opponents, delivering a fiery speech against the law before it passed in the House, according to the Washington Examiner, and presiding over 2013's government shutdown that arose from a fight over the president's signature healthcare law.

And late last year, Boehner and his fellow conservatives in the House filed a suit against the Obama administration, arguing that the government violated the Constitution when implementing certain ACA provisions. Recently, that suit got a boost when a federal judge ruled the House has the right to sue the White House for executive overreach regarding its ACA spending.

But Boehner also struggled to reconcile some conservatives' hardline stance on the ACA with his efforts to alter the law through smaller legislative fixes. "He was sort of the first one to lead on that," Charlotte Ivancic, a former Boehner health policy adviser, tells the Examiner. This approach, however, led some to accuse the GOP of not being interested in a full ACA repeal, and pitted Boehner against Tea Party conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

What's more, Boehner decided to stick with his pricey ACA plan rather than join Medicare when he turned 65 last November, FierceHealthPayer has reported.

Regardless of Boehner's retirement announcement, the fight against the healthcare law shows no signs of slowing down. Two House Republicans say GOP leaders plan to include provisions that would repeal parts of the ACA in a fast-track bill that also would defund Planned Parenthood, The Hill reports.

And in a recent appearance on "60 Minutes," Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled his plan to repeal and replace the ACA.

To learn more:
- here's the Washington Examiner article
- read The Hill's report

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