Bad news today for President Obama about his signature piece of legislation Obamacare. A panel of judges on the DC Federal Appeals Court ruled that a plain reading of Obamacare says that only those who purchased health insurance policies through state-run exchanges are eligible for subsidies. Under section 1401 subsidies in the form of tax credits are only available for those taxpayers who purchased their policies through an exchange “established by the state”. Now people who have purchased health insurance policies from the federal exchanges have received coverage through an IRS regulation.
The court had this to say in opinion “We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly. But, high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still. Within constitutional limits, Congress is supreme in matters of policy, and the consequence of that supremacy is that our duty when interpreting a statute is to ascertain the meaning of the words of the statute duly enacted through the formal legislative process.”
Basically the court is saying, yes this ruling is going to hurt people. Because of how the Democrats crafted this bill people are going be unable to afford the coverage that they have purchased. However, the court is bound by law, as is the rest of the government. The power to create legislation lies solely with the legislative branch. The bill was written and passed by congress. That bill was signed into law by the President, and thus the language in that bill became the law. The only people who can change the law are the legislature.
Now of course a decision like this is destined to inflame the progressive movement. When questioned about the ruling President Obama’s new press spokesman Josh Ernest said this, ” It’s important for people all across the country to understand that this ruling does not have any practical impact, uh, on their ability to continue to receive tax credits right now. There are millions of Americans all across the country who are receiving tax credits from the federal government as a result of the Affordable Care Act that is making health care more affordable for them. And while this ruling is interesting to legal theorists, it has no practical impact on their tax credits right now. You don’t need a fancy legal gruh — legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits”. Once you cut through the fluff and talking points, what Josh Ernest is saying here is that it is not the content of the law that is important, but rather the intent. That is the argument that you will here from just about every progressive on this ruling. It doesn’t matter what the law actually says, we all know that the original intent was for everyone to have these subsidies. It was a clerical error, the law was supposed to have subsidies included for everyone.
This “intent” argument is fueled by a ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said Obamacare’s language is ambiguous and thus subject to multiple interpretations. This paves the way for the IRS to regulate around this issue.
So the progressives are saying that it does not mater what the law actually says, the intent is known, so President Obama can just change it as he sees fit….. This is the biggest crock I have ever heard. How could there be any “intent” when Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the house and member of the progressive trifecta, said herself that we have to pass the bill to see what is in it. They had no clue. Perhaps this is just what happens when you have single party rule, and bills are not vetted properly. I mean if the Speaker of The House did not know what was in it, how could anyone else possibly have known?
I think I just threw up a bit.
All joking aside, do not think for one minute that this was a mistake, or a clerical error. There was no intent at all for there to be subsidies provided on the federal exchanges. Think about the state of the nation way back in 2009 and 2010. The Democrats had just come off of a landslide election where they all but wiped out the GOP. The Democrat Party had complete control over the House of Representatives, the GOP had no way of even slowing down the legislative process. The Democrat Party had a super majority in the Senate. It seemed as though they had finally defeated any conservative opposition to their radical agenda. Now all they had to do was wipe out the GOP on a state level.
Everything that a progressive does is political. They calculate everything in terms of votes. What better way to eliminate conservative governors than create a massive scandal/crisis? They did not include provisions for subsidies on the federal exchange as a way to either force conservative governors to implement state exchanges, or be seen as the monster who stole healthcare from children. Progressive swine like President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi thought that they could manufacture outrage and use that to eliminate conservative governors around the country. Well they bet big and they lost.
Only 14 states have set up exchanges, I wonder why that is? It probably has to do with the fact that no one wanted Obamacare in the first place. The majority of Americans are still opposed to it. That is why the Democrats lost control of the House in 2010, in the largest transfer of political power in this nations history. Public outrage did not develop, people did not start demanding their governors implement state exchanges, suddenly their political scheme is blowing up in their faces. So now that their plan has failed, they are crying fowl.
If the subsidies are not in place, Obamacare falls apart. If the subsidies are not there to bring the cost of these insurance plans into a reasonable level, the flood gates open. Millions of people and countless employers will have perfectly legal loop holes that release them from the individual and employer mandates. Obamacare effectively becomes as relevant to you or I, as the constitutional limitation on the executive branch seems to President Obama. This will be the death blow to Obamacare.