If GOP wins lawsuit, #Obamacare falls apart in 36 states

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up up and oy vey

Heavy sigh:

Los Angeles Times: The Affordable Care Act proposes to make health insurance affordable to millions of low-income Americans by offering them tax credits to help cover the cost. To receive the credit, the law twice says they must buy insurance "through an exchange established by the state."

But 36 states have decided against opening exchanges for now. Although the law permits the federal government to open exchanges instead, it does not say tax credits may be given to those who buy insurance through a federally run exchange.

Apparently no one noticed this when the long and complicated bill worked its way through the House and Senate. Last year, however, the Internal Revenue Service tried to remedy it by putting out a regulation that redefined "exchange" to include a "federally facilitated exchange." This is "consistent with the language, purpose and structure … of the act as a whole," the Treasury Department said.

oy

Of course, the president's usual opponents are all over this and have filed four lawsuits. They salivate over anything that so much as hints at the demise of Obamacare and insist that the Obama administration abide by the strict wording of the law, "even if doing so dismantles it in nearly two-thirds of the states." Of course they do.

And as long as the House is under Republicans control, no way can the Obama administration fix this by suggesting that Congress legislate, well, anything.

And just as worrisome, one U.S. District Judge, a Clinton appointee, won't dismiss the suit and said he'd issue a written ruling.

oy oy

No judge has ruled directly on whether the IRS rule is illegal and contradicted by the health care law. Other judges in other states are considering similar suits, and if any of them rule in favor of the Obama(care) haters, the ACA could be put on hold until all the legal issues are ironed out. In fact, it could eventually end up in the Supreme Court.

oy oy oy

Stay tuned.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/wjhamilton29464 William J. Hamilton

    The overall structure of the act clearly contemplated federal exchanges operating in states where the state government didn't choose to set up a state exchange. It would be irrational for American Citizens to be denied benefits because their state government refused to support a federal program.

  • johnsawyer

    Why not just redefine the use of the term "the state" to apply to the federal exchange too, since the federal government is the federal state?