Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lawsuit Could Derail Obamacare in Non-Participating States

What our “conservative” politicians failed to accomplish, others are trying to obtain in the courts.  Individuals, think tanks, small businesses, and states are trying to stop this disaster that is Obamacare.  Oklahoma is the better known case, but there are others.  Carolina Journal reported the following:

CEI in early May filed the lawsuit now known as Halbig et al. v. Sebelius et al. The plaintiffs are individuals from Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, a medical practice in Missouri, a restaurant group in Texas, and a community bank in Kansas. 

None of those states has a state-run health insurance exchange. 

The suit says Congress wrote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is formally known, with carrots for states that run their own exchanges — start-up grants and premium-assistance subsidies in the form of tax credit refunds to reduce insurance purchase costs for low- and moderate-income individuals.

Congress intended those carrots to be matched with sticks — no start-up grants, no subsidies, and a federally operated exchange — for those states that did not set up their own exchanges, according to the plaintiffs’ suit. 

“Notwithstanding express statutory language limiting premium-assistance subsidies to exchanges established by states, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has promulgated a regulation … purporting to authorize subsidies even in states with only federally established exchanges,” the suit states. 

That “squarely contravenes the express text of the ACA, ignoring the clear limitations that Congress imposed on the availability of the federal subsidies,” the suit states.

The IRS regulation at issue, handed down in May 2012, 
stated that taxes can be collected for policies purchased on the federal exchanges. Critics of the lawsuits have suggested
 the apparent discrepancy between the law and the IRS rule was little more than a “drafting error,” and the clear intent of the law was to allow subsidies through state and federal exchanges.

I don’t have much faith in the federal courts.  After all, it was Chief Justice Roberts who rewrote the law and foisted Obamacare onto the country.  And even if the courts do rule in favor of the plaintiffs, who is to say that the Obama regime will follow the law.  If the past is any indication they won’t.

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