I will be interested to see how many people (the pro-Obamacare community) get up in arms over this decision. I mean, heck, the Fourth circuit court is already in opposition. What decision? Well, the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit has ruled that, by law, the US Government can only subsidize healthcare for those signed up under State-established healthcare exchanges. If a state (up to 36 of them, depending on how you count) has decided to not create a health insurance exchange, and the Federal government has extended their exchange over that state’s citizens, then–by law–the feds cannot subsidize those policies.
This to me is a litmus test to rationality. One can be upset that the law was written the way it was, or that states chose to not participate. But if one gets upset at the court, for interpreting the law then we have a more serious, fundamental, and perhaps fatal flaw in our society. (interpretation being a broad term here since the court points out the wording in the law is “unabiguous” — “unambiguously restricts the Section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges established by the State.”)
Sadly the Fourth circuit does not. I actually could not believe this was in the decision from the 4th circuit, so I had to read it myself, but this quote shows the flaw in society at it’s best: “I am not persuaded and for a simple reason: ‘[E]stablished by the State’ indeed means established by the state – except
when it does not…” That ranks up there with “it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
Hopefully people will be able to see the difference between “what we want” and “what the law does and does not allow.” But I am less than hopeful. Heck, the government asked the court to interpret the law based on “what we wanted.” (Read the article, and the decision–it’s interesting to say the least.)
4th Circuit decision: