Update II: Well that was quick. Two hours after the Halbig decision the Fourth Circuit issued its decision on ObamaCare. As predicted below, the Fourth Circuit upheld ObamaCare’s subsidy scheme as twisted into existence by Obama. This means a split in appellate court decisions and Supreme Court review.
More importantly, the plaintiffs that lost in the Fourth Circuit now can immediately appeal to the Supreme Court and not bother with an appeal to the full panel of the Fourth Circuit.
Earnest is joshing. Presidents better obey the courts. If the ruling is stayed – by the courts – pending appeal then there is no problem. But what this is really about is Obama trying to thug the Supreme Court by warning them that he might disregard a ruling by them he does not like. This is Obama trying to intimidate the high court with the threat of a constitutional crisis.
We wrote about Halbig HERE. It’s a big, big, big, decision which almost surely forces an an Obama appeal to a full panel of the appellate court. Obama will win that fight because he packed the court when Harry Reid ended the Senate filibusters on judges to courts other than the Supreme Court. But then the case will go to the Supreme Court and we’re walking on the sunny side of the street and believe the Supreme Court will ratify today’s three judge panel decision.
It might be an update kind of day but we’ll start with the basic news on Halbig.
If you thought the worldwide path of destruction by Obama – a soft invasion on the American southern border, Russian adventurism and Russian allies destroying passenger aircraft as Obama whimpers, Obama and face-lift Kerry hatin’ on Israel, Midas-in-reverse Obama economics, Obama still voting “present” by ceaseless fundraisers-vacations-golf outings with the boys – made the scam called ObamaCare any less relevant — read it and weep tears of laughter:
President Obama’s healthcare law was dealt a new blow Tuesday as a U.S. appeals court ruled that due to a wording glitch in the Affordable Care Act, some low- and middle-income residents are not entitled to receive government assistance to subsidize their insurance.
In a 2-1 vote, a panel of judges on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia judges rejected the Obama administration’s argument that the problem was triggered by imprecise language in the complex law and that Congress had always intended to offer the subsidies nationwide to low-and middle-income people who bought insurance through one of the state or federal health exchanges created under the law.
But as written, the law states that subsidies should be paid to those who purchase insurance through an “exchange established by the state.”
That would seem to leave out the 36 states in which the exchanges are operated by the federal government.
The appeals court wrote in its decision:
“Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states,” wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph in his majority opinion, where he was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith “We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly.” [snip]
If upheld, the ruling could lead many, if not most of those subsidized customers to abandon their health plans sold on HealthCare.gov because they no longer would find them affordable without the often-lucrative tax credits. And if that coverage then is not affordable for them as defined by the Obamacare law, those people will no longer be bound by the law’s mandate to have health insurance by this year or pay a fine next year.
If there were to be a large exodus of subsidized customers from the HealthCare.gov plans, it would in turn likely lead to much higher premium rates for non-subsidized people who would remain in those plans, who are apt as a group to be in worse health than all original enrollees.
The ruling also threatens, in the same 36 states, to gut the Obamacare rule starting next year that all employers with 50 or more full-time workers offer affordable insurance to them or face fines. That’s because the rule only kicks in if one of such an employers’ workers buy subsidized covered on HealthCare.gov.
Here’s a complication: There is another case on the same issues in the Fourth Circuit. It is likely the Fourth Circuit appeals court will rule in favor of ObamaCare. The losers in that case will then be able to appeal directly to the Supreme Court if they so choose and force the issue faster than anyone expects but still after the November 2014 elections.
As we wrote in an update to our earlier Halbig article, Obama’s law professor thought the ObamaCare scam was likely to lose today:
“I don’t have a crystal ball,” Tribe told the Fiscal Times. “But I wouldn’t bet the family farm on this coming out in a way that preserves Obamacare.” [snip]
The problem for the IRS, though, is that the subsidies language is not ambiguous. Even Tribe acknowledged that the language is clear, according to the Fiscal Times.
“Yet in drafting the law, Tribe said the administration ‘assumed that state exchanges would be the norm and federal exchanges would be a marginal, fallback position’ — though it didn’t work out that way for a plethora of legal, administrative and political reasons,” the Fiscal Times writes.
The ObamaCare law was and is a mess. The ObamaCare law was not read by those that passed it. They voted for the ObamaCare scam more as Obama idolatry than good policy. Now, the illiterate chickens are coming home to roost. The law was badly written and Obama tried to write new law using agencies and departments of the federal government. But in our system of government only the legislature, the Congress, can write laws.
Because we are a nation of laws and the words in our laws matter this happened:
Federal appeals court panel deals major blow to health law
A federal appeals court panel in the District struck down a major part of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday, ruling that the tax subsidies that are central to the program may not be provided in at least half of the states.
As Barack Obama flits out to his latest fundraising tour week ObamaCare comes back and slaps him in the face.
The problem is the law as written and even as not implemented by Obama and even as will eventually have to be implemented. That’s why the appeals court acted with such courage. GARBAGE IN – GARBAGE OUT.
The problem is Obama. GARBAGE IN – GARBAGE OUT.