July 25, 2014

"Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Admit in 2012 That Subsidies Were Limited to State-Run Exchanges."

Peter Suderman shows and explains why the D.C. Circuit's opinion in Halbig makes sense (despite efforts of Obamacare supporters to portray it as nonsensical).

Here's what Gruber said (and there's video at the link):
What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.
The whole point was to coerce the states to set up the exchanges, and the consequences were supposed to be dire. That was the point. Now, the courts are asked to read the statute not to result in those consequences because they're unthinkably harsh. Congress couldn't have meant that.

Fix it, courts.



(The illustration is "Fix it, Daddy," by Frank Kelly Freas, a cover for Astounding Science Fiction, October 1953.)

AND: Remember, the original ACA had the states losing all their Medicaid funding if they declined to participate in the Medicaid extension. The mindset was: Make them an offer they can't refuse. (In NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice Roberts limited the incentive to the Medicaid extension so that it wouldn't be coercion, because if it's coercion it's not within the spending power. (Congress may attach conditions to money it offers the states, but the states must have a choice, and Congress lacks constitutional power to simply dictate that states carry out a federal program.))

68 comments:

damikesc said...

The reason he gave, mind you, is the EXACT reason I thought they did it.

To force states to participate or else they will have to pay huge taxes and get zero benefits. And states STILL said no, so the IRS had to bail out the Dems hardball approach.

But THIS context won't matter. It's the more positive context that will be considered.

This is a COLDLY calculating administration.

MadisonMan said...

I laugh that Gruber blames the Halbig ruling on a typo in the law.

We have to pass it to see what's in it.

Apparently it's full of typos.

My guess is if they hadn't rammed it through Congress at full speed they could have found these treacherous typos.

PB Reader said...

Enforce it, courts!

PackerBronco said...

If the unambiguous wording of the law wasn’t enough to convince these judges, then a tape explaining the unambiguous wording of the law won’t be enough either. It’ll only mean that they'll have to work extra hard to mush-mouth a legal justification for ignoring the plain wording of the law. But that task won’t stop them from doing what they want.

Hayek had it pegged pretty well in
Chapter 6 “Planning and the Rule of Law” from the “Road to Serfdom”:


"Nothing distinguishes more clearly conditions in a free country from those in a country under arbitrary government than the observance in the former of the great principle know as the Rule of Law. Stripped of all technicalities, this means that government in all its actions is bound by rules fixed and announced beforehand



In fact, as planning becomes more and more extensive, it becomes regularly necessary to qualify legal provisions increasingly by reference to what is “fair” or “reasonable”; this means that it becomes necessary to leave the decision of the concrete case more and more to the discretion of the judge or authority in question."


The liberals don’t care about what is legal or consistent or true; they only care about what they want to do.

garage mahal said...

The states were coerced by requiring them to do nothing, and this big coercion angle was missed by every ObamaCare critic for 4 years. Including the Supreme Court!

Congress can fix this in five minutes, why is it a court's responsibility?

Michael K said...

I think the geniuses at HuffPo have also found that video because the topic has vanished from that site. Not a word.

paminwi said...

Question: is a video such as this any evidence that can be used in any appeal to the Supreme Court?

Or is this just viewing to those of us who have been following this, more evidence of obama's gov't trying to blackmail that states who hated the law?

In other words, does this even matter?

Sebastian said...

No Progressive judge will let mere text stand in the way of doing the right thing.

Active liberty requires taking liberties with texts.

In Progressive lawfare, the fix is always already in.

So chances are, the Halbig ruling will not stand.

Richard Dolan said...

The weakest point in the argument by the DC circuit majority comes from the Chevron-deference line of cases, several of which were written by Scalia. Courts are supposed to defer to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory language, considering the statute as a whole. Ambiguity isn't hard to find if you're intent on looking for it, and is certain to infect a statute thrown together in the weird way that O-care was.

Chevron-deference is one of the pillars of the administrative state as we've come to know it. Like textualism, it grew out of a desire to remove judges from policy-making roles in areas where the policies ought to be made by the politically answerable branches of gov't. (Back in the day, Judge Leventhal of the DC circuit typified the kind of judicial over-reach that was then common -- he proposed, for example, that judges be given scientific clerks to help them decide those types of issues.) Unfortunately, Chevron-deference has had exactly the opposite effect, by allowing Congress and the president to leave really controversial decisions to faceless bureaucrats at the supposedly independent agencies. The preferred method of doing that has been to adopt broad, vaguely worded statutes, based on highly abstracted principles that are little more than bromides defining an agency's scope of regulatory authority and leaving all of the inevitable (and controversial) trade-offs for the bureaucrats to decide.

Some notion of deference may make sense, but the lengths to which Scalia and the SCOTUS have taken it have proven detrimental to the very democratic principles that gave rise to it in the first place.

BrianE said...

This may be a case of 'be careful what you wish for'.

The Democrats were unwilling to suffer the political fallout when very few states were willing to administer there own exchanges.

But now, we have the courts potentially doing what the Democrats designed the law to do-- punish the states that refused to go along with the plan.

And now, who gets the blame? The Democrats? They changed the rules to allow the subsidies in the Federal Exchange.

It's the courts for their textual nonsense instead of bending the reading to show compassion and the Republicans for refusing to fix the law-- when it's clear, given the Democrat talking points, that it was just an oversight, a clerical error that has produced this horrible consequence to 10 million insured (even though the actual number affected is a magnitude lower than that). That's a bonus talking point.

So who gets the blame for this debacle?

Anonymous said...

Thank God the Republicans already have a plan ready to go for when all these families in the Red States are no longer able to afford insurance:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2014/01/28/the-proposed-republican-replacement-for-obamacare-is-a-big-tax-hike/

It doesn't raise taxes that much for the middle class, and not at all for the upper class, so it should be easy for the Republican members of Congress to all get on board with it.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The states were coerced by requiring them to do nothing, and this big coercion angle was missed by every ObamaCare critic for 4 years."

-- Read the last big Obamacare dissent again; it mentions this in detail [how the subsidies are an "overly generous gift" and are thus bad. Or something.] The discussion starts around page 150 of this full text PDF. Again, if you want to comment on the issue, you should be more well read on it.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The way it works is, the government forcibly confiscates your wealth in the form of taxes, and then extorts from you behavior it deems appropriate by threatening to withhold paying you your own money.

I first became aware of this problematic function of the federal government back in the Carter administration. Carter wanted a national speed limit of fifty-five, but could only enforce it by threatening to withhold federal highway funds.

Now it's the ACA. A majority of Americans have opposed it from the beginning, but our betters are attempting to hold us for ransom using our own money.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm not even asking you to read every Tom, Dick, Harry and Althouse blogger out there. This isn't some corner case raving loon's thoughts on a forum. It was the Supreme Court discussing this very issue in a major dissent.

This is the sort of stuff that if you want to discuss the topic like educated adults, you need to know. Get out of the echo chamber and read a primary source once in a while.

JustOneMinute said...

Far be it from me to argue law with a law professor, but I question the linkage between increased Medicaid funding and establishment of the exchanges, to wit:

"AND: Remember, the original ACA had the states losing all their Medicaid funding if they declined to set up the exchanges. "

This is from Roberts' opinion:

"The Affordable Care Act expands the scope of the Medicaid program and increases the number of individuals the States must cover. For example, the Act requires state programs to provide Medicaid coverage by 2014 to adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, whereas many States now cover adults with children only if their income is considerably lower, and do not cover childless adults at all. §1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII). The Act increases federal funding to cover the States’ costs in expanding Medicaid coverage. §1396d(y)(1). But if a State does not comply with the Act’s new coverage requirements, it may lose not only the federal funding for those requirements, but all of its federal Medicaid funds. §1396c."

That does not say that the state also loses existing Medicaid funding if it fails to establish an exchange. And I can't find such a claim anywhere in the opinions, although that may reflect more on my research abilities than on the underlying facts.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

The states were coerced by requiring them to do nothing, and this big coercion angle was missed by every ObamaCare critic for 4 years.

The states were supposed to be coerced, but were not because the IRS wrote the regulation in a way that did not comply with the law. This was pointed out to the IRS during the comment period for the regulation, but they stuck with their interpretation anyway.

damikesc said...

Can somebody go to jail for lying in an amicus brief?

And garage, states were required to set up exchanges to get money. They weren't required to do nothing.

Dave D said...

That scifi artwork still gives me futuristic mechanical chills. Queen used (a modified form of) it on their 1977 album "News of the World".

khesanh0802 said...

@ Garage

Congress COULD fix it in five minutes, but the administration does not want the law opened for amendment. The House will not change this phrase without making other changes in the law. If the Senate changes hands in the fall, the only hope the administration has is that SCOTUS agrees that it's a typo. I would think that will be highly unlikely given the "legislative record".

Danno said...

It is obvious he was for this true reading of the statutory language before he was against it. Funny how the libturds can have complete amnesia on such things!

Birkel said...

"garage mahal" thinks causing a state's citizens to pay taxes is nothing. "garage mahal" is not bright.

Everybody understands that stupid federalism got in the way of Democrat policies. Full Fascism, anybody?

Michael K said...

"Thank God the Republicans already have a plan ready to go for when all these families in the Red States are no longer able to afford insurance: "

Inga, that was McCain's proposal in 2008. The corporate tax exemption is behind the rising cost of health care the past 50 years, especially the union plans that were negotiated and are "gold plated."

Equal treatment of health insurance by taxes has been a Republican position for decades. The most likely effect would be to return health insurance to the role of insurance and reverse the trend toward prepaid care. Claims processing costs about $50/claim and many of them are for not much more than that.

Insurance companies like being administrators but hate being insurers. There are no losses from administering claims for self insuring employers.

Notice the negative comments are all ny left wing Democrats and Obamacare designers like Ezekial.

garage mahal said...

"I would think that will be highly unlikely given the "legislative record"


See this:

In fact, it was Justice Scalia himself, together with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, who interpreted the health reform statute precisely this way in the 2012 health reform case—holistically, and assuming the statutory text makes subsidies available on state and federal exchanges alike. In their joint dissent, they wrote: “Congress provided a backup scheme; if a State declines to participate in the operation of an exchange, the Federal Government will step in and operate an exchange in that State.” And then: “In the absence of federal subsidies to purchasers, insur­ance companies will have little incentive to sell insurance on the exchanges. … That system of incentives collapses if the federal subsidies are invalidated.” The dissenters also assumed: “By 2019, 20 million of the 24 million people who will obtain insurance through an exchange are expected to receive an average federal subsidy of $6,460 per person”—numbers that only make sense if the federal exchanges are included. Link

Anonymous said...

Several commenters have mentioned, but it's not in Ann's original post, that this dunce who helped foist this law upon all of us, not only said that in 2012, but he said just recently on MSNBC the complete opposite. He claimed that it was a "typo" in the law.

In other words, he is lying now to try and bulk up Obamacare, when he was honest back in 2012.

Bet he didn't realize that video was out there.

Ann Althouse said...

"Far be it from me to argue law with a law professor, but I question the linkage between increased Medicaid funding and establishment of the exchanges…. That does not say that the state also loses existing Medicaid funding if it fails to establish an exchange."

You're right, and I've tweaked the post to remove that connection. I should only be saying that the act was written to be massively coercive to the states, and the consequences were intended to be dire. I shouldn't have merged those 2 different consequences.

Beorn said...

@ Tyrone Why do we do this to ourselves?

Answer: Stockholm Syndrome

Crack's Answer: Racism, or something...

Matthew Sablan said...

Garage: I dealt with that assertion yesterday. On this blog. To wit:

“Congress provided a backup scheme; if a State declines to participate in the operation of an exchange, the Federal Government will step in and operate an exchange in that State.”"

-- A federally run exchange in a State is not a State run exchange. If I run a business out of your house, you are not running my business. Unless there's a lot of context missing, I think the quote has been misread.

... Reading the rest of the same paragraph in the dissent leads you to this, though at page 170: "Congress had contemplated that some of these citizens would be left without Medicaid coverage as a result of a State’s withdrawal or expulsion from the program, Congress surely would have made them eligible for the tax subsidies provided for low-income aliens."

In other words, those not part of a State program are not eligible for subsidies, specifically related to Medicare. Not only that, the number cited is not just STATE exchange subsidies, but ALL subsidies provided by the government. Further in the dissent, it states: "Thus, the federal subsidies must be invalidated."

If the original author bothered to read, they'd realize that the justices HAD already spoken about the subsidies, but not the way the author had wanted. See here.

It is painful to repeat: But please, actually be read up on this. Your ignorance makes it hard to have a real discussion.

The Crack Emcee said...

Please - Jon Stewart already showed the "problem" could be fixed with only two words added.

Silly white people,...

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe the problem really is just illiteracy? Maybe I play too many console and tabletop RPGs and passed my judge examination for Magic: The Gathering, but I clearly see a distinction between a State-run exchange and an exchange run in a State, which the dissent is very careful to draw a distinction between.

Crimso said...

"I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this."

Now see, that right there is the problem. He HOPED to get a result, but admitted that it might not happen because "the politics can get ugly around this." But it was precisely because "the politics can get ugly around this" that he relied on HOPE rather than crafting the law in a different way, a way that would get his desired result without resorting to HOPE.

But he knew that being that open and explicit in the law might make it more difficult to pass (and I'm reminded of the pundit who opined that single payer was what was wanted, but they had to compromise because of the Republicans; say what???) because "the politics can get ugly around this."

Or, more properly, some Democrats would justifiably fear for their seats if they had to vote for the law in that form. Because "ugly politics"=have to be accountable to constituents. Would that we could have much more "ugly politics."

Birkel said...

"garage mahal" now quotes the dissent, as filtered by Politico, for authority!

Wonders never cease.

Given that the dissent would have rid us of this Obama-Insurance monster, I endorse your decision to side with the dissent completely.

Unknown said...

It was a pun.

No, no, not a pun. What's that thing that spells the same backwards as forwards?

It's a palindrome.

Owen said...

Brian E at 9:26 AM:

What you said. Judicial review will take time and may reverse Halbig but in the meantime the Administration will keep paying out our money in defiance of the ruling. And the PPACActivists will spin up the political issue so that the GOP takes the blame. Between now and November I expect to hear nothing else (except for Inequality and War on Women).

InsaneSanity said...

"Please - Jon Stewart already showed the "problem" could be fixed with only two words added.

Silly white people,..."

Let me use logic here, something Crack seems devoid of having, and his comment together:

John Stewart = white person
"White people" = "silly"
Therefore, John Stewart = silly
Therefore, John Sterwart's "fix with two words" = silly

Fools will always fool themselves....

H said...

From the DC circuit court decision:

Finally, turning to the ACA’s purpose and legislative history, we find that the government again comes up short in its efforts to overcome the statutory text. Its appeals to the ACA’s broad aims do not demonstrate that Congress manifestly meant something other than what section 36B says.

….Therefore, assuming arguendo that it is proper to consult legislative history when the statutory text is clear, we consider what light the ACA’s history offers.


The government and its amici are thus left to urge the court to infer meaning from silence, arguing that “during the debates over the ACA, no one suggested, let alone explicitly stated, that a State’s citizens would lose access to the tax credits if the State failed to establish its own Exchange.”

The historical record, however, belies this claim. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) proposed a bill that specifically contemplated penalizing states that refused to participate in establishing “American Health Benefit Gateways,” the equivalent of Exchanges, by denying credits to such states’ residents for four years.

This is not to say that section 36B necessarily incorporated this thinking; we agree that inferences from unenacted legislation are too uncertain to be a helpful guide to the intent behind a specific provision.

But the HELP Committee’s bill certainly demonstrates that members of Congress at least considered the notion of using subsidies as an incentive to
gain states’ cooperation.

garage mahal said...

It is painful to repeat: But please, actually be read up on this. Your ignorance makes it hard to have a real discussion

Yes, how could I possibly miss a post from you yesterday. I'll make sure to never miss one again. Which leads me to: were you writing about this bombshell in 2009-2010? Were any conservatives? Anyone period? It took a dude making 20k per year not wanting to pay a $21 per year premium to bring this into the light?

n.n said...

I wonder if Obama choose the so-called "RomneyCare" model, hoping to embarrass his competitor. If so, he was poorly advised.

RomneyCare was only every suitable for state implementation; and the final, Democrat-mangled version was simply incompetent, which ignored that economic and social development occurs at smaller geographic scales.

Bill said...

"... because if [the Medicaid extension]'s coercion it's within the spending power."
I think there's a word missing, and this should read:
'... because if it's not coercion it's within the spending power.'

DKWalser said...

The weakest point in the argument by the DC circuit majority comes from the Chevron-deference line of cases, several of which were written by Scalia. Courts are supposed to defer to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory language, considering the statute as a whole. Ambiguity isn't hard to find if you're intent on looking for it, and is certain to infect a statute thrown together in the weird way that O-care was. ...

I think this overstates the reach of Chevron-deference. Courts are supposed to defer to the technical expertise of administrative agencies in how to best implement the statute. That doesn't mean the courts are to defer to agencies on the meaning of the statute. So, in the recent EPA case, the Supreme Court slammed the EPA for trying to regulate in areas not authorized by the statute while, at the same time, deferring to the EPA on the best means of achieving legitimate statutory aims.

It makes sense for courts to defer to technical experts on questions requiring technical expertise. The courts are not staffed by scientists and are ill equipped to referee questions about how best to meet a particular set of emission standards. The courts are well equipped to determine whether a particular standard is mandated by the statute. On those grounds, the courts owe administrative agencies no deference.

Here, the IRS is arguing that the statute gives them the authority to grant tax credits to people who buy insurance through the federal exchanges. That's not a question upon which the IRS is owed any Chevron-deference. The IRS would be owed deference on questions of how to administer the credit program -- what types of forms to use, how those forms are filed, what data to collect, etc. Who's eligible for the credit is a completely different type of question from what color of paper should be used.

Michael K said...

"Thank God the Republicans already have a plan ready to go for when all these families in the Red States are no longer able to afford insurance: "

One more source for what will probably happen when the USSC finally rules on Halbig.

A Phil Gramm suggestion .

By the time Republicans can debate a comprehensive replacement for ObamaCare, the public will know what it really costs and exactly how it doesn't work. Having rediscovered the price of freedom lost, Americans will be ready for an alternative that preserves freedom and helps people who need help in a transparent, efficient and affordable way.

The opportunity to restore freedom of choice may arise well before January 2017. If the Supreme Court decides to let Congress clarify its own intent on federal exchange subsidies, Republicans should demand that all American families be guaranteed the freedom to opt out as a precondition to bringing up any legislation to "fix" ObamaCare.


As garage of all people suggested, two sentences would fix it. "Make voluntary."

How many would choose if they didn't have to ? I think we will get to see.

Ann Althouse said...

Blogger Bill said… ""... because if [the Medicaid extension]'s coercion it's within the spending power."
I think there's a word missing, and this should read:
'... because if it's not coercion it's within the spending power.'"

You're right. There's a missing not. Thanks. Fixed.

paminwi said...

How about another instance of this Gruber guy making his point.

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/07/25/uh-oh-more-audio-emerges-of-jon-gruber-saying-only-state-obamacare-exchanges-will-be-eligible-for-subsidies/

Matthew Sablan said...

Garage: Sen. Baucus discussed the fact that subsidies are only available in certain cases while drafting the bill.

I'm not saying you have to read my post. I'm saying you should have read the entire dissent that had a cherry picked, out of context quote pulled to try and make an argument that is not supported in the full text.

Matthew Sablan said...

I think the problem might also be that people are deliberately conflating ALL subsidies offered with the ones ONLY offered to states for setting up an exchange.

Sam L. said...

Fix it Courts? Hell, no! NO! That's a job for Congress to fix up their (predecessor congress's) previously passed law.

Birkel said...

"garage mahal" should go watch the C-SPAN video in which Senator Max Baucus says the subsidies are only for exchanges run by the various states.

I am bored with the current lies and wish for new lies.

Sam L. said...

And that ASF cover does not look like any Freas cover I've ever seen (though I did start after about 1956).

Curious George said...

"Gruber: I honestly don’t remember why I said that. I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake. People make mistakes. Congress made a mistake drafting the law and I made a mistake talking about it."

This is clearly a lie. He knows it. He knows you know it. He clearly doesn't care. This is a trait of the left. Nothing is out of bounds for the cause. We see it here on Althouse regularly...garage mahal and the rest.

SeanF said...

garage mahal: Which leads me to: were you writing about this bombshell in 2009-2010? Were any conservatives?

How was it a "bombshell" in 2009-2010? Were conservatives somehow supposed to anticipate what parts of the law the liberals were going to try and redefine two years hence?

Richard Dolan said...

DKW: unfortunately, Chevron-deference applies far beyond matters of "technical expertise," extending as far as the agency's regulations interpreting its own scope of jurisdiction. There is no deference due if the statute is clear (that was the essence of the EPA case this past term, where the statute adopted a numerical formula that the EPA had set aside as unworkable). Once a court determines that a statute conferring regulatory powers on an agency is ambiguous, Chevron-deference kicks in.

For those who think that statements by Gruber or anyone else will matter in construing the ACA's meaning, it is worth recalling how many times Obama and Dems in Congress said that the mandate was absolutely NOT a tax. You will recall how much sway that had when the gov't argued the opposite in court. For the five justices who might be inclined to uphold the DCCircuit, the statutory text, and secondarily, the statutory structure will matter. If upon review, they conclude that the ACA. Is ambiguous, the Chevron-deference argument will be hard to avoid.

garage mahal said...

This is a trait of the left. Nothing is out of bounds for the cause. We see it here on Althouse regularly...garage mahal and the rest.

It would be easy to lie to you because you're so ignorant. Or lazy. You and your fellow conservatives didn't understand the law for 5 years?

Perhaps you should have, uh, READ THE BILL?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The Democrats who, either wittingly or unwittingly, created this cudgel are not the Democrats charged with wielding it. Fortunately for them, there are Republicans aplenty willing to wield the cudgel for them.

Anonymous said...

This guy, Mr. Gruber, continues to make a fool of himself.

First he comes out and says he initial statement was a "Speak-0" and now they have dug up prepared remarks by him saying essentially the same thing from January 2012.

Will he now come out with a new excuse, or admit he is a liar?

SteveR said...

When the law passed, it became clear that states not creating their own exchanges was going to a problem. Somehow it didn't stop the ball from rolling forward. I can't believe anyone who claims the current situation is the way the law, as written and described in 2009/10, was supposed to work.

garage mahal said...

How was it a "bombshell" in 2009-2010?

There wasn't a bombshell because conservatives apparently didn't know until this week that federal exchanges were not intended to be subsidized. Or maybe some did write about that, but I haven't seen it yet.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

garage mahal's arugment is that the statute of limitations has run out--since this argument wasn't raised until now it can't be valid. That's obviously false, both because there is no time limitation on correctly applying the law as written and because some people on the right (and Cato) did in fact raise this argument...that's how it got to the Court in the first place! What's intersting is that in those posts garage isn't arguing that the Right is wrong, he's just saying their (correct) argument shouldn't be given weight because it wasn't adopted widely (enough) earlier.
Has garage convinced you with this line of reasoning?

Clyde said...

I'd never seen the original of that artwork, only the parodied version on Queen's News of the World album cover.

damikesc said...

Garage, they changed the law, unilaterally, several times. How can anybody anticipate the WH just ignoring law wholesale?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

We watched most of the 52 min video.

He is an elitist.

Educated bureaucrats will decide what is best for society; conformance by everyone to the decision will be by the full coercive force of Government.

The science is settled on when the average person should have (e.g.) a mammogram. All individuals will be treated accordingly.

He did say, early on, that Obamacare is not socialized medicine.

The plan was for privately owned insurance exchanges, operating under narrow Government constraint. That would be *fascist* medicine.

Beorn said...

garage, maybe you need to give your arm a rest for a while. You're likely to injure yourself polishing this turd so vigorously.

Mrs Whatsit said...

As others have pointed out, Garage, speaking before you educate yourself makes you look, um, uneducated. This aspect of the bill has been being discussed for years, and not just by conservatives. The fact that YOU didn't notice the issue until recently doesn't indicate that nobody else did. Here, for instance, is an article on the question from 2012:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/healthcare/if-states-don-t-set-up-insurance-exchanges-will-obamacare-implode--20121130

And here's Senator Baucus discussing the issue in 2009:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4504852/senate-hearing-tax-credits-available-state-exchanges

Mrs Whatsit said...

Honestly, garage, do you think cases make it to the Supreme Court in five minutes? The litigation in question was commenced years ago, and plenty of us have been following it.

SeanF said...

garage mahal: There wasn't a bombshell because conservatives apparently didn't know until this week that federal exchanges were not intended to be subsidized. Or maybe some did write about that, but I haven't seen it yet.

"This week"? The suit was filed over a year ago.

And it was 2012 before the IRS said that federal exchanges were to be subsidized. So, again - why would someone argue against an interpretation of the law that noone had made yet?

Mrs Whatsit said...

I think I said "Supreme Court" in a previous comment that isn't up yet, but that, of course, was a Spoke-o. Or a typo, as I was typing. Meant federal court, and will go away and stop posting now.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Has garage convinced you with this line of reasoning?

No, but his refusal to acknowledge his mistake and slink away in well-deserved shame reinforces his reputation of being of low character.

Birkel said...

"garage mahal":
Perhaps you should have, uh, READ THE BILL?

"garage mahal" has descended into parody of itself.

....

"garage mahal:"
"Or maybe some did write about that, but I haven't seen it yet."

The list of things that "garage mahal" hasn't read is now at 2,386,299,365,423,008 things.

One supposes the lawsuit that was filed, decided, appealed and et cetera is evidence that some conservatives were debating this very issue. One also supposes the IRS's own internal debates, of which E-mails have been delivered to Congress and exposed by Republicans on the appropriate House committees, allowed that their decisions were contrary to the language of the ACA.

Grow some self-respect "garage mahal", you fool.

Brando said...

So there's good evidence that the writers of the law wanted subsidies only for states that set up their own exchanges. Meaning, the congressmorons who voted for it either also intended this or just didn't know what they were voting for. What does this say about the judges who were so sure they could determine the legislative intent?

Every damn one of them should be impeached. They are a danger to the judicial profession.

Mike said...

Two years ago Rush read an analysis on-air that discussed how the IRS deliberate "fix" of the subsidies could unravel the whole law, for just the reason Gruber was fretting about two years ago. It is plain and obvious. Only flame-throwing true believers (yes Garage I'm looking at you!) who admire the Dem tactics of ramming through a half-assed law and then lying about what it obviously says are still trying to gamely put on a brave face. Sure you-all might win another round, given the serendipity of SC rulings and all, but this film flammery is what has so soured the public on this monstrosity of a law. It took years of llies to get it passed, no one read (and by the way, Garage, what the fuck are you doing chiding Republicans who universally voted against it when the ones who SHOULD HAVE read it were the idiots voting FOR it?) it, and it has wreaked havoc on the health care system. This experience will prevent us from ever having universal single-payer. That's the silver lining to this clusterfuck!