March 3, 2015

"Chilling comment on Adam Liptak's NYT piece on the South Carolina employment benefits lawyer who focused attention the statutory text that might wreck Obamacare."

Liptak's article about Thomas M. Christina is titled "Lawyer Put Health Act in Peril by Pointing Out 4 Little Words":
“I noticed something peculiar about the tax credit,” he told a gathering of strategists at the American Enterprise Institute.... He pointed to four previously unnoticed words in the health care law... They seemed to say its tax-credit subsidies were limited to people living where an insurance marketplace, known as an exchange, had been “established by the state.”...

“Resistance is futile,” Mr. Christina said at the 2010 Washington conference, referring to state officials. “You can’t get re-elected if you turn down free money that would otherwise have been paid as tax credits to your citizens.”...

Mr. Christina did not anticipate that the Internal Revenue Service would in August 2011 propose and in May 2012 adopt regulations interpreting the law to allow subsidies in all 50 states, including those where the federal government ran the exchanges.
37 states did turn down the money and the feds stepped in and set up exchanges in those states and offering the subsidies even though these exchanges were not literally "established by the state." So now there's a case in the Supreme Court, to be argued tomorrow, which would take away the subsidies in those 37 states.

There are 709 comments on Liptak's article right now. I don't hold the NYT responsible for all the comments. I certainly don't vouch for what my commenters say, but I would take this out if I saw it in my comments. In fact, I'm only showing a screen shot because I don't want to create searchable text here:



There's only that one pushback comment from NYHuguenot — which itself goes too far — and it only arrived 11 hours after Cold's chilling remark, which has 11 thumbs up. I read Cold's comment in the middle of the night and hit the "flag" icon but I couldn't bring myself to check any of the options. "Inflammatory" and "Personal Attack" seemed closest but not precisely apt. I decided to blog about it here instead. It's evil to waft the suggestion of a violent attack. It might influence someone, though it's certainly not an imminent enough incitement to support arresting Cold. It's evil, but it's also ludicrous for Cold to project her political will — her desire to preserve the legislation — onto the seriously ill, as if they'll use their waning hours on earth to go out on an attack — they've got nothing to lose — and they'll fixate on some lawyer who noticed something in a 900-page statute that was so terribly important and yet so miserably unread.

82 comments:

Tarrou said...

How dare anyone notice that those genius technocrats aren't all that good at their only job?

PB said...

He may have pointed it out, but it was well known as an incentive to convince the states to act. It was a clear conscious decision to gather the necessary support of key Democrats. It was widely discussed.

rhhardin said...

Epstein argues that the fix to Obamacare has to include some way to avoid screwing people who were screwed by it.

My favorite screwed group is people who had insurance, got chronically sick and were covered by their insurance for that chronic sickness just as part of the normal risk insurers take and people insure against, and then lost their policy because Obamacare said it's not good enough. So now they're sick and without insurance except in a new high risk pool.

They won their bet and Obamacare then declared all old bets are off.

chuck said...

The proletariat, the terminally ill, whatever. The left is always looking for cannon fodder to do their wet work, or to at least threaten their political opposition.

rhhardin said...

It doesn't seem like a chilling comment to me. Just a comment of the sort predictably thought by union types.

Meade said...

"There's only that one pushback comment from NYHuguenot — which itself goes too far"

Goes too far? As far as I can tell, it doesn't go far enough. Cold's remark should be reported to the NYT, who published it.

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein on oral arguments (podcast page)

madAsHell said...

Physical violence?

Hell, I'm sure the IRS is scouring Mr. Chistina's tax records as we speak.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

You're being a bit melodramatic, Althouse. A Lefty commenter emoting on the Internet? Far from being chilling, their emotional incontinence brings a spring to my step and a twinkle to my eye.

Achilles said...

Who wants to wager that Cold also wants to take the lawyer's freedom to defend himself away via gun control? These leftists are the same whether they are in Africa, Venezuela, Syria or wherever. Fascist thugs.

The only difference in this country is they will get crushed when they turn violent.

trumpintroublenow said...

Curious that the debate is framed that the plaintiffs oppose the law and defendants support the law. In fact, reading the law as it is clearly written is supporting the law.

machine said...

...only if you don't read the rest of the law.

Gusty Winds said...

Maybe we could rent out some Wisconsin union supporters to protest in front of Mr. Christina's house, or gut his wife, beat up his kids, start a secret investigation, boycott all business that sell him anything...

trumpintroublenow said...

When the language is not ambiguous there is no reason to go any further in the analysis of determining congressional intent. Easy case.

Big Mike said...

Lefties are deep into violence fantasies. Not that they'd ever be violent -- perish the thought! But maybe they can incite people into violence (e.g., Ferguson) or else they can project violent tendencies onto conservatives.

Bob Ellison said...

rhhardin, I have chronic diseases. I have paid for them, big-time. Obamacare cancelled my Blue Cross high deductible plan. Now I'm basically paying cash for every medical call. The IRS requires me to buy insurance that is financially useless.

Jason said...

Remember when libtards wrote Althouse and Meade and informed them their "Madison privileges have been revoked?"

Good times.

Lefties are thugs. What else is new?

SteveR said...

There can be no doubt that the language, changed from a previous version, was different for a reason.

They wanted states to buy in, for the politics and the finances.

And as was predicted, once people get free stuff, you can't take it back. Once the flaw is uncovered, oh well.

Anonymous said...

While threats like that are horrible, the story of Kyle Wood suddenly popped into my mind. Just like this situation, many Althouse followers immediately blamed "union thugs" for that as well.

Bob Boyd said...

Thanks for the link, rh.
Worth hearing.

Mark said...

This assertion that the language was "peculiar" and that this guy is something special for discovering this language is actually pretty fatal to his argument because it suggests that Congress really did intend for federal exchanges, rather than intending what the language actually says.

Drago said...

madisonfella: "While threats like that are horrible, the story of Kyle Wood suddenly popped into my mind. Just like this situation, many Althouse followers immediately blamed "union thugs" for that as well."

LOL

...lest anyone get on their high horse.....

Drago said...

Mark: "This assertion that the language was "peculiar" and that this guy is something special for discovering this language is actually pretty fatal to his argument because it suggests that Congress really did intend for federal exchanges, rather than intending what the language actually says"

This is where we continue to pretend the lefties didn't purposely put the language in to politically bludgeon the states into establishing exchanges.

Which was very very much desired by the obama admin as it would allow them to point fingers at others when things inevitably spiral out of control.

On an optimistic note, the lefties in Greece have not yet lost hope that the Germans can be threatened sufficiently to allow for more delicious free euros to be sent their way!

Gusty Winds said...

Madisonfella: Yes. What's so surprising about some whacko lefty threatening violence, over a challenge to their agenda?

Or, after witnessing the Union tactics in Wisconsin pretending that the comparison is offensive.

Their own tactics fit them in to the shoe. I'd be embarrassed too if I agreed with them, but that would require self-awareness.



Unknown said...

Thank you Ann for calling the Obamacare supporter - clearly a liberal - what she is: EVIL.

The left is where evil springs from.

bleh said...

The supporters of the law want to have their cake and eat it too. Back in 2010, the statutory language was a nudge to states to establish their own exchanges by making a local political issue out of it. The threat was clear. If you do not set up an exchange, your voters will be well informed of that fact and the financial impact on them. Democrats would then have a distinct advantage in local elections.

The administration hoped all or nearly all states would give in and play ball. Maybe one or two would hold out, which would be fine and tolerable.

But too many states held out. The effect would have been too immense across the nation, too risky for Democrats.

So the IRS had to pivot.

wildswan said...

Indrid Cold is the name of a character in The Mothman prophecies. (Acc. to Google, a sci-fi movie. Indrid Cold was an alien whose face didn't quite match human proportions but the difference wasn't noticed by everyone but those who did felt a nameless horror creep over them.

Then someone named Indrid Cold began replying to posts on the internet and so someone from West Virginia began a comment exchange but gradually a nameless horror crept over the person from West Virginia.

Now Indrid Cold is commenting on the Obamacare case and the comment is causing a nameless horror to creep over me.

In Wisconsin we have the Slenderman case ...

Unknown said...

Roberts might say: "Established by the state" to mean the United States of America. We are, after all, a sovereign
state.

Amadeus 48 said...

Don't we all think that the most likely outcome is that the Court will read the statute to say what it says but delay the effect of its ruling to some future date-say January 1 2017-to give the Congress and the states some room to act? Plus, there will have been a presidential election by then so the people can speak once again. The majesty of the law will be served and the court can kick the ball to the Cogress, the states, and the people.

tim maguire said...

Typical--she's not upset that it's there, doesn't care what it means, is just upset that somebody pointed out that it's there.

tim maguire said...

Spencer doorway said...Roberts might say: "Established by the state" to mean the United States of America. We are, after all, a sovereign state.

I think that's a plausible reading--"the state" as referring to the government, not necessarily a state government. It's a common construction. But if the justices look to the congressional record and other evidence from the creation of the act to help determine meaning, they should conclude that it does, in fact, mean a state government.

bleh said...

I love the NYT headline. How did the lawyer put Obamacare in peril? Did he draft the language, collect votes, sign the bill into law, etc.?

This lawyer had the nerve to read the law and find an interesting, significant legal issue. That stupid bastard!

Sebastian said...

"It's evil, but it's also ludicrous."

Not meant as faux surprise, right?

Handy default in reading libs.

robother said...

And what's with these Huguenots? Can't they just get over that St. Bartholomew's Day unfortunate incident? It was the 70s' for Chrissake: who wasn't excitable then (the 1570s I mean)? Why are they still so sensitive to possible threats of violence?

pm317 said...

I am confused -- wasn't the lawyer saying better take the free money and set up exchanges if you want to get re-elected. So what is his bad here other than he recognized the skullduggery of Obama administration.

bleh said...

I think that's a plausible reading--"the state" as referring to the government, not necessarily a state government. It's a common construction. But if the justices look to the congressional record and other evidence from the creation of the act to help determine meaning, they should conclude that it does, in fact, mean a state government.

"under Section 1311"

Also, what can possibly be meant by a state? Why not the state?

Dave Schumann said...

tim maguire, spencer doorway: the ACA has a "definitions" section where State is defined, as it is in most/all legislation involving the states. Here it is:

(d) State.--In this title, the term ``State'' means each of the 50
States and the District of Columbia.

robother said...

And what's with these Huguenots? Can't they just get over that St. Bartholomew's Day unfortunate incident? It was the 70s' for Chrissake: who wasn't excitable then (the 1570s that is)? Why are they still so sensitive to possible threats of violence?

wildswan said...

Indrid Cold is a "man."

"Indrid Cold has been linked to real phenomenon and many people claimed to have encountered him. Some say that there is only one grinning man, some say that there are many, but all eyewitnesses agree on one thing, he will scare the hell out of you. Eyewitnesses believe that Indrid Cold is one of the mysterious men in black, an alien, some other unknown creature or all of the above. Wherever Indrid Cold has been seen, UFO sightings, disasters, or other strange phenomenon seems to follow."

chillblaine said...

Did someone say chilling?

I wish the G.O.P. would do some signaling to the Supreme Court that they are prepared to legislate should the Court rule for the plaintiffs. Exactly how I don't know.

Anyway I thought the IRS drafting rules counted the same as Congressional assent in the eyes of the Court.

Theranter said...

I think most people that previously had health insurance in some form (through employment or purchased privately-- in other words adults) that are now insured under PPACA, should tell the folks in Congress they should fear for their political lives if this joke of a pyramid scheme is notstruck down.

And if, and I pray it is, struck down, open enrollment is closed until Nov 15th (absent certain qualifying events) so an easy temp fix is to appropriate the aggregate amount of the subsidies now, and once it is struck down just cut the damn lump sum check to the insurance carriers for the April-Nov subsidies, (just have to eat the $ for those that cancel or fail to pay their portion of the policies in said period) and then there is time to enact an appropriate, responsible, reasonable alternative.

If you were in the thick of it you would understand what a complete and total disaster, not to mention money-sucking and money diverting to all manner of 'community advocacy groups" it is. It is a National shame. (And the website, ugh. "Under repair" more often than up, it seems. Not to mention the amateur-ness of its presence and use when it is 'working.'

MadisonMan said...

I am far more apt to catastrophize late at night -- after midnight -- when I cannot sleep. So I would never read comment sections then for that reason.

It's after midnight that I imagine a drug raid gone wrong hitting my house. Never during the day, never after dinner. Always when I can't sleep, late at night.

But I digress. The NYTimes Headlines should really read: Legislators offered up poorly-written bill when passing the Affordable Care Act; The reckoning is upon us. Maybe that headline is too long.

Todd Roberson said...

I'm most concerned about everyone - including the local liberals here in Indiana - referring to "free federal money".

As a finance professor I can assure you there is no such thing as "free federal money". Or free money from any source.

TANSTAAFL!

cubanbob said...

Given the limitations the court ruled on in NFIB when it comes to coercing states I don't see how the court could ignore the reading of the plain statute. 30 plus states refused to set up the exchanges and to expand medicaid, there is nothing ambiguous about that and the real question beyond that is can Congress tax all of the states for the benefit of a few of the states?

Chef Mojo said...

My favorite screwed group is people who had insurance, got chronically sick and were covered by their insurance for that chronic sickness just as part of the normal risk insurers take and people insure against, and then lost their policy because Obamacare said it's not good enough. So now they're sick and without insurance except in a new high risk pool.

[raises hand]

My cancer has already wiped out my retirement. Fortunately my wife is shielded. I am already suffering in terms of pain and function because of lag time on approvals. My wife and I were discussing a little while ago moving in with my mother, who is holding off selling her home and moving to a retirement community (she's 78) in order for me to have a place to die with dignity. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Obamacare has been an unmitigated disaster for people like me. And I one of the lucky ones.

I would love nothing more than for Obamacare to die with with me. Scatter our ashes together.

Which brings me to Althouse's post. I think perhaps that the target assumed may be misdirected. I don't think people like me are going to place blame on the bearer of "bad tidings." We'll lay it where it belongs, on those who created this monstrosity, which people should find far, far more troubling.

Althouse, get used to seeing things like this from both sides of the spectrum. The middle cannot hold, no matter your hopes and desires. A great and violent revolution is going to sweep this land and wash away America. Call it my prophecy, but I do believe most people who bother to pay attention to these things can see it on the horizon.

As a Virginian, and as a Southerner, I was brought up to despise the memory of John Brown, but the years have mellowed my opinion of him. (As an aside, I am descended, Althouse, from the original coastie aristocracy, something in which I hold great pride.) he saw the storm approaching, and acted according to his beliefs. If nothing else, he was a man of indomitable courage.

Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this (...) country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit; so let it be done!

John Brown, 1859

Obviously, the word " slave" belongs where I've placed ellipses. I wanted to see how the quote read without that word. I believe many - enough - will see it as I do.

Skyler said...

I don't read Indrid Cold's comments as an incitement to violence. I read it as being afraid that others might be violent.

As a Constitutional Law professor, I would expect a more careful reading. The incitement to violence needs to be immediate and direct, not a vaguely worded hope or warning.

This post is not even close to meeting the standards of imminent lawless action in the Brandenburg case.

The post expressed concern, and possible actors, but it was not imminent, which my dictionary says means about to occur at any moment. This post was only speculative. It may make one nervous, but there's no law against that.

I Callahan said...

I don't read Indrid Cold's comments as an incitement to violence. I read it as being afraid that others might be violent.

Right, like "Nice business you have there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it" is not a threat. That's exactly how Indrid Cold meant the comment - as a threat.

This post is not even close to meeting the standards of imminent lawless action in the Brandenburg case.

No where in our hostess' post did she allude to anything regarding legal or illegal. Hell, she didn't even report the comment, though was tempted to do so.

Michael K said...

"because it suggests that Congress really did intend for federal exchanges, rather than intending what the language actually says."

It's amusing to see the lefties try to walk back their assurance that Republican governors and legislature would never turn down "free money."

Simon said...

The reality of politics now is that when either side passes a statute that the other side doesn't like, their think-tanks and lawyers will scour it for potential legal weaknesses. It seems to escape the thugs' notice that had brother Christina not noticed it, someone would have.

Simon said...

Spencer doorway said...
"Roberts might say: 'Established by the state' to mean the United States of America. We are, after all, a sovereign state."

Except that that title defines the word "state" as one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Reading "state" generically is textually foreclosed.

Wince said...

Revenge fantasy is a huge part of the liberal-left psyche.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

He pointed to four previously unnoticed words in the health care law

Unnoticed, it seems, by low-information Senators and Congressmen, low-information executive-branch staffers, low-information 'journalists' and low-information lawyers and rent-seeking pharmaceutical salesmen.

So low-information and low-sloping foreheads that none of them even read it after the bill was passed and signed so they could see what was in it.

Were those four words inserted by Jonathan Gruber?

Revenant said...

Eh, lefties like to make those sorts of empty threats.

I'm pretty heavily armed. Bring it.

David said...

Ingrid Cold is an alien who has imperfectly assumed human form. Definitely a fictional character but there are also those who claim to have met him. Ingrid Cold is generally associated with the happening of a disaster, including the Point Pleasant bridge collapse at the West Virginia-Ohio border. Therefore it's possible that there is a subtle joke in having Ingrid Cold comment on the Obamacare disaster, but I don't think this commenter was quite that sharp.

David said...

Skyler, you erudite fool, you are arguing against a point Althouse never made. She did not suggest that the post was a criminal act. She said "It's evil to waft the suggestion of a violent attack. It might influence someone, though it's certainly not an imminent enough incitement to support arresting Cold."

But I am so impressed that you cited a Supreme Court case by name.

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

'I wonder if Mr. Ob_ma has considered the personal danger he has placed himself and his family in if his fatuous Ob_macare jeopardizes the insurance of the terminally ill. It would not be hard to imagine a seriously ill person taking matters into their own hands...'

There does seem to be a certain "waft" to that rhetorical framework.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

I deleted this comment, then reposted with a change in spelling. Just to 'underscore' my point of how things can be taken. As it were.

No knock on the door yet.

I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

But it was a Gruber's carefully designed pit dug for the States to fall into and thus prove the Fedes had the power to coerce them with Free Money offers that they could not refuse.

Now they have fallen into the pit they dug.

So they are angry alright. Angry at a Just God.

Real American said...

If enforcing the law wrecks it, then it was not very well written (or thought out). It was passed in haste and the Obamafrauds have violated its provisions time and time again to avoid bad political results.

It's ad hoc government. The Law could just be a blank fucking page as far as this Administration is concerned. They do what they want because they know there are enough criminal Democrats in the Senate to block any attempts to hold this gangster government accountable.

AmPowerBlog said...

Althouse: I noticed how you emphatically used the word "evil" twice. It's not just the comment that's evil, however. The whole program is evil, in its deceit. Its coercion. Its utter incompetence. The ACA's a standard of political evil, emblematic of this administration's collectivist malevolence.

richard mcenroe said...

But remember to be cruelly neutral about these people...

Paul said...

So why attack the lawyer. Why not the stupid imbeciles that dreamed up 'we have to pass it in order to find out what is in it' and voted for it! Not to mention the 'one' that signed it into law.

Nah.. easier to blame those who now actually read it.

JAL said...

@ David 10:10
I believe Skyler is one of them lawyer critters who has at times masqueraded as a US Marine.

Todd Roberson said...

At the end of the day, I don't think the ACA is really about health care any more than Net Neautrality is about neautrality (or the net for that matter).

It's about creating a framework where "the government" has the unilateral power to grant waivers and exceptions to burdensome regulations purposely written so complicated and Byzantine that no party is able to follow then let alone understand them.

The constant waivers and carve outs of the ACA are not an attempt to "fix" anything; they're the whole point of the law.

The ability to grant favors to friends - like the ability to sell indulgences - carries with it quite a bit of power.

Mick said...

That's the way the little dictators on the Left roll (not that the "R" team is much better). They are basically 13 years old.

As for the ACA "law", the whole thing was created out of a lie and is a lie, and is only a power play of the criminals that run this Usurper government--- all have committed treason.

If the subsidies were available in states that did not set up an exchange then there would be no reason for states to set up an exchange--- Duh, pretty simple really. But I'm sure all those brilliant "lawyers" will make it real complicated.

In his original decision legalizing this POS as a "tax" Roberts even implied that the acquiescence of the states would make it legal in fact. That 37 states did not is nullification of the "law".

FleetUSA said...

Shades of what Scott Walker and the WI John Doe targets must have felt as well. The left and union thugs are sometimes unhinged.

Skyler said...

I apologize to our hostess for not noticing her comments about imminence. I think she has a policy of not editing her posts and I do have a habit of skimming, so I freely admit my error in my previous post.

However, I see nothing to complain about. Free speech is free speech. We as a society are either committed to free speech or we are not. I don't read a threat and I don't think people who would do such things wil need inspiration from comments in the New York Times. The less attention paid, the better. People shouldn't read that rag anyway.

Tom from Virginia said...

Who will rid me of this meddlesome employment benefits priest?

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks to those who defended me against Skyler's ridiculous attack (accusing me of not reading something right precisely because of not reading me right).

"Althouse: I noticed how you emphatically used the word "evil" twice."

Actually, the reason I did that was mostly for the technical reason of needing to insure that the "it" in "it's ludicrous" would be read to refer back to "evil to waft" and not the intervening notion of "the incitement to support arresting Cold."

I really do work at writing things concisely while still trying to avert misreadings. I can't do anything about readers like Skyler who are just skipping text or whatever, but I try to see places where there could be ambiguity, like that case of 2 possible antecedents for a pronoun. That said, I tried to make the second "it's evil" feel meaningful and not just technical.

Brando said...

Typical representative of the Mindless wing of the Left--blame the lawyer who found your mistake, not the people who made the mistake in the first place.

This mess could have been avoided if the Democrats went the normal route and cleaned up the bill in conference, rather than passing a draft version in reconciliation. If they were that worried about Scott Walker giving the Republicans enough votes to fillibuster, they could have nuked the fillibuster (as Reid eventually did anyway, for judicial appointments) or tried to sell their law to the American people. If it were more popular, some blue state Republicans would have felt the pressure to vote for it.

This is what you get for ramming the law in half-baked. The Dems were sure it would eventually become a big winner for them, and took their gamble.

Rick67 said...

A phenomenon which I have been observing is the extent to which leftists do not actually believe in the principles they profess. In this case, respect for the rule of law. "ACA/Obamacare is the law! Obey it! Submit to it! Stop fighting it!" And when someone points out the law *actually* says (something painful)... suddenly they act all concerned about people becoming violent because "they have nothing left to lose". Projection. And in this case, projecting a naked will to power and violence. The left only cares about the rule of law to make people obey. Heck, they don't even respect "obey the law, if you don't like it, then change it".

I have a student/friend who was complaining about this state's governor not expanding Medicaid. "ACA is the law of the land. He should obey the law". I thought (1) this law at least allows states not to do this, so he is obeying it and (2) what about Obama's blatantly illegal delays in implementing key parts of the law, to avoid the political backlash that would hurt Dems' in forthcoming elections? Obama is definitely flouting this law. My student/friend didn't really care about "law". Heck, he didn't even describe the law correctly.

Mick said...

Brando said,

"This mess could have been avoided if the Democrats went the normal route and cleaned up the bill in conference, rather than passing a draft version in reconciliation."


No, not true. In "context" the bill has to be read as "established by the state" because Roberts would have made the opposite initial "legal" ruling as a tax, since he would have said that the Federal government cannot force the states to expand Medicaid.
"Established by the state" is what is meant to be written. They just thought that most states would create an exchange, and those that did not would be demonized into following. That 37 states did not create an exchange caused the IRS (an obvious political arm of the Executive-- See IRS scandal)to rewrite the law by issuing their "rule" in which they basically rewrote the law.

Fen said...

"A phenomenon which I have been observing is the extent to which leftists do not actually believe in the principles they profess."

Fen's Law: The Left doesn't really believe in the things they lecture the rest of us about

I coined it during the Clinton impeachment when, after years of teaching us that sexual predation in the workplace is wrong, the Left suddenly decided that Clinton's sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace were "just about sex, MoveOn".

Its useful to remember so you don't waste time arguing a point they didn't believe in to begin with. In this instance, attacking their "the law is the law!" angle is pointless because that's not what they ever believed - it was just a useful cover their true motivations. You have to figure out what that is and attack that instead.

Brando said...

"No, not true. In "context" the bill has to be read as "established by the state" because Roberts would have made the opposite initial "legal" ruling as a tax, since he would have said that the Federal government cannot force the states to expand Medicaid.
"Established by the state" is what is meant to be written. They just thought that most states would create an exchange, and those that did not would be demonized into following. That 37 states did not create an exchange caused the IRS (an obvious political arm of the Executive-- See IRS scandal)to rewrite the law by issuing their "rule" in which they basically rewrote the law."

The Left is arguing now that this was really a drafting error, because of course subsidies should apply to those in states where a state exchange wasn't set up and the federal one was used by its residents (see the Washington Post editorial making that case today). Surely if the Obamists could go back in time and draft it to also make subsidies available to residents of states without state exchanges, they would.

But, they didn't--whether intentional or by accident it doesn't matter. The Court needs to rule on what the law says when it's unambiguous, and it'd be pretty egregious if they didn't do that here.

Though I wouldn't be too surprised if they punt by dismissing this due to lack of standing.

Mick said...

Brando said,

"Surely if the Obamists could go back in time and draft it to also make subsidies available to residents of states without state exchanges, they would."


But then Roberts would have ruled it un-Constitutional in the first ruling. It was written that way specifically to avoid the Commerce clause-- Healthcare has always been deemed to be the purview of the states, but by creating these interconnected "state run exchanges" healthcare becomes "interstate commerce" regulated by the Federal government. However 37 states did not take the bait of "expansion of medicaid", thus the political fiscal arm of the executive department changed the law by making its "rule". It had to be written that way, "in context".

Unknown said...

On the right you see "come take them," meaning if you first act with force to take my rights that will be met with force in return.

Contrast with the left.

If you make a reasonable and legal argument that undermines something I like I'll incite force against you.

Tell me again how the tea party is terrorists.

Matt Sablan said...

"It's about creating a framework where "the government" has the unilateral power to grant waivers and exceptions to burdensome regulations purposely written so complicated and Byzantine that no party is able to follow then let alone understand them. "

That's the tax code as well.

Matt Sablan said...

"Except that that title defines the word "state" as one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Reading "state" generically is textually foreclosed."

-- When this first came up a year or so ago, I did look to see if state was defined somewhere in the text to see if that argument could save them and came to the same conclusion other people have: State has a meaning that can't be weaseled out of.

Unknown said...

All you racists need to see the poor and hungry that are suffering from obesity! How dare you not sacrifice your measly lives to help unfortunate Billionaires who only have a few hundred measly Billions and can't afford to pay their slave from Guatemala enough to live in a mud hut on the bad side of the Ghetto! You Bourgeoisie Burger eating ax murderers have to pay to support slavery that your racist ancestors abolished in their racist belief in racist freedom! Viva la pasta!

Delayna said...

So the ACA is the law of the land today? Lots of things used to be the Law of the Land that aren't legal today. Can't believe anybody thinks that is a "shut up, I just proved I'm right" argument.

Rusty said...

Revenant said...
Eh, lefties like to make those sorts of empty threats.

I'm pretty heavily armed. Bring it.


Not just liberals. I think you'll find that just about anyone on the left side of the intelligence bell curve will threaten violence when frustrated. It just so happens that most of those people tend to be liberal.