Obamacare is a Goner

They say the Supreme Court follows the election results, and if so, they certainly didn’t waste any time after the beat down the voters administered to the Democrats this Tuesday. By Friday, the Supremes had decided to rule on the Obamacare subsidies cases, even though the DC Circuit is about to rule on the Halbig case en banc and then there will be no conflict among the various circuits. (Recall that by ending the nominations filibuster and packing the DC Circuit with liberals, Harry Reid and his friends thought that court would protect Obamacare from the initial 3 judge panel ruling in Halbig.)

But by acting before the full DC Circuit, the Supreme Court has gotten ahead of the game, and is signaling that there are likely 5 votes to kill a huge part of Obamacare. Chief Justice Roberts gets a do-over after his dubious decision upholding the validity of the Obamacare tax provisions in 2012.

The current challenge to Obamacare involves the so-called “state exchanges” -- 36 states having not set them up. Therefore, under the clear language of the Affordable Care Act, the ACA, there are no federal insurance subsidies or employer mandates in those states, making a hash of the whole system.

Apparently, the original purpose of this language when Sen. Baucus’ staffers wrote it was to dragoon the few states that might hold out on setting up exchanges, by denying their citizens access to federal premium subsidies. But as the ACA ballooned into a 2000-page monstrosity, the Democrats simply forgot about this provision, even as Republican governors began to realize this gambit could backfire and wreck the whole scheme.

After passage of the ACA, the Obama administration claimed this was all just a drafting error, and had the IRS sweep it away by regulation with the help of liberal federal judges. However, overwhelming evidence has emerged that the lefty wonks that drafted this language intended just what the law says, to the great embarrassment of liberal reporters who claim to be experts on the law.

If the Supreme Court were to strike down the subsidies in 2015, it would also come at the same time as other nasty Obamacare surprises hit the populace, such as the looming hike in Medicare Advantage policies.  Up until now, President Obama has put up a brave front that he would veto even small changes to Obamacare a Republican Congress might send him. But now it appears there will be millions of working Americans stuck trying to pay insurance premiums they can’t afford or risking an Obamacare penalty, along with millions of more retirees getting socked by their Medicare plans. The political pressure will be too much to bear for Congressional Democrats running in 2016, and they will eventually throw Obamacare and its namesake under the bus.  

The White House chef might also take notice- several distilleries are now selling their whiskey by the barrel. As the President mentioned he was willing to sit down with Sen. McConnell, if he had a good stiff drink of Kentucky bourbon, they may need a large supply the next two years.

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.

They say the Supreme Court follows the election results, and if so, they certainly didn’t waste any time after the beat down the voters administered to the Democrats this Tuesday. By Friday, the Supremes had decided to rule on the Obamacare subsidies cases, even though the DC Circuit is about to rule on the Halbig case en banc and then there will be no conflict among the various circuits. (Recall that by ending the nominations filibuster and packing the DC Circuit with liberals, Harry Reid and his friends thought that court would protect Obamacare from the initial 3 judge panel ruling in Halbig.)

But by acting before the full DC Circuit, the Supreme Court has gotten ahead of the game, and is signaling that there are likely 5 votes to kill a huge part of Obamacare. Chief Justice Roberts gets a do-over after his dubious decision upholding the validity of the Obamacare tax provisions in 2012.

The current challenge to Obamacare involves the so-called “state exchanges” -- 36 states having not set them up. Therefore, under the clear language of the Affordable Care Act, the ACA, there are no federal insurance subsidies or employer mandates in those states, making a hash of the whole system.

Apparently, the original purpose of this language when Sen. Baucus’ staffers wrote it was to dragoon the few states that might hold out on setting up exchanges, by denying their citizens access to federal premium subsidies. But as the ACA ballooned into a 2000-page monstrosity, the Democrats simply forgot about this provision, even as Republican governors began to realize this gambit could backfire and wreck the whole scheme.

After passage of the ACA, the Obama administration claimed this was all just a drafting error, and had the IRS sweep it away by regulation with the help of liberal federal judges. However, overwhelming evidence has emerged that the lefty wonks that drafted this language intended just what the law says, to the great embarrassment of liberal reporters who claim to be experts on the law.

If the Supreme Court were to strike down the subsidies in 2015, it would also come at the same time as other nasty Obamacare surprises hit the populace, such as the looming hike in Medicare Advantage policies.  Up until now, President Obama has put up a brave front that he would veto even small changes to Obamacare a Republican Congress might send him. But now it appears there will be millions of working Americans stuck trying to pay insurance premiums they can’t afford or risking an Obamacare penalty, along with millions of more retirees getting socked by their Medicare plans. The political pressure will be too much to bear for Congressional Democrats running in 2016, and they will eventually throw Obamacare and its namesake under the bus.  

The White House chef might also take notice- several distilleries are now selling their whiskey by the barrel. As the President mentioned he was willing to sit down with Sen. McConnell, if he had a good stiff drink of Kentucky bourbon, they may need a large supply the next two years.

Frank Friday is an attorney in Louisville, Ky.