In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Appeals Court Chooses Possible Casket for Obamacare

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals ruled by a 2-1 margin that the Affordable Care Act does not permit the federal government to subsidize premiums in states that employ the federal Obamacare exchange, a verdict that would cut off assistance to millions and blow a potentially fatal hole in the law.

The ACA “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling in the case, Halbig v. Burwell. The text of the statute “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.”

The ruling would disembowel the law – I like that better than “gut the law” – because it makes the mandate at the heart of Obamacare meaningless. How do you force people to buy health insurance when they can’t nearly afford it?

But don’t get too excited yet. The panel is stacked 2-1 in favor of Republican appointees, while the full court, where the administration will next bring the case, is majority Democrat. If Justice John Roberts couldn’t bring himself to put an end to Obamacare, these cats certainly aren’t going to.

Nevertheless, things could get interesting if this gets to the Supreme Court.

The clear text of the law does not allow subsidies for those on the federal exchange. Congress simply expected that states would adopt their own exchanges. The famous federal website was really just a backup. Instead, 36 states have adopted the federal exchange, while only 14 states and the District of Columbia have their own.

The Obama administration argues that the “intent” of the law was to cover everybody, so please ignore the text. They may eventually need five Supreme Court justices to agree that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean what it says.

They’ll certainly be persuasive. After all, the White House has lots of experience arguing that the language of the ACA should be ignored.

UPDATE: A separate U.S. court of appeals in Richmond issued a contrary ruling, upholding the subsidies. The Richmond court ruled the language of the law is unclear.

The contrary rulings suggest the Supreme Court may address the issue sooner rather than later.

20 thoughts on “Appeals Court Chooses Possible Casket for Obamacare”

  1. This will head to the Supreme Court eventually, and we thought striking down the individual mandate there would be a slam dunk when it wasn’t so I’m not going to get too hopeful over this. This administration has made me way too cynical.

  2. Pingback: Court Strikes Down Key Obamacare Component » Pirate's Cove

  3. I think I’ll set up my own exchange, the Porterhouse Exchange, because according to the administration the intent was not for just State-run exchanges.


    Separate US appeals court upholds Obamacare subsidies.
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a federal regulations that implemented subsidies that are vital to President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, in direct conflict with another ruling on the issue handed down earlier on Tuesday.

    A three-judge panel unanimously said the law was ambiguous, and that it would defer to the IRS’s determination that subsidies could go to individuals who purchased health insurance on both federal and state-run exchanges.

    A separate panel from a federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday morning said the IRS could not offer premium tax credits to people who purchase insurance through the federal insurance marketplace that serves most of the 8 million consumers who have signed up for private coverage for 2014.

    1. And the MSM cheers. Basically saying the decision earlier was totally partisan, two GOP judges trying to get back at Chief Justice Roberts. Of course, what’s funny is that it is NEVER partisan when four DEM judges vote in favor of ObamaCare subsidies

  5. Off Topic
    Delta & United Air Lines are canceling all flights to Israel until further notice after a rocket landed near a Tel Aviv Airport.
    I read this morning that there was a 3 Day Cease Fire.
    Article on Drudge.

  6. Somebody in the WH really should have read it BEFORE it was signed into law, to find out what’s in it. Another day, another disaster for Mr. 0.

  7. I see riots, civil unrest, and a prolonged political cage-match fight as this law gets more and more tangled. They really, really didn’t think this law through to it’s final implementation.
    The arrogant assumption that every state would jump to implement the law has proved the Dems are not very bright .
    The very people who depend on the subsidies are those who need it to buy the mandated insurance and most of those are the Dem voters who put the idiots in office..

    For all the drama about this law being a sneaky way to “redistribute wealth”, the only thing being distributed is federal monies to the insurance companies.

  8. OT. The one thing I know I can do is call a Congressional office and leave an opinion. So as a first generation American whose family fought and struggled to enter the country legally and become American citizens I called Cong. Guttietez and told hid aide hoe offended and outraged I was that a US lawmaker would tell LaRaza and a gathering of illegals that they should punish those who opposed illegal immigration.

    F that. I didn’t say that. But to let this crap go without comment is unacceptable. It may be the only avenue left — but they need to be reminded about the rule of law the constitution and the value of being sn

    1. of being an American citizen. You don’t just whack a pinata and it falls into your greedy little hands. Ok I didn’t say that either.

      Oh dear. A rant.

  9. John Roberts gave the presidency to Mitt Romney in 2012 and bumbles still managed to steal it. Roberts won’t make the same mistake twice, given the opportunity, he’ll shatter obamaCare into a million pieces that couldn’t be put back together with all the tape and glue in the world…

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