As the Obamacare train wreck slowly grinds to a halt, the Democrat Media Complex is asking what Republicans will do about it. Republicans should do nothing about it except repeal the rolling disaster before it does any more damage.
In the pending Supreme Court decision in King v Burwell, the Justices will decide later this month whether the IRS must follow the letter of the law when handing out “subsidies” in states that did not establish their own Obamacare health insurance exchanges. The IRS declared, despite the law’s clear wording, that the federal government establishing an exchange was the same as the state doing it.
President Obama weighed in on Monday at the G7 conference in Europe, saying (via Politico, not linked):
“Under well-established precedent, there is no reason why the existing exchanges should be overturned through a court case,” Obama said at a press conference during the G-7 Summit in Germany. “It has been well documented that those who passed this legislation never intended for folks who were going through the federal exchange not to have their citizens get subsidies.”
In referring to precedent, Obama is probably talking about the Court giving deference to bureaucrats interpreting the law. It’s true that they do that, but the Court need not allow bureaucrats to rewrite the law, as they must to provide subsidies in states without their own exchanges.
Leftists interested in keeping the law on the books and in defending the President’s actions have interviewed members of Congress and their staff who are also interested in keeping the law on the books and in defending the President’s actions. Lo and behold, none of them remember, after the fact, intending the law to mean to say what the law says.
Like Megan McArdle, I’m not saying they’re lying, though they could be. I am saying it’s easy to forget what you used to believe.
“I’m optimistic that the Supreme Court will play it straight when it comes to the interpretation,” Obama said. “If it didn’t, Congress could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision.”
Obama quickly followed his admission that there is a problem needing to be fixed by saying there was no problem needing to be fixed.
The illegal subsidies were payoffs to insurance companies, not for people. The payoffs to insurance companies on the federal exchange were always illegal. It’s wildly inaccurate to say, as some have, that 6.4 million individuals will lose their subsidies. Rather, a handful of insurers will lose billions in easy profit.
The illegal payoffs to insurance companies must be overturned through a court case because the IRS, at Obama’s direction or approval, has already shown it will incorrectly interpret the clear words of Congress that Obama himself signed.
The IRS decision was a tax increase levied by unelected bureaucrats. If you live in a state without an exchange and the “subsidy” is all that makes the price of insurance fit the law’s affordability rules, without the subsidy you would not have to pay the Obamacare fines. That applies to individuals and to the steep fines faced by businesses who don’t act as insurance brokers for their employees.
For many people, there is no individual mandate without the illegal payoffs to insurance companies.
People in these states working part-time jobs will now have the opportunity to work full time again.
Employers will be free to expand their businesses and hire new people they have been unable to hire due to Obamacare.
People in states without exchanges will now be free to buy the kind of inexpensive insurance they want, not the overpriced Obamacare paper insurance.
Obamacare’s “subsidies” gimmick got people to sign up for paper insurance they couldn’t afford to use.
Insurance companies got paid, but most people never met their deductibles. They had insurance, but never saw any benefit from it.
No Republican voted for the law, which Republicans have voted to repeal.
The entire law was an unworkable web of failure that must be repealed.
The unworkable nature of the law was due precisely to Democrats ramming it through without Republican support. Republican voters sent members to Washington to see it repealed, not to see it fixed.
Once even President Obama sees the inevitable collapse of his legacy, perhaps he will work with Congress on a viable replacement.