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Law, Obamacare, Politics

Hobby Lobby isn’t today’s most important case: Column | News-Herald Media |

Make them follow the law as written!

The issues in Halbig are simple.

Obamacare authorizes the IRS to provide health-insurance subsidies (nominally, tax credits) to consumers who purchase health insurance “through an Exchange established by the State.” That’s not a drafting error. The subsidy-eligibility rules employ that language a total of nine times, without deviation. The rest of the statue is fully compatible with this language.

The statute is therefore clear and unambiguous: the IRS may issue subsidies in the 14 states that established an exchange, but not in the 34 states that left the job of establishing and operating their state’s exchange to the federal government. Congress’ purpose is likewise clear. It wanted states to operate the exchanges, so it conditioned subsidies on state cooperation. Medicaid and countless other federal programs do the same.

The IRS’s philosopher-kings have decided to issue subsidies in those 34 states anyway.

The Obama administration has acquired a reputation for unilaterally rewriting laws (to say nothing of abusing the IRS’s powers) for political purposes, but this one takes the cake.

via Hobby Lobby isn’t today’s most important case: Column | News-Herald Media |

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