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  • Interesting Times For All Commodities And Investments!! OBAMACARE DIEING?? 12 comments
    Jul 22, 2014 4:48 PM
    Two Republican Judges Gut Obamacare, Threatening Health Care For Millions

    WASHINGTON -- Two Republican judges on the D.C. Circuit Court have ruled that the equivalent of a typo is enough to strip health care subsidies from up to 5 million people, dealing what would be a death blow to the Affordable Care Act if the decision is allowed to stand. The one Democrat on the panel dissented.

    The three-judge panel ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that people in the 36 states that use the federal health insurance exchange are ineligible for subsidized insurance. The decision would also affect those who purchased insurance through the exchange but don't receive subsidies, as reneging on the payments would lead to a rapid increase in insurance rates for everyone.

    The White House said Tuesday the decision will be appealed to the entire D.C. circuit court -- what's known as an en banc review -- where Democrats hold a majority that is nearly certain to overturn the GOP judges' aggressive move. The next step could be the Supreme Court, which already upheld the Affordable Care Act in a separate case two years ago.

    The U.S. courts have never been entirely above the political system, but under Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, whose court routinely strikes down longstanding precedent along 5-4, strictly party-line votes, they are becoming little more than another legislative branch -- one that holds itself above the branch that was vested with lawmaking powers by the Constitution.

    The majority opinion was not without a comedic interlude. "We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance," Judge Thomas Griffith said of the opportunity to achieve a longtime GOP goal.

    The two judges seized on text within the law that said subsidies would be provided to people who purchased insurance on exchanges established by the states. But 36 states declined to set up their own exchanges, and chose to rely on the federal government's exchange instead. Because the law doesn't specifically say that people who bought insurance on the federal exchange also get subsidies, the law's opponents argued that therefore such subsidies are illegal.

    "The problem confronting the [ACA] is that subsidies also turn on a third attribute of Exchanges: who established them. Under section 36B, subsidies are available only for plans 'enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the [ACA],'" the majority opinion ruled, rejecting the counter-argument that other portions of the law specifically say that a federal exchange set up for a state is by definition a state exchange. The one dissenting judge said that the GOP argument is silly. "This case is about Appellants' not-so-veiled attempt to gut the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," Senior Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards wrote in his dissent. "At the time of the ACA's enactment, it was well understood that without the subsidies, the individual mandate was not viable as a mechanism for creating a stable insurance market."

    "You don't need a fancy legal degree to understand Congress intended for the Affordable Care Act to provide tax credits regardless who was running the marketplace," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday in response to the ruling.

    A key aspect of the plaintiffs' argument is that Congress wanted to incentivize states to create their own exchanges and withhold financial assistance for residents of those states that didn't, a contention Edwards mocked.

    "The simple truth is that Appellants' incentive story is a fiction, a post hoc narrative concocted to provide a colorable explanation for the otherwise risible notion that Congress would have wanted insurance markets to collapse in States that elected not to create their own Exchanges," Edwards wrote.

    The Republican judges twisted themselves in knots to find a way to invalidate the law, while ignoring its intent, Edwards said. "The majority opinion ignores the obvious ambiguity in the statute and claims to rest on plain meaning where there is none to be found. In so doing, the majority misapplies the applicable standard of review, refuses to give deference to the IRS's and HHS's permissible constructions of the ACA, and issues a judgment that portends disastrous consequences," he writes. "Appellants' argument cannot be squared with the clear legislative scheme established by the statute as a whole."

    Arguing the case on the merits, of course, is beside the point. The GOP opposes the Affordable Care Act. Where it has a majority, it proved again Tuesday, it will move to repeal it.

    If the decision survives further court review, it would affect more than half of the 8 million people who received subsidies for coverage for this year, according to the consulting firm Avalere Health. Eighty-five percent of those who purchased health insurance on an exchange received subsidies, but those in the District of Columbia and the 14 states that operate their own exchanges would not be affected by the ruling.

    The decision effectively would hike premiums for almost 5 million people by 58 percent to 95 percent on average, depending on where they live. The highest price increases would be felt by individuals in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri, where people would pay at least 80 percent more, according to Avalere Health's estimates based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services. Residents of Texas and 11 other states would pay at at least 75 percent more.

    (click to enlarge)
     

    The ruling against Obamacare subsidies would affect anyone using a federally facilitated marketplace or partnership marketplace. Source: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

    The unelected judges, after ruling to overturn the law passed by both chambers of Congress, said that they did so in order to defend the "principle of legislative supremacy."

    "At least until states that wish to can set up Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly," they wrote. "But, high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still. Within constitutional limits, Congress is supreme in matters of policy, and the consequence of that supremacy is that our duty when interpreting a statute is to ascertain the meaning of the words of the statute duly enacted through the formal legislative process. This limited role serves democratic interests by ensuring that policy is made by elected, politically accountable representatives, not by appointed, life-tenured judges."

    UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. -- Later Tuesday, three judges appointed by Democrats to a federal appeals court panel in Virginia unanimously ruled the opposite way in King v. Burwell, a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obamacare subsidies on similar grounds. The Virginia court upheld a lower court's ruling in the government's favor. Other Obamacare lawsuits are pending in other federal courts.

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Comments (12)
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  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (10484) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » IS THIS THE START OF THE END ???
    22 Jul, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (2556) | Send Message
     
    This is why lawyers work by the hour.
    22 Jul, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • madpup
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    I don't see how it matters one way or the other. The President has clearly demonstrated many times over that any law he does not like he will not enforce, or he will modify any law he does not like thru executive order. Silly rules by the common folk (courts/legislatures) have no barring upon our King. (Sorry, I meant President)
    22 Jul, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (10484) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I agree with both of you. However does any one think this might have legs and a chance eventually to stand ??
    22 Jul, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (10484) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » HERE IS ANOTHER LENGHTLY ARTICLE..

     

    http://bloom.bg/1A3qKBL

     

    I guess it is the start of things to come !!!
    22 Jul, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • Ordinary Average Guy
    , contributor
    Comments (803) | Send Message
     
    From the above article provided by IT:

     

    "You don't need a fancy legal degree to understand Congress intended for the Affordable Care Act to provide tax credits regardless who was running the marketplace," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday in response to the ruling.

     

    OAG: That is a priceless comment from Josh Earnest. In other words he seems to be saying that in 2014 and moving forward, that we should be bound by what the Congress of 2010 "intended" for all of us. And if there is any confusion as to what the 2010 Congress intended for us, just ask the White House and they will clarify all of this for us.

     

    On a side note, is Earnest this guys real last name? Or did someone recently give him this name since the words he speaks on behalf of the White House are intended to show his sincere and intense conviction. Maybe this guy is supposed to be a step up from his predecessor, Jay Blarney.
    22 Jul, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (10484) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Obamacare Subsidy Loss May Boost Premiums, Chase Insurers !!!!!

     

    http://bloom.bg/1rzERMS
    22 Jul, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • CoinsK
    , contributor
    Comments (3016) | Send Message
     
    On FRI. they will pass a law ,on Saturday they will start a revolution to enforce their "New" law. On Sunday they will demonize all who disagree with the "New" Unconstitutional law. Then on Monday they will become wealthy from the "New" law. On Tue. they will have those wealthy capitalists arrested for getting rich from their "New" law . Saul Alinsky. Obama's hero.

     

    Think about the Insurance companies in this scenario.
    23 Jul, 07:17 AM Reply Like
  • nocnurzfred
    , contributor
    Comments (520) | Send Message
     
    Makes me think 40 years ago when our school system & an adjoining one were proposing to merge & build a new high school. 7 referendum votes failed to pass, but the 8th did pass. Those that voted against got tired of their votes not counting, and those that favored the merger kept coming back. Will be the same here. Hey, maybe they have not finished writing the law yet.
    23 Jul, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (10484) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Agents obtained subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs !!!!

     

    Nah, this could never happen....

     

    http://aol.it/1tBzrPa
    23 Jul, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting Times
    , contributor
    Comments (10484) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Killing Obamacare Even if It Hurts !!!!

     

    http://bv.ms/1t5VTCG
    25 Jul, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • John Wilson
    , contributor
    Comments (1179) | Send Message
     
    Ha ha, Even Barney Frank is appalled that Obama lied about Obamacare:

     

    Barney Frank 'Appalled' By Obama Administration: 'They Just Lied To People
    http://huff.to/1pSFw5Y

     

    The part about Barney Frank saying that Obama lied is the only good part. The rest of the Huffington article is crap.

     

    People are thinking Obamacare is running smooth now since the website works more than 50% of the time now - I know, that's awesome. But just wait till the end of 2014 when people try to do their income taxes and have to reconcile their "Advance Premium Tax Credit" that they got to offset or pay their insurance premium, with their tax liability on the 1040 form. I predict a tax nightmare. Especially for those who estimated their income wrong on their Marketplace application and will therefore owe more income tax at year end. There will be screaming and rage.

     

    Also wait until the employer mandate is supposed to start in 2015.

     

    "The ObamaCare "employer mandate" is a requirement that all businesses with over 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees provide health insurance for their full-time employees, or pay a per month "Employer Shared Responsibility Payment" on their federal tax return"

     

    Shared Responsibility Payment means "penalty" in plain English.
    4 Aug, 01:14 AM Reply Like
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