Skip to comments.Obamacare tax credit suit rejected
Posted on 01/15/2014 2:07:56 PM PST by Theoria
A District of Columbia federal judge rejected a lawsuit Wednesday that challenged tax credits for Obamacare coverage in the 36 states with federal-run exchanges one of the most significant remaining legal fights over President Barack Obamas health care law.
The four individuals who brought the lawsuit, Halbig v. Sebelius, had argued that the IRS overstepped its legal authority by allowing federal-run exchanges to provide tax credits for people who purchase health insurance. They contended that the Affordable Care Act only allows for state-run exchanges to access such credits and that Congress purposefully designed the law that way to incentivize states to run their own insurance marketplaces.
Had the court accepted their argument, the ACA could have been dealt a major blow. With just 14 states and D.C. running their own exchanges, the result could have blocked most of the country from getting federal help to purchase insurance on the new exchanges.
U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman, a Clinton nominee, said an entire reading of the law and congressional intent make clear that the lawprovides premium tax credits through all exchanges, regardless of whos running them.
The Court finds that the plain text of the statute, the statutory structure, and the statutory purpose make clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally-facilitated Exchanges, Friedman wrote in his decision.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
The “Law” in so many different ways was designed to fail its way into Single Payer.
So, it was an ‘empty suit’.....................
Here is the plain text of the statute (PPACA):
SEC. 1401(a) In General.--Subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to refundable credits) is amended by inserting after section 36A the following new section:
36B(b)(2) specifies the premium assistance amount is equal to the lesser of A or B [that is: the lesser of SEC. 36B(b)(2)(A) or SEC. 36B(b)(2)(B)].SEC. 36B (a) In General.--In the case of an applicable taxpayer, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this subtitle for any taxable year an amount equal to the premium assistance credit amount of the taxpayer for the taxable year. (b) Premium Assistance Credit Amount.--For purposes of this section-- (1) In general.-- <> The term `premium assistance credit amount' means, with respect to any taxable year, the sum of the premium assistance amounts determined under paragraph (2) with respect to all coverage months of the taxpayer occurring during the taxable year. (2) Premium assistance amount.--The premium assistance amount determined under this subsection with respect to any coverage month is the amount equal to the lesser of-- ``(A) the monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ``(B) the excess (if any) of-- ``(i) the adjusted monthly premium for such month for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan with respect to the taxpayer, over ``(ii) an amount equal to 1/12 of the product of the applicable percentage and the taxpayer's household income for the taxable year.
How to you suppose that the premium assistance credit amount of the taxpayer is the lesser of their premium under (A) [explicitly specified as a state exchange under 1311], or (B) [which is claimed includes federal plans]? Is the taxpayer in both a state and federal exchange and whichever is the lesser premium applies?
If the claim that 36B(b)(2)(B) includes federal exchanges is correct, then 36B(b)(2)(A) must also include federal exchanges, something it explicitly does not do. Therefor 36B(b)(2)(B) must necessarily also refer to Exchanges established by the State under 1311, otherwise 36B(b)(2) would be meaningless because a taxpayer can not be enrolled in both a state and federal exchange and whichever is the lesser premium applies.
The PPACA explicitly allows tax credits for state-run exchanges and excludes such credits for federally run exchanges.
Ah, the statutory “purpose”. How convenient.
if you need to bring a lawsuit to check and id... and it’s tossed out of court constantly... why do you think any serious cases threatening the plans for the 0ne wouldn’t be tossed?
Congressional “intent” over the plain words of the statute is about as weak as you can get in legally supporting Obamacare on this one. This will come down to another political vote in the Supreme Court. C’mon Robertson, you said in your last opinion on Obamacare that Congress was free to correct it’s mistakes by follow-up legislation. (The problem is, the Dems know they couldn’t get anything through on Obamacare right now, so it’s up to the Supremes to rewrite the law again.)
Judge Friedman is the same Clinton appointee who presided over the payment of more than $2 billion to black “farmers” for discrimination that has never been proven to have occurred. He appears to be the go-to guy for Democrats to get the results they want, with utter disregard to the facts of the case.