Skip to comments.Combative Bench Grills IRS in Halbig v. Sebelius (ObamaCare)
Posted on 03/29/2014 6:13:28 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
There were fireworks at the D.C. Circuit today as the IRS and HHS squared off against appellants challenging the IRSs power grab in Halbig v. Sebelius. I attended arguments today and provide the following synopsis. (Carrie Severino has discussed the district courts opinion here, here, here, and here. Carrie also filed an amicus brief in the case.)
The central question is: Does the phrase established by the State actually mean what it says, or is that just a fancy way of saying established by either the State or by the federal government? At issue is a tax subsidy that the IRS currently grants to anyone who buys health insurance on an exchange under Obamacare. The plain language of the statute says that the subsidy only applies to insurance plans in states that have established an exchange, apparently as an incentive for states to start their own exchanges. But the IRS has decided that the tax subsidy should apply to every state, no matter who established the exchange. The problem, as these challengers point out, is that the IRSs interpretation turns the actual language on its head.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
And the third judge seems clearly to MAKE the current HHS position retroactive law.
Not to worry, Zer0 will just sign another E.O. and fix the “law”
The Sebaceous Cyst sure does have a lot of lawsuits against her, doesn’t she?
There is no question on the constitutionality of ObamaCare or on whether the implementation is lawful. The only question is the legitimacy of the courts. I hope they don’t give up the last shred they have of legitimacy for a terrible and destructive law.
Sounds like the Clinton plat is in motion what is is?.
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:
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. Therefore 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.