Skip to comments.Conservatives get a big 2014 boost from ‘fatal blow’ to Obamacare
Posted on 07/22/2014 8:06:32 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
At first blush, a federal appeals courts decision on Tuesday that dealt what many considered to be a near fatal blow to the Affordable Care Act could also appear to be a blow to Republicans hopes for retaking the Senate in November.
Obamacare supporters are enraged. The decision in Halbig v. Burwell, which invalidated the federal governments ability to provide subsidies for those Americans who purchased insurance through a federal health insurance exchange, could mean a major increase in premium rates for more than half of the 8 million who enrolled in ACA plans.
The appeals court ruled that, as written, only those who purchased insurance through state-level exchanges can access federal financial support. That would invalidate an Internal Revenue Service regulation that tried to sort out confusing wording in the law by concluding that Congress intended for consumers in all 50 states to have subsidized coverage, the Associated Press reported. 36 states declined to establish their own exchanges, preferring instead to use the federal exchange.
The laws design was no accident. The ACA was constructed with the aim of encouraging states to establish their own exchanges. Even Vox.com accurately describes the incentive structure in place: If a state set up its own exchange, its citizens would receive subsidies. If the state didnt, its citizens wouldnt.
It stands to reason that ACA supporters would enthusiastically oppose this decision and express that enthusiasm at the ballot box in November. However, at second glance, it seems more likely that Republican voters will be motivated by this development.
Why? Consider that Democrats are likely to breathe a sigh of relief when the nuclear option, advanced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and passed along party lines, saves Obamacares bacon.
Jeffrey Toobin ✔ @JeffreyToobin
7 to 4 Dem majority on DC Circuit (due to Reid's nuke
option) means likely en banc overturning of
#Obamacare ruling. http://ow.ly/zrTg8
9:48 AM - 22 Jul 2014
146 Retweets 36 favorites
Sahil Kapur @sahilkapur
Reid's nuclear option, which put 3 new Obama-appt judges
on the DC Circuit, could save Obamacare.
9:37 AM - 22 Jul 2014
72 Retweets 18 favorites
The Obama administration confirmed on Tuesday that they plan to pursue this remedy. The White House added that, in spite of this court ruling, federal subsidies will continue to be provided to those who enrolled through federal exchanges. Meanwhile, ruling on a similar case on Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals came to the opposite conclusion as the D.C. appeals court citing Congresss clear intent.
For Democrats, nothing has changed. For Republicans, however, the reviled health care reform law is back on the ballot.
It is hard to think of a more galvanizing development for conservatives than a panel of judges rescuing Obamacare from its own fatal flaws only as a result of Senate Democrats maneuver aimed at limiting minority Republicans rights.
That is, on a macro level, where Republicans will benefit from this ruling. But there are also state-specific factors resulting from this development which can help advance individual Republican candidates electoral prospects.
For example, take the state of Oregon.
The federal government awarded Oregon $10 million to set up its own exchange, but that problematic web portal was a chronic disaster. All the Beaver State had to show for their investments were a series of laughably bad, folk art themed enrollment advertisements which were mocked even by ACA supporters.
Cover Oregon and the Oregon Health Authority spent a total of $248 million to create a website that never worked. In the end, the state scrapped the exchange and elected to use the federal governments exchange portal instead. Now, those consumers who purchased insurance through that exchange face the terrifying prospect of their formerly cheap insurance growing prohibitively expensive.
Enter Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby. She faces an uphill battle in her bid to unseat Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the fall. The GOP standard-bearer, a pediatric neurosurgeon, raised just half of what her opponent raked in during 2014s second quarter. The states Democratic-leaning electorate, predisposed already to support the incumbent, would require a major incentive to support Merkleys challenger which previously did not exist.
That incentive may have just arrived in the form of Halbig. The Republican firm Harper Polling found in April that a majority of Oregonians disapprove of the ACA and Halbig is only likely to put Merkley in the uncomfortable position of defending an unpopular law. A law which now provides many of his states health care consumers with insurance they know they will not be able to afford.
That is a story that will be repeated in battleground states all over the country. When pollsters begin to ask voters just how likely they are to vote in the coming midterms after Labor Day, expect nearly every conservative-leaning voter to reply with an emphatic, Very.
Until this goes all the way to the SCOTUS, nothing is settled.
The wording is not confusing at all; it is very clear. And I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn last night.
Way, way too early to bring out the party hats. Each and every prior example of “on the fly” law writing/adjusting has been forcibly implanted in the rear view mirror and disintegrated. This one is the biggest yet; if it falls, ACA is immediately dead. Hence the defenses will be brought out to the max.
We will now be called “literalists”....which will supplant “racist”. “Literalists want to take healthcare away from poor people”.
It ain’t done yet. Roberts can still resurrect his beloved beast
Yeah. Both of them.
Get Lois Lerner on this...
No. They don’t. No. It isn’t.
E X A C T L Y.
Let’s not forget the 4th Cir ruled on this VERY issue and ruled opposite of the DC Cir. Not to mention the full panel will overturn this.
To be able to focus on the goal means you must focus on the facts ... like ‘em or not.
I seriously doubt this will be even close to resolution before the 2014 elections. Thus claims of this being a blow to Republican is liberal twaddle.
If (when) DC overturns this en back it SHOULD spark a clear and resounding battle cry to fire Harry Reid. Conservatives everywhere will need to get the message...
Harry, the president, and their nuclear option gave us this mess.
Firing Nancy was step one.
Time for round two.
Danged auto correct.
Missed it on preview.
Both of them.
THAT IS A KEEPER!!!
“Obamacare is the democrat Parties EDSEL!!!”
More like the Corvair, unsafe at any speed. Out here, Edsels have become collector items and still run. I don’t ever remember Edsels being dangerous to drive or ride in like the Corvair.
maybe the ObamaCar......
True, but the article was more about the political aspect than the legal one.
The question is, when can we expect an en banc ruling? The subsidies aren’t being halted, so there’s no rush from the Dem-dominated DC Circuits perspective.
I’m guessing we don’t see any sort of en banc ruling before the election. Until that ruling hapoens, no one will really care about this particular aspect of Obamacare and it will have faded as an election issue.
Great Scott!!! You guys got too much furtile brane matter!!! (wide grin)
Thank Ya Thank Ya
So why can’t the Dems just campaign on a platform of amending the law to make clear that everyone gets the subsidies?
The author says people in Oregon will be upset if they might not get their subsidies. But if Obamacare is repealed they certainly won’t get their subsidies, so I don’t see how this helps Republicans politically.