Skip to comments.Democrats Fudge Truth about Subsidies on Health Care Exchanges
Posted on 08/03/2014 8:41:48 AM PDT by Kaslin
Some people want you to suspend your imagination and your memory regarding what the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) actually states in terms of who can receive subsidies for their health insurance. Of course, as usual, when you have right on your side, truth does not matter. But we will explain why the subsidies disbursed from the federal exchange fails the test of what is right.
As you know by now, there were two rulings issued in a Court of Appeals that were diametrically opposed to each other. The issue revolves around whether the federal exchange (operating in 36 states) which is dispensing subsidies was authorized by the law. In referring to who may issue subsidies, the law says an Exchange established by the State. The people in favor of continuing the federal subsidies want us to believe that either that was not what the law really says or was countered by language in other sections of the bill, or that was clearly not the intent of the law.
After spending a couple weeks reading and listening to those who support the federal subsidies, I have not become aware of any substance to these positions. A perfect example is a principal supporter of the law in the press, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post. He states as a defense the law was not particularly well drafted. He then goes on to say Never mind that many other parts of the law clearly assume that the subsidies apply to people on both the state and federal exchanges. Mr. Dionne, like everyone else making this argument, fails to cite where in the law this is done. Tell us where and we will believe you, but what the true believers think is that if they repeat that claptrap often enough it will become the truth. Not so. Dionne goes on to say And never mind that during the very long debate over the ACA, no one ever said otherwise. Let us understand -- since no one argued a negative that the federal exchange is not able to issue subsidies, it must be able to issue subsidies even if the law clearly says they are allowed from state exchanges.
Jill Horwitz, a UCLA law professor, and Sam Bagenstos, a University of Michigan professor writing in the Los Angeles Times exemplify this position. They said The D.C. Circuit relied on a superficially plausible but ultimately nonsensical reading of the Affordable Care Act's text. In essence they are saying dont believe what the text says; believe what we tell you it means -- as if the ACA is a romance novel riddled with double entendre. They go on to state There is not one shred of reliable evidence that anyone ... understood the Affordable Care Act to limit subsidies to only participants in state-established exchanges. Again those who read the text as it is stated are supposed to prove a negative; i.e., that it was never the intention to limit the subsidies through a federal exchange.
Then there is the issue of the intent of the writers. Liberals are big on intent as opposed to what a bill says. I cant get away with that. I try it with my wife telling her I intended to take her to Paris for our anniversary. Even though I actually didnt, I should get credit for it because it was in my heart to do so. Ah, to be a liberal!
Those in favor of federal exchange subsidies want to argue it was the intent (with absolutely no stated support for that argument) by hoping to repeat it often enough so it becomes the truth. But, if anything, the intent (if it even matters) really falls on the other side and we believe it was a moving principle of the wording.
First, it is exactly the structure used for the Medicaid program for the past fifty years and the only model that existed upon which the law could be fashioned.
Second, it was the political reality at the time. In 2006, Rahm Emanuel was responsible for recruiting Democrats to run for Congress. He smartly recruited relatively conservative Democrats in many districts that helped Nancy Pelosi to become Speaker of the House. This greatly expanded the coalition known as Blue Dog Democrats. They stayed in office and actually grew in number in 2008. These were the people who enabled Pelosi and her team to pass Obamacare in the House. While writing the bill in the Senate they had to pay attention to getting the votes of these House members along with conservative Democrats like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
These members were jittery about the bill. They would never want the health care system totally turned over to the federal government. These people were not like Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman who actually believe the federal government works well. They were small-government Democrats. Of course they are now gone from Congress. After being used as cannon fodder by Pelosi, the Blue Dogs have shrunk from 52 members to 19 currently.
Third, people in support of the bill never thought that 36 states would not form their own exchange. In fact they thought the opposite. Comments that were made by MIT Professor of Economics Jonathan Gruber (a paid consultant regarding the drafting of ACA to the tune of $392,600) support this thinking. By now you have likely seen what he stated at the time: Whats important politically about this is if youre a state and you dont set up an exchange, that means your citizens (residents professor, people are residents of a state, citizens of a country) dont get their tax credits but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So youre essentially saying to your citizens, Youre going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. Gruber now disavows what he said, indicating it was a speako. His statement seems crystal clear to me except for the misuse of the word citizen. But that is now inconvenient so he uses liberals favorite friend again, Emily Litella (Gilda Radner), as they say Never Mind.
Last is the issue of how this rule was promulgated. After the legislation was found wholly inadequate, the IRS -- Americas favorite bureaucracy determined that it was the right of the federal exchange to hand out subsidies. Forget that this is another blatant political act by the IRS. The defenders of their action hang their hats on a 1984 Fourth Circuit court ruling (Chevron vs. NRDC). It says that where there's an ambiguity that's interpreted by the government agency in charge of Administering that law, the agency must be given deference unless its interpretation is wildly improper. This means -- we dont understand the plain English of the law or we dont like the plain English so we can make any interpretation we wish as a bureaucracy to further our existence as long as someone cannot muster millions of dollars to sue us. In effect, if you believe this ruling, every law enacted by Congress is open to whatever the bureaucrats believe it says. If there ever was a need for the Supreme Court to stomp on something here it is.
The legislation clearly states what it states subsidies come through state exchanges. There is no contrary evidence in the bill and no evidence of intent (as if that matters) that it was otherwise. There is no ambiguity. Now that their ice cream sundae has turned to a puddle of goo they want to change reality to meet their needs. The Supreme Court should straighten them out and fast.
“Fudged” my eye. They lied and lied some more. That’s all they ever do.
“Fudged the Truth” as in,lied?
Left-wingers believe that every advertisement ever placed in the media “fudges the truth.” That’s how they rationalize their own constant lying.
And let’s not forget about the territories (e.g. Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.) that don’t have to implement ObamaCare at all. I’d like to know why the Democrats feel the US have substandard insurance policies and not the territories.
DemonRats”Fudge”Truth?They wouldn’t know The Truth if it bit them in the A$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wonder how many millions have been given out by the IRS to Health insurance providers on behalf Obamacare federal exchange customers? If the IRS actions are overturned Who will sue who? Big insurance vs IRS? Policy holders vs IRS? Policy holders vs Big insurance? Stay tuned folks this could get ugly.
Typical LIB/DIMs...liars. Liars lie. That is what they do.
Apparently there was a Bill produced by the Senate which did include subsidies for the Federal Exchanges which was dropped before the Act was passed. If the plain language of the Statute is not dispositive then the Court looks at Congressional intent. If a draft of the law contained language which was subsequently dropped from the final version then The Supreme Court has said that it will interpret that as intent by Congress not to include that language. As long as USSC follows their own rules of interpretation this looks like a slam dunk.
Of course anything could happen with Roberts in charge.
Excuse me sir, what planet am I on.
They sell bindles marked “Obamacare”?
"We moved our base camp last night and were now positioned literally
within feet of the river. Have been sitting here watching the border
patrol patrolling in their riverboats all night and all morning..."
If you like your Heroin, you can keep your Heroin!
Then again all parties can sue HHS. Doubt the Democrat party can be sued.
DemonRats lie, they can can’t help it, because it comes natural to them