The next big case related to Obamacare, Halbig v. Burwell, is sitting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The verdict should be announced soon. The crux of the case lies in the wording of the actual bill of Obamacare, which specifically lists state exchanges as a source of subsidies.
There is no mention of federal exchanges in Obamacare. This was created merely by an IRS rule authorizing the subsidies in federal exchanges.
Regardless of the outcome of the case (for a primer, click here), here’s the salient point to take away.
When you look at the plain wording of the actual bill, it really doesn’t make any sense (common sense). Here we have a perfect example of the Democrats trying — and ultimately succeeding — to push something through without looking at it or even carefully thinking through the implications of the words and provisions.
Obamacare was drafted badly, and they couldn’t even get it corrected the proper way because of the crookedness by which it was passed. Now we have a stupid mistake that the judiciary is being asked to fix. And that’s the problem.
What the government is asking the courts to do is to ignore the literal wording of the law. On the other hand, if the literal wording is indeed upheld, the immediate effect of a reversal is going to be extremely terrible.
Think about it. The IRS will have to go after people for refunds of tax credits. That will be a messy and slow and heated endeavor. Many people, especially poor people, are going to argue that they wouldn’t have used Obamacare insurance if it wasn’t for the subsidies. Not sure if that scenario is ultimately good for conservative or libertarians either, because it certainly sets up the sound-byte narratives that conservatives and libertarians want to “take away your health care”, “they hate the poor, etc”. Is it worth it?
My heart of hearts wants literal side to win, but at the same time, I’m not entirely convinced that its the best thing in the long run. Yet, if the government wins, it reinforces the precedent we’ve been seeing that it is okay to ignore the actual wording of the law, much in the same fashion that the wording of the Constitution is being ignored in some instances.
This case perfectly highlights the stupidity and utter disdain for which the Democrats have of procedure and law.