The future of Barack Obama’s namesake effort to exercise the power of life and death over the American people will depend upon the outcome of 2 under-reported lawsuits, one filed in Washington DC and the other in Oklahoma City.
“This is huge,” writes George Mason University law professor Michael Greve. “If successful…[either] case will bring Obamacare’s Exchange engine to a screeching halt…In short, this is for all the marbles.”
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides tax credits and subsidies for the purchase of health insurance through exchanges that are run by “a governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a state.” To date, however, 33 states have refused to build an ObamaCare exchange so necessary to the functioning of the law. And although the ACA made a provision for recalcitrant governors and state legislators by permitting the federal government to build exchanges within their borders, it did NOT allow for federally run exchanges to provide the subsidies and tax credits without which healthcare plans would be unaffordable for the majority of businesses and individuals. “Section 1311 of ObamaCare allows tax credits to certain people in state-run exchanges, Section 1321 – the section regulating federally run exchanges – does not.”
In May of last year, Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service decided to unilaterally change the language of the ACA and override the will of Congress by ruling that the Service will have the authority to provide subsidies to ObamaCare participants from federally run exchanges. In short, the IRS rewrote the law and rescued the president’s legislation by giving itself permission to spend an estimated $800 billion taxpayer dollars over the next 10 years—dollars which were NOT authorized by Congress to be spent.
Incredibly, defenders of this IRS overreach have claimed that Congress’ decision that only states may provide subsidies is simply a “…minor drafting error that courts will and should overlook.” But many are not buying into such a pathetic and insulting argument. Last year, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed suit in federal court (Pruitt v Sebelius.) And a group of individuals and small businesses have sued in the DC District Court (Halbig v Sebelius.) Both actions challenge the right of the IRS to alter the intent of the law, thwart the will of Congress, and spend billions of tax dollars by ignoring the clear language of the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrat authors of ObamaCare fully believed that state politicians would be forced into building ObamaCare exchanges lest they be accused of withholding quality healthcare from the members of recognized victim groups around the nation. As a result, the left thought it unnecessary to provide government the authority at the federal level to offer tax credits and subsidies or to penalize and fine ObamaCare scofflaws. These powers were given exclusively to the states. And elected officials in 33 of those states will have played a major role in ending the current ObamaCare menace IF an honest judge can be found on the federal bench.
It seems to always come down to that, doesn’t it!
Photo credit: terrellaftermath