Tag: Halbig

“Accidental Transparency,” or “Nemesis Exacts Her Retribution on Jonathan Gruber. Again”

 

In the wake of a mini-scandal in which Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber committed another Kinsley gaffe, he went on friendly MSNBC yesterday and did a non-apology apology, saying he regretted speaking off the cuff, but not a word of regret about being accomplice to an economy-destroying series of lies.

This is sort of like his previous caught-on-video “speak-o” regarding the question of subsidies (which is going before the Supreme Court) where he claims to have just misspoken that one time, and then of course immediately after that, the fates conspired to reveal a second video where he made the same “speak-o.” Oops.

Obamacare Architect Confesses

 

Jonathan Gruber is known as one of the architects of Obamacare. Soon, he might be known as the guy who brought it tumbling down.

Last summer, as a federal appeals court considered Halbig vs. Burwell, a 2012 video surfaced of Gruber denying the Obama administration’s current position on the issue. HHS insisted that exchanges “established by the State” was a mere “typo;” Gruber’s old video insisted that precise phrasing was by design. The court ruled against the administration, creating panic among the progressive commentariat.

Will the Newest Obamacare Challenge Succeed at the Supreme Court?

 

I’ve been asked a lot recently what I think of the Supreme Court’s decision to take up King v. Burwell, one of the legal challenges to the IRS’s decision to allow tax credits and subsidies to be applied to federal insurance exchanges, even though the text of the law seems to indicate that they’re only allowed on exchanges established by the states. I think the chances are high that the administration will lose because:

1. The plain text of the statute denies subsidies to people who live in states without an exchange. This reading is not absurd, because it creates a powerful incentive for states to create an exchange in the first place. The obvious meaning of the text should only be discarded if it creates absurd or ridiculous results. We shouldn’t discount the possibility that the Justices just want to do the right thing!

Liberal Commentators Unserious and Undemocratic Response to Halbig

 

Liberal commentators endorse a peculiar method of statutory interpretation to support their claim that Obamacare (“the ACA”) provides for subsidies on both State and Federal Exchanges. They argue that the private intent of specific legislators and even staffers should replace the plain text of the statute. This method of interpretation would prove unworkable and inconsistent with democratic norms.

In one particularly egregious example of this argument, the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent cites a draft of Obamacare that was passed by a Senate committee but never became law. This unpassed version of the law explicitly authorized subsidies on Federal Exchanges. Sargent claims this version of the law embodies Congress’s “true intent.” He wants courts to ignore the bill that was actually passed and to effectuate the supposed will of Congress.