The plot to kill health care

Vastly over dramatised piece on the court case coming up about Obamacare. Rains of frogs and terrors descending. Then this:

And so it comes down to this: a legal challenge based on a technicality — specifically, four words. Should subsidies be available only to exchanges “established by the states”? Or were they designed to cover the entire nation, as is obvious in the intent of the law?

Umm, no, that’s not a technicality. The law says, and one of the people who crafted it has stated that it was also meant to say, that only those who get their Obamacare through a state run exchange can have subsidies. Not people who get it through a Federal exchange.

Is that an idiot thing to have put in the law? Maybe: but blame the idiots who put it there, not the people asking that the country be run according to the rule of law.

12 thoughts on “The plot to kill health care”

  1. The chap who wrote much of it boasted on the telly that it was his intention to fool stupid people. If the NYT hires stupid people, the result follows.

  2. “as is obvious in the intent of the law?”

    That is a direct lie. It’s intent of forcing states to create exchanges was publicly discussed.

    The case against Obamacare is air tight. BUT, even though the case against the mandate was air tight, the Chief Justice invented a change in the law and ratified the mandate, so nothing is sure. Trusting the government to do the right thing is a losing bet.

  3. The intent, as others have stated, was to incentivize the states into creating exchanges: if you don’t create an exchange, you don’t get federal money.

    It’s the same way the federal government incentivized states into raising the drinking age to 21 or setting a 55 MPH speed limit (federal law has since changed) back in the 1970s.

  4. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but what exactly is the problem with having a federal exchange rather than a state-level one? Surely a federal one would mean a larger market and thus lower prices?

  5. No, the fed exchange makes no difference to prices. All health insurance (and all other) is regulated at state level so any one policy is only available in one state.

  6. Luis Enrique
    I though this was good

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/02/obamacare-and-supreme-court-0?fsrc=rss

    it’s not about whether the country is “run according the rule of law” or not, because that begs the legal question.

    This may interest you

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/08/11/another-good-reason-why-the-irs-deserves

    as a counter-argument laying out why Chevron was bad law and the court should use this opportunity to overturn it.

  7. Andrew M

    I don’t pretend to understand it all, but what exactly is the problem with having a federal exchange rather than a state-level one? Surely a federal one would mean a larger market and thus lower prices?

    Its the worst of both worlds. Right now each state is a separate market with its own regulators – that’s not going to change under PPACA.

    But then we *will* get federal regulation specifying ‘one-size-fits-all’ regulation on what is an ‘acceptable’ policy. That’s one of the biggest drivers for the massive cost increases that are already showing up. No more high deductible/low premium policies – well, they’ll still exist, they just won’t *count* for avoiding the ‘tax’ penalty (penal-tax as we call it here, thank you John Roberts).

    Its already causing massive disruption in our economy – businesses have to pay huge penalties if they don’t provide ‘acceptable’ insurance to full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees. So everybody in the retail/service sector is cutting both full-time employees and cutting hours of part-timers to ensure they don’t go over 30hr/week to avoid triggering the penalties – none of them can afford the new cost of insurance.

    A (IMO) huge reason to dump Chevron and go back to RAW is that the roll-out of this program has been a huge clusterfuck, requiring legal contortions, ‘executive orders’, and outright ignoring the law to get it to the semi-workable state its in.

    To rule that the PPACA can be run as ‘intended’ rather than as ‘instructed’ guts the last little bit of control Congress has over the executive (and the last bit of control we have over government in general).

  8. “The law says, *and one of the people who crafted it has stated* that it was also meant to say, …”

    Is that permissible evidence in the US as to what the law actually means? I’ve no idea btw.

  9. Andrew M

    I don’t pretend to understand it all, but what exactly is the problem with having a federal exchange rather than a state-level one?

    ================

    The law, as written, and documented to be intended, specifies that subsidies to indigent signees can only be paid through signup through state exchanges, not Federal exchanges. Yet Die Führer Obama has declared that subsidies will be paid by the Federal exchange, in total disregard of the law.

    The denial of subsidies was a tool to prod states into setting up exchanges, yet over 30 chose not to.

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