Saturday, November 8, 2014

Supreme Court To Rule On Obamacare... Again

The Supreme Court's decision to take up the pernicious King v. Burwell case, following on the heels of the Republican victories in the mid-term elections, is causing many observers to wonder if this is the moment the five Republican justices have been waiting for to sabotage the Obama administration's signature health insurance law.

From TPM:
The Supreme Court announced on Friday it will hear a lawsuit that seeks to cripple Obamacare by invalidating federal subsidies for millions of Americans. 
In a surprising move, the justices agreed to have the final word on a challenge to the legality of federal subsidies in 36 states which declined to build their own state-run exchanges and handed some or all of the task over to the federal government. 
The decision is troubling news for the White House, which wanted to resolve the case in the lower courts so the Supreme Court wouldn't have to weigh in. [snip]
The plaintiffs allege that the plain text of the Affordable Care Act confines the subsidies to "an Exchange established by the State" but not the federal exchange which serves residents of states that didn't build one. 
We know four "justices" (Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Kennedy) previously wanted to rule the Affordable Care Act's (Obamacare) individual mandate unconstitutional in 2012;  Chief Justice Roberts unexpectedly sided with the Court's four progressive justices to save the fledgling act.  It's unclear that would be the case this time around, even though the plaintiff's suit is based on the debunked notion that Congress wanted subsidies only to apply to state-run health insurance exchanges.

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a pretty ominous take on the law's future.  Worth a read.

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