Recent news coverage concerning Obamacare’s legal difficulties has been dominated by King v. Burwell, which challenges the controversial IRS decision to issue subsidies and penalties through federally created insurance exchanges in 34 states that refused set up PPACA “marketplaces.” The Supreme Court announced last month that it would take up King, and it will hear oral arguments in March. The alacrity with which the Court took up the case, upon which it will hand down a ruling in June, has rendered the law’s supporters nearly hysterical. But King is by no means the only legal threat Obamacare will face next year.
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My youngest daughter just joined the ever-increasing number of Americans who have lost their health coverage due to Obamacare. She received a letter from her insurance carrier indicating that the individual policy with which she was eminently satisfied, and that she could more or less afford, would no longer be available after the end of the year. In its place, the insurer offered a plan whose premiums will be nearly double what she has been paying for the cancelled policy. Her monthly premium was $127. The premium for the replacement policy, if she can find no alternative, will be $243.
The scariest words uttered during Jonathan Gruber’s recent appearance before the House Oversight Committee were “positive selection.” They were read aloud by Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, from a 1997 paper the professor co-authored concerning abortion. The opus in question made the Congressman uneasy because of the following passage: “By 1993 all cohorts under the age 19 were born under legalized abortion and we estimate steady state savings of $1.6 billion per year from positive selection.” Rep. Massie asked the professor what was meant by “positive selection.” This question was evidently not anticipated in Gruber’s pre-testimony coaching, so he became evasive.
For years, the Washington press corps has been telling us that our medical delivery system was antiquated and unable to meet the needs of its 21st century customers. The journalists of the legacy media frequently suggested that opposition to a government-imposed solution to this very real problem was rooted in ignorance, irrational fear of change, or venality. Over the past several days, we have had the opportunity to observe some of these people react to a similar upheaval in their own industry, and the response has been instructive. Oddly enough, they have exhibited a surprising affinity for the status quo.
An important point has been buried in the avalanche of commentary about Jonathan Gruber’s indictment of the electorate as intellectually deficient. The “father of Obamacare,” as he was known in his salad days, inadvertently acquitted nearly half of us with his reference to “the stupidity of the American voter.” The professor’s condescending comments can only apply to those people who actually believed the empty promises our President made on behalf of his health care “reform” law. A large plurality of the voters always knew that Obama, his congressional accomplices, and creepy little hirelings like Jonathan Gruber were lying to us.
The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear a lawsuit challenging an arbitrary IRS decision to issue tax credits and penalties through federally created Obamacare exchanges. Two federal courts have already declared the regulation unconstitutional, but a third court ruled that the IRS has acted within its authority. It was this ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that prompted the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell to file an appeal with the high court. If the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration in this case, it could well be the undoing of the much-reviled health care law.
What would happen if you ignored multiple requests from your employer to stop wasting time on your pet project and instead concentrate on a higher priority task? You would be fired, of course. There are six U.S. Senators up for reelection tomorrow who richly deserve to lose their jobs for that very offense. Throughout 2009 and early 2010 they refused to listen when their employers — the voters — demanded that they stop meddling in health care and focus on the economy. With the voices of protest reverberating in their ears, these cynical pols voted to foist Obamacare on an unwilling electorate.
The folks at Media Matters for America are angry at the press. In a sublimely ironic post, Eric Boehlert fumes, “As Republicans seek to gain a partisan advantage by ginning up fear about the Ebola virus… they’re getting a major assist from the news media.” Boehlert believes that media coverage of Ebola has abetted the GOP’s low designs by creating the “unfair” impression that the Obama administration is somehow incompetent. “If the news media's job is to educate, and especially to clarify during times of steep public concerns, then the news media have utterly failed during the Ebola threat.”
It has occasionally been claimed that the Civil War began not at Fort Sumter in South Carolina but on the banks of a small creek in Kansas, where John Brown and his sons murdered five men in what later became known as the “Pottawatomie massacre.” Today, a less grisly civil war is being fought throughout that state between disgruntled supporters of Tea Party candidate Milton Wolf and “establishment” Republicans working to reelect Senator Pat Roberts, who defeated Wolf in a hard-fought GOP primary. This internecine conflict may well prevent the Republicans from regaining a majority in the U.S. Senate.
The Supreme Court begins a new term today, which means the justices will soon have to decide whether to hear King v. Burwell, a lawsuit challenging an arbitrary IRS edict that tax credits and penalties will be issued through federally created Obamacare exchanges. It is always risky to make predictions about the Court, but it is quite plausible that the justices will accept this case. Two federal courts, including one in Oklahoma last week, have already declared the IRS decree unconstitutional and the Roberts Court has demonstrated a marked aversion for the very kind of bureaucratic lawmaking that provoked this lawsuit.