It is interesting to listen to the left-wing remonstrations against the argument that we should blow up Obamacare, if we can, and start over. These same Obama administration defenders have no qualms about the fact that he blew up the U.S. health care system in order, supposedly, to make health insurance available to those who didn’t have it.
That being said, George Will has interesting item in yesterday’s Washington Post, which he touched on briefly in last night’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Will notes there are four little words “that threaten disaster for the ACA.” Those words are “established by the state,” and they appear in the portion of the law’s language that specifies the manner in which subsidies will be administered to qualifying enrollees. In other words, “subsidies shall be available to persons who purchase health insurance in an exchange ‘established by the state’.” But, as Will notes, 34 states have chosen not to establish exchanges.
Don’t think the administration hasn’t already released its hounds to challenge this seemingly fatal glitch.
[T]he IRS has said, with its breezy indifference to legality, that subsidies shall also be dispensed to those who purchase insurance through federal exchanges the government has established in those 34 states.
Oklahoma is one of the states that has not established an exchange, and its Attorney General, E. Scott Pruitt, is challenging the IRS ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Similar challenge, Will writes, are taking place in Indiana, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
The IRS argues that its “interpretation” of the law (which, Will notes, is actually is a revision) is “consistent with,” and justified by, the “structure of” the ACA. But that claim certainly clashes with the ACA’s legislative history, which demonstrates that “Congress clearly — and, one might say, with malice aforethought — wanted subsidies available only through state exchanges.”
Yet another flaw in one of the sloppiest and least popular pieces of legislation ever written.