Renee Nal broke the story this morning of a U.S. appeals court’s ruling that Obamacare subsidies by the federal government cannot be handed in states without dedicated health insurance exchanges. As Megan McArdle writes ta Bloomberg View that “the language of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act plainly says that subsidies are only available on exchanges established by states,” adding:
The government argued that this was ridiculous; when you consider the law in its totality, it said, the federal government obviously never meant to exclude federally operated exchanges from the subsidy pool, because that would gut the whole law. The appeals court disagreed with the government, 2-1. Somewhere in the neighborhood of five million people may lose their subsidies as a result. When you read through the ruling, it’s easy to see the many ways in which the law’s architects brought this on themselves. The law was highly complex, badly drafted, and highly controversial….
The problem, as the justices point out in their brief, is that the government has done just that. Federal territories are subject to the mandates, but they don’t get subsidies.
As Renee goes on to point out, this unforced error could very well be a death blow to the entire fiasco that the country has come to know — and hate — as Obamacare.
LU’s Mike Dorstewitz was reminded of Nancy Pelosi’s ridiculous advice back in 2010 that Congress would have to pass the Affordable Care Act before Americans could find out what was in it. Mike shares this tweet: