Obamacare subsidy case could be reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court (Narottam Medhora and Amrutha Penumudi, Reuters, MSN News) The petition has been filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is coordinating and funding the cases, filed the petition, according to the not-for-profit’s website. Reuters says about 5 million people could be affected, about half of all ACA insureds according to recent estimates. See also next article.
Courts Disagree About Subsidies on ObamaCare’s Federal Exchange (Michael Tennant, New American) Repeated from WWRT ‘behind the wall’ 27 July. Two federal courts have ruled on opposite sides of the same question: Are subsidies legal for Obamacare insurance policies obtained through the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov? The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that “the ACA [Affordable Care Act] unambiguously restricts the … subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges ‘established by the State.'” The same day, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Richmond) panel unanimously reached the opposite conclusion that the federal exchange subsidies were permitted under the law.
Econintersect: The key to us is the wording of the statute which has the term “established by the State“. One of the definitions of the word “state” in the Oxford Dictionary (and the first that refers to government) is: “A nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government: Germany, Italy, and other European states.” We attach particular significance to the capitalization of the word “State”. The law does not say “a state” or “one of the states”. It is the most logical interpretation that the intent of the wording was the dictionary definition of state and the capitalization of the word is clear emphasis of that.
This case is frivolous in our opinion and it is a sad commentary that the courts did not treat it as such and dismiss it. The fact that two out of six federal judges not only did not see the question as frivolous but rendered an opinion that supported a contrived contention is a condemnation of our politicized justice system. Because two circuit courts have rendered opposing positions the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) must take this case (unless they send the cases back to the circuit courts for further consideration which is probably the best course of action). If the case is not referred then we will see another test of the literacy (or illiteracy) of the justices on full display.
In the following discussion we do not argue ACA is the best law (or even a good law, although it is could be argued that the situation prior to the law was worse).
What will be next? Will someone file a suit to disband the U.S. Department of State because it is a usurpation of states’ rights and an improper use of the word “State” in reference to the federal government? Or maybe petition to have the department renamed?
Is there any doubt that the word state, especially when capitalized within a sentence is a correct designation of the federal government as an entity? And is there any non-frivoilous reason to question that the designation also covers any and all components of the federal government as well?
Isn’t the word “State” as written in the PPACA of 2010 as clear and concise a statement as could have been made?
I invite any who would disagree with the opinions expressed here to communicate with Econintersect. We will publish dissenting opinions as a public service.