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Thread: Yet another ACA Federal case. This could be the biggest one yet.

  1. #1
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    Default Yet another ACA Federal case. This could be the biggest one yet.

    http://jonathanturley.org/latest-column/

    GOODBYE HOBBY LOBBY, HELLO HALBIG: GET READY FOR AN EVEN GREATER THREAT TO OBAMACARE

    by Jonathan Turley

    Below is my column today in the Los Angeles Times on a little discussed case that presents a far greater threat to Obamacare than did Hobby Lobby. The Hobby Lobby case is a huge blow for the Administration in terms of one of the most prominent provisions of the Act and recognizing religious rights for corporations. However, it is more of a fender bender for the ACA. Halbig could be a train wreck of a case if it goes against the Administration. We are expecting a ruling any day and the panel is interesting: Judges Harry T. Edwards (a Carter appointee), Thomas B. Griffith (a George W. Bush appointee), and A. Raymond Randolph (a George H.W. Bush appointee). In oral argument, Edwards was reportedly highly supportive of the Administration’s argument while Randolph was very skeptical. That leaves Griffith. It could go 2-1 either way, though in my view the interpretive edge goes to the challengers for the reasons discussed below.

    Now that the Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, the legal fight over the Affordable Care Act will shift a few blocks away to another Washington courtroom, where a far more fundamental challenge to Obamacare is about to be decided by the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Indeed, if Hobby Lobby will create complications for Obamacare, Halbig vs. Burwell could trigger a full cardiac arrest.

    The Halbig case challenges the massive federal subsidies in the form of tax credits made available to people with financial need who enroll in the program. In crafting the act, Congress created incentives for states to set up health insurance exchanges and disincentives for them to opt out. The law, for example, made the subsidies available only to those enrolled in insurance plans through exchanges “established by the state.”

    But despite that carrot — and to the great surprise of the administration — some 34 states opted not to establish their own exchanges, leaving it to the federal government to do so. This left the White House with a dilemma: If only those enrollees in states that created exchanges were eligible for subsidies, a huge pool of people would be unable to afford coverage, and the entire program would be in danger of collapse.

    - more -
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  2. #2
    Senior Member GaryJ's Avatar
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    This is going to get real interesting. Thanks for the post.
    What if all we have today is what we gave thanks for yesterday?

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    Senior Member BonMallari's Avatar
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    another crack in the dam .....the courts are going to be busy in the next two years
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    Senior Member .44 magnum's Avatar
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    Always thought Obama Care was UN-Constitutional...
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    The problem with that case is that it will also hinge on "intent" of the legislators. Those who did vote for the ACA bill definitely don't care whether the subsidies go through Fed or state exchanges. I'd say their "intent" clearly was to subsidize anybody who had the income qualifications. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I'm figuring that the decision will come down in favor of the law on that one due to the "intent" of the legislators.

    I'm more interested in seeing whether something can be done about the way the Senate gutted the bill. The process used by the Senate threatens the integrity every revenue bill the House ever passes. The House was intended to hold the purse strings, and in passing ACA the Senate grabbed those purse strings and passed something the House never approved. I understand that the process has been used before, but not sure that it has ever been done with a revenue bill before.
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    We can only hope this is the nail in the coffin of this horrible law
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    The problem with that case is that it will also hinge on "intent" of the legislators. Those who did vote for the ACA bill definitely don't care whether the subsidies go through Fed or state exchanges. I'd say their "intent" clearly was to subsidize anybody who had the income qualifications. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I'm figuring that the decision will come down in favor of the law on that one due to the "intent" of the legislators.

    I'm more interested in seeing whether something can be done about the way the Senate gutted the bill. The process used by the Senate threatens the integrity every revenue bill the House ever passes. The House was intended to hold the purse strings, and in passing ACA the Senate grabbed those purse strings and passed something the House never approved. I understand that the process has been used before, but not sure that it has ever been done with a revenue bill before.
    Hopefully the supremes, if it has to go that far, tells congress to go back and write the law correctly if they in fact want the law. They have done that before on other decisions if not mistaken. Think congress will get right on that homework assignment?
    Southland Dixe's Hunter Boy, JH (Hunter)
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    Senior Member GaryJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    The problem with that case is that it will also hinge on "intent" of the legislators. Those who did vote for the ACA bill definitely don't care whether the subsidies go through Fed or state exchanges. I'd say their "intent" clearly was to subsidize anybody who had the income qualifications. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I'm figuring that the decision will come down in favor of the law on that one due to the "intent" of the legislators.

    I'm more interested in seeing whether something can be done about the way the Senate gutted the bill. The process used by the Senate threatens the integrity every revenue bill the House ever passes. The House was intended to hold the purse strings, and in passing ACA the Senate grabbed those purse strings and passed something the House never approved. I understand that the process has been used before, but not sure that it has ever been done with a revenue bill before.
    You are correct. IMHO it has been an issue since the 17th Amendment (1913) when the senators were no longer appointed by their state legislature and started to be elected by the people just like congress.
    What if all we have today is what we gave thanks for yesterday?

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