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It’s Alive!

Obamacare survives its second court challenge, and it wasn’t even close. By 6-3, the Supreme Court sided with Obama that federal subsidies are legal. Although Republicans spoke angrily about the decision, they would have been in quite a pickle if the case against the ACA had won. Millions of Americans would have lost their health insurance subsidies, and they would have blamed the Republicans for it.



  1. Hassan wrote:

    Strictly from legal point of view, leaving our biases aside, I still cannot understand legal justification of 6 votes in favor of it. Can government interpret law however it wants?

    This case will set wrong precedence in future for supreme court to rule on things that will not be liked by liberals.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    There is absolutely no precedent being set here, despite what Fox News says. The entire case was based on one typo, which was contradicted throughout the rest of the law. This kind of thing has come up before, and when the intention of the law is clear, the decision is also clear. Interpreting the entire law based on that one typo would have been the dangerous precedent.

    If the case were reversed, I would have agreed with a decision against a law I like. In fact, I already have. I believe it is clear that the second amendment gives people the right to own guns, and yet its wording is ambiguous. So I support second amendment rights, even though I am personally against guns. I also supported the ACLU when they defended the free speech rights of neo-nazi groups, even though I strongly disagree with those groups.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink
  3. Hassan wrote:

    IK, I hope you are correct, but I see this case being used endlessly for wrong purpose (I did not watch fox news to tell me this is what can happen). Roberts even though ruled in favor of it, but he acknowledged that is extremely poorly written law passed by reconciliation process.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  4. il-08 wrote:

    Republican lead SCOTUS ruled in favour of ACA because it would have been political suicide for the republican party if they had ruled against. Republicans in congress would have faced the choice of either fixing ACA against the wishes of their base or allowing xx million people lose their health insurance and giving the dems a huge election issue. The court is more political than any since the Nazis. (had to get that in there).

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink
  5. Peter wrote:

    The court is more political than any since the Nazis.

    You know who also had universal healthcare? Yup. Nazis.

    (No idea if this is true, but I watch enough Fox News to know you never let the truth get in the way of a good line.)

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  6. Kyle Shoe wrote:

    This decision was an example of judicial conservatism. The Court interpreted the statute in such a way as to carry out the legislature’s intent. ‘“A provision that may seem ambiguous inisolation is often clarified by the remainder of the statu- tory scheme . . . because only one of the permissible meanings produces a substantive effect that is compatible with the rest of the law.” United Sav. Assn. of Tex. v. Timbers of Inwood Forest Associates, Ltd., 484 U. S. 365, 371 (1988). Here, the statutory scheme compels us to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a FederalExchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” thatCongress designed the Act to avoid. See New York State Dept. of Social Servs. v. Dublino, 413 U. S. 405, 419–420 (1973) (“We cannot interpret federal statutes to negate their own stated purposes.”).’ 576 U. S. ____ (2015) at 15.

    This is only a small snippet from a much larger, more thorough opinion. Basically, the Court isn’t going to allow an ambiguity in the text defeat the purpose of the entire law, when that purpose is clear when seen in context.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink
  7. Hassan wrote:

    But was not intent of legislation to make states have their own exchanges, otherwise left out of subsidy benefits?

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    No, the ACA *allows* states to set up their own exchanges, but also allows them to punt and use a federal exchange. Disallowing subsidies in the latter case wouldn’t punish the state for not setting up an exchange, it would punish people who need insurance. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
  9. Hassan wrote:

    I think this guys knows more than all of us what was intent

    Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink
  10. Kyle Shoe wrote:

    Hassan, your point in #7 is exactly the argument that the Court rejected. If you read the opinion, you’ll see Roberts’ reasoning as to why he found that overall intent of the legislation was to basically expand insurance coverage, whether through state run exchanges or federal exchanges. The entire statutory scheme doesn’t work if the subsidies are only going to people who buy plans through state exchanges.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  11. Hassan wrote:

    KYLE SHOE, see video link in point 9.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  12. Iron Knee wrote:

    Hassan, Gruber may have *helped* write the bill, but that does not mean that his opinion is more valid than the Congress-critters who passed it.

    Plus, when this video came out, Gruber himself denied that is what he meant. The point he was trying to make was that people would only get a subsidy if they bought their insurance from an exchange, but that it didn’t matter if the exchange was set up by the state or if the state decided to use the federal one.

    Friday, June 26, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink