The Gruber variations

Featured image On Morning Joe yesterday, the crew assessed the veracity of the Obama administration against the page-two Wall Street Journal story that I quoted and commented on in “From the mixed-up files of Jonathan Gruber.” On MSNBC a good time was had by all. Kudos to Joe Scarborough for picking up the story and to his sidekick Mika for playing it relatively straight. As for the rest, this is an unimpressive »

From the mixed-up files of Jonathan Gruber

Featured image You have to wonder if the Obama administration has ever uttered a true word about Obamacare. I say no. President Obama has shifted the prevarications into overdrive in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s imminent decision on the IRS’s regulatory revision of the Obamacare law in King v. Burwell. On the issue before the Court in the case, we await a true word from the Obama administration, but we’re not holding »

What’s the Obamacare backup plan?

Featured image Any day now, the Supreme Court will issue a decision on whether Obamacare subsidies are available to those who purchase health insurance on the federal exchange. I think the likelihood that the Court will say subsidies can’t be paid to such purchasers is a little south of 50 percent. But if the Court does decide King v. Burwell that way, millions of Americans will stand to lose their insurance subsidies. »

Question of the day

Featured image President Obama spoke to the Catholic Health Association yesterday in defense of Obamacare. The White House has posted the text of his remarks here. The White House has also posted a video of the speech (below) and an overfull Web page celebrating the deep thoughts of our Dear Leader on the subject. The New York Times story on the speech is here. The Supreme Court’s pending decision in King v. »

Obamacare in one state

Featured image Unfortunately for the people of Minnesota, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton had a free hand adopting Obamacare in Minnesota, and Minnesota has gone all in. Courtesy of Governor Dayton and a Democratic legislature, we have bought into the Medicaid expansion and all the rest. In Minnesota the Obamacare set-up runs under the rubric of MNsure. I wonder how many voters know that Minnesota has adopted Obamacare and that MNsure, c’est ça. »

Let’s call the whole thing off

Featured image The starting point of statutory construction is the language of the statute itself. If the words of a statute are clear, they are to be construed according to their plain meaning. See generally Yule Kim, Statutory Interpretation: General Principles and Recent Trends (Congressional Research Service, 2008). If the words of a statue are ambiguous, a court may resort to legislative history and other devices to construe it. The Supreme Court »

In which Rand Paul gives a snow job

Featured image This is what regular people hate about Washington: “How five Republicans let Congress keep its fraudulent Obamacare subsidies.” It’s an old story, updated most recently by Mark Leibovich in This Town. This particular case study comes to us via National Review’s Brendan Bordelon. Reading it all the way through, we achieves a highly unpleasant clarity. Bordelon reports: The rumors began trickling in about a week before the scheduled vote on »

Another Predictable Failure of Liberalism

Featured image Remember how the advocates of Obamacare said it would reduce the number of expensive emergency room visits because there’d be fewer uninsured people? Of course you knew the opposite would happen. From today’s Wall Street Journal: U.S. Emergency Room Visits Keep Climbing Emergency-room visits continued to climb in the second year of the Affordable Care Act, contradicting the law’s supporters who had predicted a decline in traffic as more people »

Justice Kennedy’s testimony about gridlock harkens back to Obamacare case

Featured image Justice Kennedy made an interesting comment today when he testified to Congress regarding the Supreme Court’s budget. Responding to a question about politically charged issues before the Court, Kennedy stated: We think an efficient, responsive legislation and executive branch in the political system will alleviate some of that pressure. We routinely decide cases involving federal statutes and we say, well, if this is wrong the Congress will fix it. But »

Michelle’s Inferno

Featured image In her most recent column, Michelle Malkin finds herself in Obamacare hell. Her column is “Obamacare’s 1095-A nightmare.” Michelle first lost her private family health insurance last year as a result of Obamacare. Michelle told the story in her 2013 column “Obama lied, my health plan died.” Founded on skein of lies, Obamacare is a well wrought engine of destruction. The ninth circle of Dante’s hell was reserved for those »

King v. Burwell, the day after

Featured image The consensus following oral argument in King v. Burwell is that the votes of two Justices are in play. Based on the questioning, it seems clear that the four-judge liberal bloc will vote to affirm the decision that Obamacare subsidies may be granted to those using the federal exchange. Justices Scalia and Alito appear set to vote to reverse that decision. Justice Thomas did not ask questions — his usual »

Triumph of the leftist will

Featured image The Supreme Court held oral argument in King v Burwell yesterday. The Supreme Court has posted the transcript of the oral argument here. At issue in King is the legality of the IRS’s provision of tax credits in Obamacare exchanges established by the federal government. As Professor Jonathan Adler writes in USA Today, the case “presents a straightforward case of statutory interpretation.” As such, it’s not a hard case; it’s »

King v. Burwell: a discouraging mid-argument report [UPDATED] [WITH FINAL UPDATE]

Featured image Eric Citron at Scotusblog provides a mid-argument report on King v. Burwell, the vital Obamacare case being heard by the Supreme Court today. According to Citron, the petitioners, who argue that subsidies are not available on the federal exchange faced a troubling question from Justice Kennedy, on whose vote the case may very well turn. Kennedy, says Citron, “expressed deep concern with a system where the statute would potentially destroy »

Meet Rich Weinstein

Featured image The legality of the mechanics of Obamacare as implemented comes before the Supreme Court for oral argument this week in King v. Burwell. The issue is one of statutory construction about as difficult (i.e.., not) as the one that came before the Court in United Steelworkers of America v. Weber. The Court got it laughably wrong in Weber. The case is important as a demonstration of how easy it is »

Talk about working the refs. . .

Featured image Today’s Washington Post features a front page story called “Faces of the subsidies case: For families relying on Affordable Care Act, court ruling could be devastating.” Just above the headline, in a picture that runs nearly the full width of the front page, we see a picture of Erin Meredith — the poster woman for the story — with her adorable five-year old daughter. The picture and the headline will »

Battle station alert on the left

Featured image William Levin is a graduate of Yale Law School, former clerk on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and former special assistant in the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel. He writes to comment on developments related to the Supreme Court’s pending decision in King v. Burwell on the legality of Obamacare subsidies provided via exchanges established by the federal government. Bill assumes that the Supreme Court will get »

Obamacare Benchwarmers Working the Refs Again

Featured image The Wall Street Journal mentions this morning that our now-socialized health care sector is filing panicked Supreme Court briefs in the upcoming King v. Burwell case that emphasize not legal arguments but the disruption to their business model if Obamacare’s state subsidies are struck down. In other words, they mostly submitted policy briefs to the Supreme Court—not legal briefs. I wonder if their lawyers gave them the appropriate policy wonk »