Obamacare

Shocker: GAO sting reveals Obamacare fraud

Featured image The National Journal reports on a sting operation conducted by the Government Accounting Office to test the strength of Obamacare’s eligibility-verification system. To no one’s surprise, the verification system failed the test. Fake applicants were able to get subsidized insurance coverage in 11 of 18 attempts. The total amount of the subsidies for the 11 approved applications was about $2,500 per month. The investigators created fake identities by inventing Social »

Drafting error vs. poor draftsmanship

Featured image Obamacare by its express and unambiguous terms limits Obamacare subsidies to people using health care exchanges “established by the State.” Thus, subsidies to people in the federal exchange are not permitted, as these exchanges obviously are not established by the State. However couched, the argument that subsidies should nonetheless accrue to people in the federal exchange boils down to the notion that the limiting language of the statute is the »

What’s next after Obamacare’s defeat in Halbig v. Burwell? [updated]

Featured image As Steve has noted, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia today invalidated the IRS regulation that provides for insurance subsidies to millions of lower-income Americans using the federal Obamacare exchanges. The ruling means that in 36 states, Obamacare subsidies will not be available, making its insurance coverage unaffordable to many Americans and potentially crashing the system. The Court’s ruling, by a vote of 2-1, is clearly correct. »

Dueling Appellate Court Opinions on Obamacare: Where Do We Go From Here?

Featured image This morning, as Steve noted earlier, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held, in Halbig v. Burwell, that the Affordable Care Act does not permit the federal government to subsidize persons who enroll in exchanges run by the federal government, as opposed to a state. Just two hours later, a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way on exactly the same issue »

Breaking: Obamacare Takes Torpedo Below the Water Line

Featured image Wish I had time to get through the just issued DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down the IRS twisting of the Obamacare statute’s clear language on state-based exchanges (I’m at the Reagan Library all this week doing a Gipper 101 course for high school teachers—see photo nearby of Sunday night’s opening talk—and I have to be off momentarily for this morning’s classes), but this looks to be HUGE, »

Legislation trumps administrative regulation, left irate

Featured image Lost in the sound and fury coming from the left in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby is this point, made in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle by Emmett C. Stanton: People choose to forget that when Obamacare passed so narrowly, it was in large part because the administration misled pro-life Democrats about its abortion and abortifacient coverage. The legislation never would have passed if »

Shocker: Obamacare exchanges not properly checking eligibility

Featured image The Washington Post reports that “the new health insurance marketplaces run by the federal government and some states are not checking carefully enough that Americans who apply for health plans qualify for the coverage and federal subsidies to help pay for it, according to federal investigators.” Is this evidence of incompetence and/or lack of resources? Perhaps. But you could also argue that the marketplaces are running essentially as they were »

Hobby Lobby and the shape of things to come

Featured image What are the implications of today’s Hobby Lobby decision for challenges by non-profit religious institutions, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, to Obamacare’s mandate that they facilitate the free distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients to any of their employees who desire them? Professor Mark Rienzi, who together with the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty has been litigating these sorts of religious liberty cases against the Justice Department, offers »

Supreme misery for the left [or not]

Featured image The Supreme Court today issued its final two decisions of the term. One of them constitutes a clear defeat for the left. The other looks like a minor defeat. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Court held that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The five center-right Justices formed the majority for that proposition. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court, again with the »

Obamacare Delenda Est

Featured image With the cascade of Administration scandals and the serial ineptitude of Obama’s foreign policy, it is easy to lose sight of the central issue that should swing a lot of the close Senate races this fall.  In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a 90-second video that makes the point elegantly: Democrats lied about Obamacare. And they’re not about to “fix” it. »

Social Science Abstract of the Week

Featured image Everyone who is awake knows that the labor force participation rate is at a 35-year low, making the real unemployment rate much higher than the “official” number of 6.3 percent reported this morning.  Now see this from Science magazine‘s roundup of notable journal articles this week, posted without comment, as none is necessary: Public health insurance costs jobs? Gilbert Chin What is the relationship between employment rates and access to public health »

The IRS lays down the law of Obamacare

Featured image New York Times health care reporter Robert Pear brings the latest news of Obamacare, courtesy of the IRS. Obamacare was signed into law in March 2010, yet four years later this comes as something of a surprise: Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the »

Obamacare: Who Could Have Seen This Coming?

Featured image Really, who could have seen this coming?  From today’s Wall Street Journal: ER Visits Rise Despite Health Law Health Act Isn’t Cutting Emergency Volume So Far; Government Says It’s Too Early to Draw Conclusions The only thing wrong with the main headline is its accuracy; it should of course read “ER Visits Rise Because of Health Law.”  Anyway: Early evidence suggests that emergency rooms have become busier since the Affordable »

Nunn-the-wiser

Featured image Scott noted yesterday that Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for the Senate in Georgia, says she does not — indeed, cannot — know whether she would have voted for Obamacare. This is an odd and unsatisfactory answer. Yet, it might well be true. Nunn would have voted as Harry Reid instructed her. And Nunn cannot know for sure whether Reid would have demanded her vote or given her a pass »

So Michelle Nunn says…

Featured image Michelle Nunn is the Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia. Unfortunately, she appears to be a strong candidate. She uses her name to hide behind her positions on some key issues. We don’t yet know who the Republican nominee will be, but whoever he or she is, the candidate will be able to answer this question: Would you have supported the enactment of Obamacare? To Nunn the question (raised by »

The mutual lies of Obamacare

Featured image During last year’s budget negotiations, Senate and House Republicans warned that many Obamacare enrollees would provide false information about their income in order to obtain subsidies to which they are not entitled. In response, HHS Secretary Sebelius (remember her?) promised to put in place a system through which the government would thoroughly vet the salary information submitted by applicants for coverage. That promise was a predicate — or if you’re »

Lies of Obamacare

Featured image Reuters reports the filing of a notable Obamacare-related lawsuit against Blue Shield of California: Consumers who purchased new health plans from Blue Shield of California have sued the insurer, claiming they were misled into thinking the insurance would cover their desired doctors and hospitals. Reuters doesn’t bother to point out the similarity of the allegations against Blue Shield to Barack Obama’s incessantly repeated falsehoods promoting the enactment of Obamacare. But »