Obamacare

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 »

Barack Obama: Hand-washer-in-chief

Featured image Executives are supposed to deal with or avoid problems. Barack Obama, elected U.S. president with essentially no executive experience, prefers to wash his hands of them. He washed his hands of Iraq, though now he has been forced to dirty them there again. He’s trying to wash his hands of Afghanistan. He just washed his hands of Yemen, presiding over an ignominious U.S. exit during which, reportedly, American Marines turned »

The Washington Post’s dishonest attack on opponents of the Medicaid expansion

Featured image The Washington Post’s editorial board accuses the Commonwealth of Virginia (specifically its Republican legislators) of once again engaging in “massive resistance.” The editors write: Sixty years after Virginia waged a campaign of “massive resistance” against integrating its public schools, the state is once again insisting on a policy that targets its least advantaged citizens. Even as one Republican-led state after another moves to tap available federal funds for extending health »

Obama’s “measured approach” to race

Featured image President Obama is taking a “measured approach” to issues of race, according to Steven Mufson of the Washington Post. Mufson is right only in this limited sense: Obama is measuring just how much money he can transfer from white Americans to black Americans. Income redistribution is the unifying theme of Obama’s domestic agenda (the unifying theme of his overseas agenda is American retreat with major concessions to our enemies). Obamacare »

Stephanie Cutter: Gruber was an Obamacare architect

Featured image The question of whether Jonathan Gruber is an architect of Obamacare has, I think, been settled. But in case there’s any doubt, a memo by Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager in 2012, should erase it. According to Patrick Hawley of the Daily Caller, the Cutter memo was prepared in advance of Obama’s first debate with Mitt Romney. In relevant part, it states: So, what’s the net impact of »

60 Minutes does Obamacare

Featured image 60 Minutes turned its attention to Obamacare in a story reported by Lesley Stahl and produced by Rich Bonin this past Sunday. The segment promoted Steven Brill’s new book on Obamacare. According to Stahl and Brill, Obamacare’s great failure is its lack of price controls. Assuming price controls to be a great good — one of those great goods without a downside — the segment allocated no blame to Obama. »

Take Pity on the Pity Party

Featured image Don’t miss Bill Voegeli in today’s edition of The Weekly Standard on the “Liars’ Remorse” of Democrats over the ongoing albatross of Obamacare, but you should also take in the second installment of Voegeli’s conversation with Charles Kesler on The American Mind about how liberals understand “compassion,” based on his book The Pity Party (about 12 minutes): »

Schadenfreude on the Charles

Featured image Many conservatives are chuckling over this New York Times story about the impact Obamacare is having on Harvard’s health care plan: “Health Care Fixes Backed by Harvard’s Experts Now Roil Its Faculty.” Heh. It was easier to promote Obamacare when they thought it was only going to apply to others: For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits »

Obamacare and the deterioration of private health insurance

Featured image Laura Ungar and Jayne O’Donnell write in USA Today about a “reversal of fortunes” in health care. It seems that “poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through Obamacare and finally coming to [doctors] for care, but middle-class workers are increasingly staying away.” They are staying away because, according to Ungar and O’Donnell, “coverage [under employer provided health insurance plans] long considered the gold standard of health insurance now often requires »

Obamacare in 2015

Featured image Tevi Troy says that 2015 is shaping up as Obamacare’s worst year. That’s quite a statement, considering how bad a year it had in 2014 — roll-out problems, false claims of 7 million enrollees, and the defeat of congressional supporters of the legislation. The key challenge to Obamacare in 2015 will come in the Supreme Court. A defeat there would certainly make 2015 a potentially near-fatal year for Obama’s only »

About that 5% GDP Growth Rate…

Featured image Just before Christmas, the Commerce Department announced that third quarter GDP growth came in at an upwardly-revised 5% annual rate. Nearly everyone hailed this as wonderful economic news. The New York Times celebrated the apparent return to rapid growth: [H]ere, for the holidays, is the festive news: The economy roared ahead at a 5 percent annual growth rate in the July through September quarter, the fastest quarterly growth since 2003. »