“he Department of Housing and Urban Development is under investigation into whether the agency violated appropriations laws by promoting the Affordable Care Act.”

“Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is considering expanding health coverage for the poor without the approval of the state legislature, a move that would muscle his top priority past Republican opponents but also throw his young administration into a partisan firestorm and uncertain legal territory.”

“Liberals keep dismissing challenges to ObamaCare, political and legal, so it’s no surprise they mostly ignored last week’s oral argument at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that could send another case to the Supreme Court. Coming in the week the White House wheeled out its 38th rewrite of the law, Halbig v. Sebelius is even more important for the contours of executive power and the rule of law.”

“House Republicans have called the White House’s bluff on Obamacare’s mandate that requires everyone to buy health insurance. And Democrats are mad.

On Friday, House Republicans approved a bipartisan deal to end the threat of a 24 percent pay cut for physicians treating Medicare patients. After a decade of delaying ever-increasing reductions called for by the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, it is clear that Congress will find some way to avoid hitting doctors this hard in an election year.”

“A federal appeals court in Denver sided with Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. on Thursday in its legal battle against part of the Affordable Care Act. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals moved to reverse a lower court’s decision to deny Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.’s quest for an injunction against part of the Affordable Care Act that requires it to cover the cost of emergency contraceptives for some of its employees.”

“The complaint focuses on the law’s distribution of federal subsidies for Americans to purchase insurance, and whether people can get them if they live in one of the 33 states that have refused to set up their own insurance exchanges and have left that task up to the federal government.”

“Facing increasing losses in federal courts over Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, the Department of Health & Human Services last week promulgated a rule to expand exemptions for religious nonprofits. That sounds good, but what the government is actually doing is a sort of accounting shell game: employers will no longer have to pay for the products/services to which they objects, but the government requires them to contract with an insurance company that the government then requires to provide these products/services to employees who want them ‘for free.'”

“A willow, not an oak. So said conservatives of Chief Justice John Roberts when he rescued the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a.k.a. Obamacare — from being found unconstitutional. But the manner in which he did this may have made the ACA unworkable, thereby putting it on a path to ultimate extinction.”

“After losing a last-minute appeal to the Supreme Court, craft stores chain Hobby Lobby said it would defy a federal healthcare mandate requiring employers to provide their workers with insurance that covers emergency contraceptives. The Oklahoma City-based chain, owned by a conservative Christian family, had applied to the high court to block a part of the federal healthcare law ordering companies to offer insurance that covers contraceptive drugs, including the so-called morning-after pill.”

“Thus, having transformed the individual mandate into a tax, the court may face renewed challenges to ObamaCare on uniformity grounds. The justices will then confront a tough choice. Having earlier reinterpreted the mandate as a tax, they would be hard-pressed to approve the geographic disparity created when states opt out of the Medicaid expansion. But that possibility is inherent in a scheme that imposes a nominally uniform tax liability accompanied by the practical equivalent of a fully off-setting tax credit available only to those living in certain states. To uphold such a taxing scheme would eliminate any meaningful uniformity requirement—a result that the Constitution does not permit.”