Three states are firing the latest volley in the court battles over ObamaCare with a new lawsuit filed Thursday over the law’s fee on health insurers.
Texas, joined by Kansas and Louisiana, is suing the Obama administration over the alleged “unconstitutional Obamacare tax.”
Public opposition to ObamaCare has lasted far longer than its authors imagined. Unsubsidized consumers avoid ObamaCare coverage. Twenty states have rejected its Medicaid expansion. Congress wants to repeal it. President Obama and the Supreme Court have repeatedly amended and expanded it, transforming the statute Congress enacted into an illegitimate law that no Congress ever had the votes to pass, and making repeal not just an economic imperative but necessary to restore the Constitution’s system of checks and balances.
Obamacare is back in court.
This month, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has standing to sue the Obama administration over how it spent federal money implementing the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit, brought by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), challenges billions of dollars the administration gave to insurers to reduce out-of-pocket costs for almost 6 million low-income Americans.
In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court held that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be read to authorize tax credits for the purchase of health insurance in exchanges established by the federal government lest the ACA’s other reforms destabilize the individual health insurance market in states served by federal exchanges. In “King v. Burwell and the Triumph of Selective Constitutionalism,” Michael Cannon and I dissect the court’s reasoning in King, highlighting the court’s abandonment of textualist principles (as others have noted) and the court’s reliance on a highly selective use of context to support its ultimate conclusion.
An unprecedented House lawsuit against President Obama that was once derided as a certain loser looks stronger now and may soon deliver an early legal round to Republican lawmakers complaining of executive branch overreach.
A federal judge is expected to decide shortly whether to dismiss the suit, but thanks to an amended complaint and a recent Supreme Court ruling, the Republican-backed case has a much better chance of proceeding, attorneys agree.
President Obama says he’s “feeling pretty good” about the Affordable Care Act in the wake of King v. Burwell, the June 25 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the flow of means-tested subsidies through the federally operated health insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.
A new U.S.A. Today/Suffolk poll finds that in the wake of the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare subsidies a majority of Americans want lawmakers to drop the crusade to repeal the law. But Republicans disagree:
By 52%-36%, those polled say officials who oppose the Affordable Care Act should take steps to improve the law but end efforts to repeal it, given the high court’s decision rejecting its most serious legal challenge.
But Republicans by more than 2-1, 63%-27%, say the campaign to overturn the law should continue.
Obamacare supporters are mistaken if they think the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell ruling settles the issue. Even in defeat, King threatens Obamacare’s survival, because it exposes Obamacare as an illegitimate law.
Roberts’s intellectual complexity does not prevent him from expressing himself pithily, as he did with those words when dissenting in a case from Arizona. Joined by Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr., Roberts’s dissent should somewhat mollify conservatives who are dismayed about his interpretive ingenuity four days earlier in writing the opinion that saved the Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, they, including this columnist, may have missed a wrinkle in Roberts’s ACA opinion that will serve conservatives’ long-term interests.
Convention claims the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision is a loss for conservatives. But Democrats shouldn’t celebrate. Politically, it’s a win for the right, skirting potential harm in terms of legal precedent as well as improving positioning for 2016.