A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Legal Challenges"

A Post-ObamaCare Strategy

The Wall Street Journal
Mon, 2014-12-15
With the Supreme Court due to rule on a major ObamaCare legal challenge by next summer, thoughts in Washington are turning to the practical and political response. If the Court does strike down insurance subsidies, the question for Republicans running Congress is whether they will try to fix the problems Democrats created, or merely allow ObamaCare’s damage to grow. The time to define a strategy is soon, as King v. Burwell will be heard in March with a ruling likely in June. As a matter of ordinary statutory construction, the Court should find that when the law limited subsidies to insurance exchanges established by states, that does not include the 36 states where the feds run exchanges. But in that event one result would be an immediate refugee crisis. Of the 5.4 million consumers on federal exchanges, some 87% drew subsidies in 2014, according to a Rand Corporation analysis. Continued... http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-post-obamacare-strategy-1418601071

Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won't be part of new Senate

Washington Examiner
Mon, 2014-12-08
On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into this year's midterm elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in next month. After Democratic losses on Nov. 4 and Saturday's defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the number has risen to 30. In other words, half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare will not be part of the new Senate. To be sure, it isn’t fair to attribute all of the turnover in the chamber to Obamacare. In some cases — such as John Kerry leaving his seat to become secretary of state, or Robert Byrd passing away — Obamacare clearly had nothing to do with the departures.

Will Jonathan Gruber Topple ObamaCare?

Politico Magazine
Mon, 2014-12-08
Why the hell did Jonathan Gruber say that? And that? And that? And (sigh) the other thing? Those are the questions on the minds of virtually everyone in the health care world—especially the people who worked the hardest on Obamacare. Ever since the videos started popping up, one after another, America has come to know Gruber—the MIT economist who worked closely on both Obamacare and Romneycare—as the guy who thinks voters are “stupid.” And the guy who thinks Obamacare was passed because of trickery. And who says, ha-ha, voters don’t understand economics. For a while, Fox News didn’t have to bother running anything else. Now America is about to see Gruber in a new role: congressional witness. He’s going to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to testify before Darrell Issa’s committee, where he’ll be forced to answer a ton of questions, if he can, about all those things he said.

Randy Barnett: How to finally kill Obamacare

USA Today
Fri, 2014-12-05
The Supreme Court is more likely to act if Republicans have an alternative bill ready. Thanks to four justices of the Supreme Court, there is now a clear path to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act next year, finally bringing Obamacare to an end. But Republicans won't accomplish this by waiting for the court or just voting to repeal the law one more time. The only way they can succeed is by crafting their own replacement — and they need to start right away. Until the Supreme Court agreed to hear King v. Burwell, which challenges the legality of the IRS rule allowing Obamacare subsidies in states that have not built their own insurance exchanges, the conventional wisdom was that Congress would pass a symbolic bill to repeal Obamacare that everyone knows would be vetoed by the president. Then they'd move on. Obamacare would survive at least until 2017. But the decision to hear King changes everything.

'Healthy Utah' Obamacare Expansion: Worse Than Expected

Forbes
Fri, 2014-12-05
By Jonathan Ingram, Nic Horton and Josh Archambault— Mr. Ingram is Research Director, Mr. Horton Policy Impact Specialist, and Mr. Archambault a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability. After months of secretly negotiating a backroom deal with the Obama administration, Governor Gary Herbert (R-UT) has finally released (some of) the details of his Obamacare expansion plan. We’ve not hesitated to share our disappointment over Herbert’s recent actions to bring Obamacare to Utah (which has always seemed out of character for him), but we’ve also met with the governor and his chief of staff privately to share our concerns about this welfare program. Sadly, Gov. Herbert continues to move forward with an Obamacare expansion plan that is bad for taxpayers and the truly needy. Earlier this morning, Gov. Herbert released more details about his plan to expand Obamacare in Utah.

A Bad Provision Even by ObamaCare Standards

The Wall Street Journal
Thu, 2014-12-04
By Tom Coburn And Phil Roe In the four years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, health care in our country has become more complicated and expensive. The law has many troubling aspects, but the Independent Payment Advisory Board is among the worst and most dangerous. This is why, on Thursday, several members of the House will file an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Coons v. Lew. This lawsuit, filed by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of Dr. Eric Novack, an orthopedic surgeon, and Nick Coons, an Arizona businessman, challenges the constitutionality of IPAB. Why is this board dangerous? Because there is nothing “advisory” about its vast powers. IPAB’s mandate is to deliver on one of ObamaCare’s central promises: Medicare cost-containment. The law gives this board sweeping authority to do so, with virtually no constraints. The statute says IPAB can take any and all actions necessary to control Medicare costs.

Did ObamaCare Cost The Democrats The Election?

John C. Goodman
Townhall
Sat, 2014-11-29
"As I wrote at Forbes yesterday, New York Senator Charles Schumer has placed the blame for the Democrat’s disastrous defeat in this fall’s election squarely at the feet of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Speaking at the National Press Club the other day, the third-ranking Democrat in the US Senate said that whatever the merits or demerits of health reform, it was bad politics."

Obama Officials Seek To Clarify Abortion Coverage Rules

Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News
Wed, 2014-11-26
"The Obama administration is seeking to clarify rules for the coverage of elective abortion in health insurance exchanges. That is the issue that almost scuttled the Affordable Care Act before it became law. A complicated compromise that got the final few anti-abortion Democrats to agree to vote for the measure in 2010 required every exchange to include health plans that do not cover abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the pregnant woman. Plans that do offer abortion other than in those cases are required to segregate funds and bill for that abortion coverage separately."

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/sarahjeanseman/2014/11/24/obamacare-twice-as-likely-to-hurt-americans-than-help-n1923220?utm_source=thdailypm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_pm&newsletterad=thpm

Sarah Jean Seman
Townhall
Wed, 2014-11-26
"A rising number of Americans are claiming that Obamacare has negatively impacted their health insurance policies. Only 14 percent claim they have been helped by Obamacare, while more than twice as many (35 percent) say they have been hurt by it, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll release Monday."

Democrat Wants Gag Order On Liberal Lawyer Representing GOP In Obamacare Lawsuit

Sarah Hurtubise, Daily Caller
Wed, 2014-11-26
"Self-avowed liberal law professor Jonathan Turley is representing the House GOP in its lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s implementation of Obamacare and at least one House Democrat wants him punished for it Turley, a George Washington University law professor, is also a frequent media commentator on political issues. Despite describing himself as a political liberal, he’s long been harshly critical of Obama’s use of executive power and said he’d jumped at the chance to represent the House GOP in the lawsuit against unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act in its implementation."

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