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Federal Judge Strikes Down Subsidies For Federal Obamacare Exchanges

law-gavel-lights

A Federal District Court Judge in Oklahoma has ruled that, because of the way that the relevant part of the Affordable Care Act was written, Americans who purchase health insurance through the Federal exchange established under the law in states that did not set up state exchanges cannot receive the tax subsidies meant to keep their premiums low:

Deepening the controversy over tax subsidies to help lower-income workers obtain health insurance, a federal trial judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday barred those credits for individuals who shop for coverage on marketplaces run by the federal government, not by a state.

That issue is already awaiting the Supreme Court’s attention, with the federal government due to file there on Friday a defense of the subsidies scheme that has so far helped nearly five million individuals to afford health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  (That case is King v. Burwell.)

In Oklahoma, U.S. District Judge Ronald A. White of Muskogee became the latest to rule on the dispute.  For the time being, his is the only ruling still in effect that would strike down the federal marketplace tax credits (and it is subject to appeal).

That was the same result reached by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but that decision has been set aside because of reconsideration by the en banc D.C. Circuit.  A hearing is set in that case for December 17.   The subsidies for individuals obtaining insurance on federally run exchanges were upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the King v. Burwell case.

Meanwhile, a federal trial judge in Indianapolis, William T. Lawrence, is scheduled to hold a hearing a week from Thursday on a challenge by Indiana and thirty-nine public school districts in that state, seeking to block subsidies for those buying insurance on an exchange that is run by the federal government.  (In August, Judge Lawrence rejected a federal government request to dismiss that challenge; both sides have now filed motions for summary judgment — that is, rulings their way, without a full trial with witnesses.)

(…)

In Judge White’s ruling Tuesday upholding Oklahoma’s challenge to tax credits for the exchange in that state, he relied on what he found to be the clear language of the ACA on that point — that is, subsidies are only to be available on an exchange “established by the state.”  It was not his option, the judge said, to read the entire health care law to find reasons to make sure that the subsidy system worked in all exchanges across the country, federal and state.

Congress did not define what it meant by an exchange “established by the state.” However, the Internal Revenue Service has issued a ruling saying that this means any exchange set up in a state, no matter who is running it.   Rejecting that interpretation, Judge White said that “vague notions of a statute’s basic purpose are nonetheless inadequate to overcome the words of its text regarding the specific issue under consideration.”

If Congress in the ACA did not mean to confine subsidies to exchanges only if they are run by the states, it is free to amend the law, the judge wrote.

Think Progress’s Ian Millhiser is, not surprisingly, deeply critical of the decision:

One thing that immediately stands out in White’s opinion is just how thin his legal reasoning is. Despite the fact that this case concerns a matter of life and death for the millions of Americans he orders uninsured, his actual discussion of the merits of this case comprises less than 7 double-spaced pages of his opinion. In that brief analysis he quotes the two other Republican judges who ordered Obamacare defunded, claiming that “the government offers no textual basis” in the Affordable Care Act itself for treating federally-run exchanges the same as those run by states. In fact, the government has identified numerous provisions of the law which cut against the argument that only some exchanges should provide subsidies.

Even more significantly, White’s opinion does not at any point acknowledge the legal standard that applies when a statute contains language that is at odds with other provisions of the law. As the Supreme Court explained in 2007, “a reviewing court should not confine itself to examining a particular statutory provision in isolation” as the “meaning—or ambiguity—of certain words or phrases may only become evident when placed in context.” White, by contrast, relies entirely a passage that supports the plaintiffs’ arguments while ignoring the much more prevalent statutory language that supports the government’s argument.

(…)

Towards the end of his opinion, White claims that the reading he gives to the Affordable Care Act — a reading which assumes that the lawmakers who enacted this politically contentious law intended to give every Republican governor in the country the power to blow up one of its central functions in their state — is not “absurd” because “it could reflect the sort of compromise that attends legislative endeavor.” Yet the only evidence he provides that Congress may have intended to “compromise” by giving Rick Perry the power to destroy Obamacare in Texas is a now-infamous quote by Professor Jonathan Gruber. Gruber is an economist who consulted with Congress in designing the law. In 2012, nearly two years after the Affordable Care Act became law, Gruber was recorded giving a talk where he said that “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an Exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

Millhiser’s characterization of the opinion is, I think, unfairly dismissive. Right or wrong, Judge White’s decision does not come out of left (or right) field at all, but is instead a fairly straightforward application of one theory about how statutes, and agency interpretations of those statutes, should be viewed in this situation, as the conclusion to his opinion lays out clearly:

The court is aware that the stakes are higher in the case at bar than they might be in another case. The issue of consequences has been touched upon in the previous decisions discussed. Speaking of its decision to vacate the IRS Rule, the majority inHalbig stated ”[w]e reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance.” 758 F.3d at 412.

Other judges in similar litigation have cast the plaintiffs’ argument in apocalyptic language. The first sentence of Judge Edwards’ dissent in Halbig is as follows: “This case is about Appellants’ not-so-veiled attempt to gut the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (‘ACA’).” 758 F.3d at 412-13. Concurring in King, Judge Davis states that “[a]ppellants’ approach would effectively destroy the statute . . . .” 759 F.3d 358, 379 (Davis, J., concurring). Further, “[w]hat [appellants] may not do is rely on our help to deny to millions of Americans desperately-needed health insurance. . . ..” Id.

Of course, a proper legal decision is not a matter of the court “helping” one side or the other. A lawsuit challenging a federal regulation is a commonplace occurrence in this country, not an affront to judicial dignity. A higher-profile case results in greater scrutiny of the decision, which is understandable and appropriate. “[H]igh as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still. . . This limited role serves democratic interests by ensuring that policy is made by elected, politically accountable representatives, not by appointed life-tenured judges.” Halbig, 758 F.3d at 412.

This is a case of statutory interpretation. “The text is what it is, no matter which side benefits.” Bormes v. United States, 759 F.3d 793, 798 (7 Cir.2014). Such th a case (even if affirmed on the inevitable appeal) does not “gut” or “destroy” anything. On the contrary, the court is upholding the Act as written. Congress is free to amend the ACA to provide for tax credits in both state and federal exchanges, if that is the legislative will. As the Act presently stands, “vague notions of a statute’s ‘basic purpose’ are nonetheless inadequate to overcome the words of its text regarding the specific issue under consideration.”Mertens v. Hewitt Assocs., 508 U.S. 248, 261 (1993) (emphasis in original). It is a “core administrative-law principle that an agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate.” Util. Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, 134 S.Ct. 2427, 2446 (2014). “But in the last analysis, these always-fascinating policy discussions are beside the point. The role of this Court is to apply the statute as it is written – even if we think some other approach might ‘accor[d] with good policy.'” Burrage v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 881, 892 (2014)(quoting Commissioner v. Lundy, 516 U.S. 235, 252 (1996)(other citation omitted)). See also Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 134 S.Ct. 2024, 2034
(2014)(“This Court has no roving license, in even ordinary cases of statutory interpretation, to disregard clear language simply on the view that . . . Congress ‘must have intended’ something broader.”); Util. Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, 134 S.Ct. 2427, 2446 (2014)(“The power of executing the laws necessarily includes both authority and responsibility to resolve some questions left open by Congress that arise during the law’s administration. But it does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice.”).

The animating principles of this court’s decision have been articulated by the Tenth Circuit: “[C]ourts, out of respect for their limited role in tripartite government, should not try to rewrite legislative compromises to create a more coherent, more rational statute. A statute is not ‘absurd’ if it could reflect the sort of compromise that attends legislative endeavor.” Robbins v. Chronister, 435 F.3d 1238, 1243 (10th Cir. 2006). “An agency’s rulemaking power is not ‘the power to make law,’ it is only the ‘power to adopt regulations to carry into effect the will of Congress as expressed by the statute.'” Sundance Associates, 139 F3d at 808 (citation omitted) “In reviewing statutes, courts do not assume the language is imprecise … Rather, we assume that in drafting legislation, Congress says what it means.” Id at 809.

The court holds that the IRS Rule is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §706(2)(A), in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §706(2)(C), or otherwise is an invalid implementation of the ACA, and is hereby vacated.

As I’ve noted when I’ve written about this issue in the past, this issue involves a question of statutory interpretation and Congressional intent when it passed the Affordable Care Act. At issue is the provision of the law which authorizes the tax subsidies that many people qualify for under the law. By it’s plain language, that section appears to limit subsidies only to policies that are purchased on state exchanges, while not appearing on the face of the statute to address at all the question of what happens to people who purchase their insurance through the Federal exchange that covers the 38 states that did not set up their own state exchange. Opponents of the law have argued that, because the statute does not explicitly state that the tax subsidies are available to policies purchased in the Federal exchange, then the I.R.S. rule that effectively interprets the statute in that manner is invalid. In the cases that have made their way through the Federal Court on this issue, the Government has argued that this interpretation of the statute would blunt the clear intent of Congress to provide tax subsidies to people purchasing health insurance through the exchanges based on their income level. On that issue, the question of which side is correct comes down to statutory interpretation, in which the Courts are generally supposed to be guided by the plain language of the statute, the presumption that the law means what it says and that statute is both consistent with itself and with other laws passed by Congress, and by the intent of Congress as expressed in the law. The question in this case, ultimately, is whether the agency’s interpretation of the statute, which at least on its face appears to grant authority not specifically granted by the statute is permissible given those standards.

Today’s decision is likely to have limited impact in the real world, at least initially. As Denniston notes above, two Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have already ruled on this matter. In decisions that were handed down on the same day in July. In one case, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the subsidies could not be applied to policies purchased on the Federal exchange while another panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Plaintiffs arguments in the case before them. The Fourth Circuit case has already been appealed to the Supreme Court and, at least theoretically be heard this term. The Justices are unlikely to act on the matter any time soon, though, because the full D.C. Circuit has accepted the case in that court for en banc review, with a hearing scheduling for early December. Since that action vacated the panel decision, there is no longer a Circuit split at this point, the urgency for the Court to accept the Fourth Circuit Appeal is not as apparent, although it’s still possible that they could do so. More likely than not, though, the Justices will hold onto the appeal before them until the D.C. Circuit has ruled, not the least because whatever decision they issue will ultimately be appeal to the Supreme Court as well. If, as many observers expect, the D.C. Circuit rules contrary to its panel’s decision then there would be no Circuit split and that may be enough for the Justices to decline to hear the appeals at all. This case, in the meantime, will be appealed to the 10th Circuit but it is likely to be many months before oral argument is heard in that case, and a decision may not be handed down until it is past the time for the Supreme Court to hear any appeal this term. In the end, the Justices may decide to accept the case because of the important issues of Federal law that are involved, but absent a Circuit split they would at least have a reason to decline to wander into the Obamacare jungle for the third time in three years.

Here’s the opinion:

Pruitt v Burwell District Court Order by Doug Mataconis

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MikeSJ says:

    We are looking at millions of people losing their health insurance if this takes effect.

    Thousands of men and women would die as a result.

    The sheer glee, the joy they have at doing this to people is sickening.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 5

  2. Modulo Myself says:

    Well, when the Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out of the exchange, virtually nobody who created the law said anything when it was automatically assumed that the federal government would step in. So the best argument for not allowing subsidies on the federal exchanges is that despite the clear intent of the law’s makers, a textual error should be followed to its fullest conclusion.

    It’s pretty revolting, all around, especially since the only reason that this argument is being employed is to take down Obamacare.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 4

  3. stonetools says:

    If Congress in the ACA did not mean to confine subsidies to exchanges only if they are run by the states, it is free to amend the law, the judge wrote.

    Doug, this is such BS. You know it, I know it, the dumbest guy in Dumbf***kistan knows it.
    As to “statutory interpretation” , if we open that can of worms where we interpret snippers of the statute without regard to anything else, I give you this from Section 1311, ACA:

    States must establish American Health Benefit Exchanges through which insurers will offer “qualified health plans” and implement a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Exchange) that will assist small business owners in providing health insurance for their employees.1

    Now the government hasn’t really pushed this, if only because it doesn’t want to sign on to Cannon’s cock eyed interpretation theory, but that language, taken by itself, clearly requires that each state establish an exchange( Must is not the language of choice).
    If the government argues this, how would Judge Literalist interpret that? Think he would say, “By gum, you got me! I’m now ordering the state of Oklahoma to set up an exchange immediately!”

    Well of course, he wouldn’t. He would be talking context, legislative history, the statutory scheme, and insisting that literalism was the hobgoblin of little minds.
    I’m betting the Tenth Circuit reverses. The plaintiff’s case is in fact absurd, if you know of the actual history of the ACA. And if you buy the plaintiff’s theory of statutory interpretation, who knows where you’ll end up.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 4

  4. C. Clavin says:

    ODS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  5. David M says:

    Republicans don’t like Obamacare. Water is wet. Film at 11.

    There’s no legal issue involved here, the judge has issued a purely political decision.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  6. wr says:

    The judge’s entire basis for this decision is reading one sentence out of context while refusing to even glance at the bill as a whole… and Doug finds criticism of it “unfairly dismissive.”

    It’s fascinating just how much realilty a right winger is willing to ignore as long as poor people are hurt as a consequence.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 8

  7. Hal_10000 says:

    The judge’s entire basis for this decision is reading one sentence out of context while refusing to even glance at the bill as a whole… and Doug finds criticism of it “unfairly dismissive.”

    The thing is that laws require specificity. As PJ O’Rourke said, specificity is the difference between a government and having a mom. What really hurts the Democrats’ case and is influencing these decisions is that subsidies for state exchanges *were* in the original bill but were removed at some point (this tends to happen when you pass a law in the kludgey way the Democrats did). I agree that subsidies were probably intended but the law is not written that way and we do not allow Administrations to enforce laws the way they should be written rather than they way they are. Unfortunately for Obamacare supporters, the Constitution does not have an “oh, come on!” exception to interpreting the law as written.

    This could be fixed, easily of course. But that would require a functional Congress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 13

  8. David M says:

    @Hal_10000:

    What really hurts the Democrats’ case and is influencing these decisions is that subsidies for state exchanges *were* in the original bill but were removed at some point (this tends to happen when you pass a law in the kludgey way the Democrats did).

    Your wording is confusing, but the point you’re probably trying to make is not true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  9. Tyrell says:

    One “glitch”, flaw, or problem that needs to be fixed is the people who fall into no man’s land. They make a little too much to qualify for a subsidy but still can’t afford to buy insurance from the market or their insurance available through work is also too expensive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    If you are going to be in California soon, there is someone I would like to introduce you to. She has cancer, and it was not treated until it was pretty advanced. She is poor, and she has no health insurance.

    This woman has helped my kid a lot, in fact he probably still has a roof over his head because of her. She has faced her illness with an attitude that I only hope I can match if I find myself in that situation.

    But, she is poor and powerless. So in our society, she is very disposable.

    If you want to meet her, your will probably have to hurry :(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

  11. humanoid.panda says:

    @Modulo Myself: You are confusing the Medicaid expansion optionality that was created by the Supreme Court with the federal/state exchange issue that was written into the law. Other than that, you are correct: there is exactly zero evidence that anyone thought that the federal exchange was not eligible for subsidies at any point during the drafting, debate, or implementation of the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. humanoid.panda says:

    @anjin-san: Wait, you mean that jurisprudence is not actually a parlor game?
    Seriously, I understand the position that the ACA is gateway to totalitarianism. It’s weird and misguided and cruel, but at least its an ethos.
    Halbig with its word games is just pure, unvarnished, evil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  13. Rafer Janders says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The thing is that laws require specificity.

    Well, no. At least, not by itself. Laws also require context.

    I’ve lost track of the thousands of legal agreements and deals I’ve read and negotiated in my lifetime, but in none of them was it ever a winning strategy to seize upon one sentence taken out of context with and contradictory to the rest of the agreement expect to prevail.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  14. michael reynolds says:

    Wait a minute. Doug mentioned Obamacare? It’s been what, a year?

    After being wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong about the plagues of locusts, frogs and deaths of firstborns that were sure to flow from Obamacare and refusing again and again and again and again (also: again) to address the fact that all the news on Obamacare has been good, Doug finally belches out a bit of nonsense from some hick judge.

    So, let’s look at the politics, shall we? This would mean taking health insurance away from working class people in a bunch of states.

    This would mean Republicans taking health insurance away from working people in a bunch of states. Or. . . Or they have to fix it in Congress.

    My, won’t this be fun?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  15. humanoid.panda says:

    @michael reynolds: Not even that. Probably, Republican governors will have to write a letter certifying that the federal exchange is operating in partnership with the state, or even set up a website that does nothing but refer one to healthcare.gov. I suspect that said governors are praying the Supreme Court doesn’t jam them into having to choose between doing that and taking insurance from 5-10 million people..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. michael reynolds says:

    @humanoid.panda:
    Oh come on, now you’re spoiling my fun. I was looking forward to the GOP throwing working people off their plans. Because that would be epic. (As the kids say. Or perhaps used to say.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  17. Rightisright5116 says:

    @MikeSJ: come on, man. All that’s gonna happen is that States will build their own exchanges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. michael reynolds says:

    It’s a drag this hasn’t blown up in the news. The coincidence of the ebola thing would have been excellent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Rightisright5116 says:

    @michael reynolds: What also hasn’t blown up is that a writer (scot vorse) has documented that hhs did not authorize the payment of subsidies from the fed exchange when building healthcare.gov. The contract with cgi was amended AFTER the IRS reg was finalized to add the subsidy payment module. That’s not a Gruber speako. That’s documentation as to what hhs really believed. Google Scot Vorse and see for yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  20. @MikeSJ: Funny how none of you Leftists were complaining when millions lost their plans they liked specifically because of Ocare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  21. anjin-san says:

    @William Teach:

    millions lost their plans they liked

    I was one of those people. Kaiser offered me another plan that I am quite happy with to take its place. Took 20 minutes on the phone to get everything set up. Done.

    So no, I am not complaining. Especially considering I can’t be denied coverage for preexisting conditions any more.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  22. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    The Old Truth: the subsidies are incentives for the states to establish their own exchanges. They set them up, their citizens get the subsidies. They don’t, no subsidies.

    The New Truth: the subsidies have NOTHING to do with state established exchanges. NOTHING AT ALL.

    What changed? Well, it turns out that the opponents of ObamaCare were right all along on that point, and who the hell could have foreseen that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  23. Neo says:

    There is a slippery slope that is easy to descend with the interpretation of law in this case.
    I always like to put the “shoe on the other foot” before judging “fairness” instead of fact.
    Imagine the possible interpretations of plain text law that could easily be perverted by those with whom you disagree, should the “missing” language be filled in by them instead of you.

    The reality is that passing “a bill before your find out what’s in it” is just plain bad policy. To paraphrase Forest Gump:
    Hasty law “is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I was one of those people. Kaiser offered me another plan that I am quite happy with to take its place. Took 20 minutes on the phone to get everything set up. Done.

    Millions lost their coverage, you among them. You’re happy with the change, so to hell with the rest, right?

    Tell that to Holly Fisher.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  25. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I was looking forward to the GOP throwing working people off their plans

    You are more optimistic than I. I think the Republicans are so sociopathically obsessed with denying health care to the poor and thwarting the ni##er in the White House that they will happily throw millions of the working poor off their plans.
    After all, denying health care to the working class is what Republican governors and legislatures are doing right now by refusing to expand Medicaid.
    I’ll be blunt. I consider the Republicans here little different from the legislators in the South who supported white supremacy and resisted integration efforts. They too invented all kinds of sophistical arguments ( “limited government”, “states rights”, blah, blah blah) about why what they were doing was right.
    Te hackery of the plaintiffs and their conservative supporters here is even more repulsive than normal. I’m certain that Adler et al. do not believe for a moment that the Democrats truly intended that no subsidies go to the federal exchange. Yet they ( and their supporters) blithely maintain that the Democrats did intend this, and their conservative media supporters have followed in their footsteps like obedient lapdogs. All this in the service of denying health care to millions. Sociopathic is the word.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  26. Hal_10000 says:
  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: I think the Republicans are so sociopathically obsessed with denying health care to the poor and thwarting the ni##er in the White House that they will happily throw millions of the working poor off their plans.

    Meds. You haz them? Why you not takes them?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  28. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Like I said: none of the plagues of Obamacare have happened. Give it up. Premiums have not skyrocketed, people are not stranded, costs are coming down, number of insurers is going up, there is no desperate doc shortage, hospitals are seeing huge savings in un-compensated care, the overall uninsured rate is dropping. . .

    If you had a shred of honesty you’d admit reality. Instead you recycle old nonsense.

    You lost. You were wrong. Mr. Obama was right. Live with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: There will be another 50,000 canceled policies thanks to ObamaCare by November. In Minnesota, they’re looking at serious rate hikes and one of their biggest insurers is pulling out of the exchanges.

    And that’s just a few examples. I got plenty more, but I got a hunch I’ve put too many links in this one already.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  30. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I calls them like it is. If your fees fees are hurt, tough. Don’t like being called sociopathic? Stop supporting sociopathic policies

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  31. stonetools says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Indeed. And in the first article linked:

    But documents from the Senate committees that worked on versions of the bill in 2009 — combined with a close look at the history of the phrase itself, and interviews with staffers directly involved in the drafting of the statutes — strongly undercut the argument that the law did not intend or provide subsidies to those on the federal exchange.

    Second link conclusion:

    Obamacare opponents would very much like to believe that Congress was using the subsidies as a stick to punish states that didn’t set up exchanges, but the evidence in the record — along with interviews with people who helped write the bill — indicates that there was no such plan. In light of what the rest of the law says, the best explanation for the disputed provision is that the Senate was trying to distinguish its proposal from the House’s, not to withhold subsidies from lower-income Americans unlucky enough to live in states led by Obamacare opponents.

    Thanks for the links.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: stoney, it’s ObamaCare that is taking away insurance from many people. And instead of blaming the people who wrote and passed it, you’re blaming those who predicted it.

    Again: meds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  33. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Here’s a slightly less tilted version of Minnesota’s problems – looks like the company made some bad business decisions. So instead of being a victim of Obamacare, it looks like they were a victim of the free market.

    http://www.minnpost.com/party-politics/2014/09/gop-legislators-surprisingly-nuanced-response-preferredones-decision-quit-mns

    Like most of the objections to Obamacare, this tends to fall apart when examined too deeply.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  34. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    From your link:

    We got together and said, ‘This would be the right time to make sure all the citizens in the state who had a plan that wasn’t ACA-compliant would have the opportunity to convert to one,” said New Mexico insurance superintendent John Franchini,

    So customers will have a chance to convert from their crap plans to better plans that actually will come through for them when they need it.
    Rememer the horror stories about the “millions of cancellations” that happened last year? What happened to them?
    What happened is that they signed up to better, ACA compliant plans that they now like.

    A recent poll by The Commonwealth Fund showed that overall, 78% of Americans who signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act are satisfied with their coverage. Even 74% of the Republicans who signed up say they are satisfied with their new plans!

    The Affordable Care Act is working.

    Nationwide, the rate of uninsured Americans is dropping at a record pace. The reason is clear – new coverage options under the Affordable Care Act have made health coverage affordable and accessible to millions of adults and children.

    But go ahead, keep quoting that fount of anti-Obamacare propoganda.After all, new people need to be reminded of your utter lack of credibility on this issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  35. Jack says:

    1) The IRS, an executive agency in coordination with HHS, another executive agency, both of which take direction from the president, decided all on their own what the legislation meant and they decided that all exchanges are eligible for the subsidy despite clear language to the contrary.

    2) Because the IRS went with this line of thinking, millions of people who should have been ineligible for the subsidy have received it for a year.

    3) Judge, based upon clear reading, determines the law does not cover subsidies from federal run exchanges.

    4) Liberals complain that millions of poor people will be cheated out of coverage that is rightfully theirs because the judge was wrong.

    So, with this in mind, if the IRS decides for the 2014 tax year to give the full EITC of $6,044 for couples with 3 children, to married people with no children, couples with 1 child, and couples with 2 children–despite the clear language of the law, because they feel that was congresses intent, and a judge tells them they are wrong in 2015, liberals will then complains that millions of poor people will be cheated out of money that is rightfully theirs because the judge was wrong.

    From the clear reading of the above posts it’s clear this decisions will lead to a disaster of biblical proportions. Old Testament, Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  36. al-Ameda says:

    This is Exhibit A in the case to be made that elections matter. The party that controls the White House makes judicial nominations, the party that controls Congress can either approve or decline to a confirm judicial appointments.

    That this decision came from a Federal judge in Oklahoma should not surprise anyone in the least – Oklahoma is virtually ground zero for Republican conservatism. Yes, of course I know that federal judges are insulated from the politics of contemporary issues, but still, not surprised, and this is not an unexpected decision

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  37. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Sure…you’ve got plenty of examples…but they are all cherry-picked in order to provide a picture that is completely counter-factual, totally misleading, and extremely hyperbolic.
    In other words you are lying…………..again. Or should I say, still?
    Why do you feel the need to lie in order to make your point?
    Is it because your point is, in fact, a lie?
    Do you ever stop and think; If I need to lie then maybe I should be re-considering my positions instead of just making shit up all the time in order to back up my positions that are always demonstrably false to begin with?
    Seriously…there is a term that professionals use for people like you…PATHOLOGICAL.
    Get some help. I don’t know where you live but most states have expanded Medicaid…and those that haven’t will soon…I’m sure you can get coverage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    The IRS, an executive agency in coordination with HHS, another executive agency, both of which take direction from the president, decided all on their own what the legislation meant and they decided that all exchanges are eligible for the subsidy despite clear language to the contrary.

    Er, there was ONE sentence in one provision to the contrary. Other provisions implied that the subsidies were eligible for all. Indeed, prior to the lawsuit, everyone took for granted that the subsidies were available for all, including almost every conservative who is now urging the opposite.
    In the presence of unclear language, Sureme Court decisions say that it is up to the government agencies to make a call, which they did.

    3) Judge, based upon clear reading, determines the law does not cover subsidies from federal run exchanges.

    Of the nine federal judges who have decided the issue, six agree with the government, including a couple of Republicans. So no, there is no clear reading in favor of non coverage.

    From the clear reading of the above posts it’s clear this decisions will lead to a disaster of biblical proportions

    All three judges who have found against the government agree that millions will lose their insurance if their interpretation is upheld. They talk a good game of crocodile tears and tell us their hand is forced by the law, but I at least can see through their BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  39. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack:

    If you leave the right-wing bubble for a second, you will find ample evidence that the subsidies were always intended to go to the federal exchanges. From the link Hal_10000 provides:

    1) The first Senate version of the health law to be passed in 2009 — by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — explicitly stated that subsides would go to people on the federally-established exchange. A committee memo describing the bill circulated at the time spelled this out with total clarity.

    It’s not even hard. Either the law says that there should be subsidies for federal exchanges, or the law meant to say it but through sloppiness, haste and poor copy-editing, it did not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  40. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    All three judges who have found against the government agree that millions will lose their insurance if their interpretation is upheld. They talk a good game of crocodile tears and tell us their hand is forced by the law, but I at least can see through their BS.

    Millions who were ineligible but for a decision by IRS and HHS. Blame those departments for the loss of subsidy for millions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  41. Jack says:

    @Modulo Myself: Oh, so a draft. Therefor that’s the law, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  42. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack:

    Then you don’t even understand that argument you’re making basically says that the subsidies for the federal exchanges were invented sui generis by the IRS, rather than being what was intended all along.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  43. beth says:

    @Jack: So they passed a law intending to ensure medical coverage to the millions of uninsured by subsidizing premiums for those below the poverty line by not offering subsidies? That’s what you’re saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. Jack says:

    @Modulo Myself: The question comes down to the repeated instruction in the text of the Affordable Care Act that advanced premium tax credits are to go only to customers of exchanges “established by the state.”

    That was the question the judge had to answer. His answer was No, federal exchanges are not eligible for subsidies.

    The IRS and HHS, like numerous other decisions…see employer health care extension, and the other employer health care extension, and the other employer health care extension among about 19 others, interpreted in a vacuum what the law said. It doesn’t matter what the drafts said, the drafts were not passed.

    Yes, you can look at drafts for intent by the authors, but what matters is what was signed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    You do realize that the courts use the Legislative history to help determine the intention of a given piece of Legislation, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. Jack says:

    @beth: I’m saying there is ample evidence and precedent that the federal government does use incentives (carrot and stick) like these to cajole states into compliance. 36 states refused, despite the carrot congress offered. It was only then that the IRS decided that federal exchanges were eligible for subsidy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: Oh, shut up, Cliffy. Annie cited an anecdote, so I replied with another anecdote. Why don’t you whine to him about “cherry-picking?”

    Oh, that’s right. Because you’re a hypocritical, hysterical, hyperpartisan idiot.

    And aren’t you overdue for another mention of the Dunning-Kruger Effect so you can pretend you actually know anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You’re cherry-picking quite dishonestly.

    You know, it’s when you’ve been shown to be wrong that your character is revealed. Now, you were wrong. Flat-out wrong. You and all the rest of the hysterical Obamacare haters. Wrong.

    Now are you a grown-up able to accept reality? Or are you just another Foxbot?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. Jack says:

    If you read all of the law, the subsidies trigger penalties against businesses whose employees receive a subsidy from a state exchange. Read the employer responsibility payment section of the law and this becomes very apparent. That is exactly why states did not opt to build their own exchanges because neither the subsidies or the penalties apply in the federal exchange. Gruber was very clear on this point. Write bad law, get bad results.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  50. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: You do realize I said this:

    Yes, you can look at drafts for intent by the authors, but what matters is what was signed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  51. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: You do realize that the courts use the Legislative history to help determine the intention of a given piece of Legislation, right?

    Amazing. Cliffy said something relevant.

    Of course, it supports the other side — the provision that makes the subsidies available for those whose states didn’t set up exchanges was in the law, then taken out — but it’s a relevant citation.

    Good show, Cliffy. I didn’t think you had it in you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Oh…you mean Holly Fisher???
    Like all the cherry-picked stories by Republicans…that turns out to be a lie too.
    http://aattp.org/holly-hobby-lobby-fisher-wants-companies-to-control-health-care-except-for-her-family-that-is/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  53. Jack says:

    “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or other not in accordance with law”. An excellent summary of the 0bama Administration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  54. Modulo Myself says:

    @Jack:

    It’s not even hard. The law does not unambiguously say subsidies are not offered through the federal exchanges.

    An amendment to the Affordable Care Act requires the federally-run exchanges to report various information that they would only be able to report if they were providing subsidies, such as whether taxpayers received an “advance payment of such credit”; information needed to determine individuals’ “eligibility for, and the amount of, such credit”; and “[i]nformation necessary to determine whether a taxpayer has received excess advance payments.” Congress would not have imposed this reporting requirements if they thought that the federal exchanges would not offer subsidies.

    It’s incredibly clear that this complex law was built for and intended to provide subsidies on the federal exchange. If you want to say that the law’s root is one copy-error, and that everything is contradicted by this first principle, fine. If we were talking about the changes in the Ulysses text it might be interesting. But we’re not: we’re talking about a boring law written to provide health coverage. You guys are like pure bureaucrats trying to find the most petty way to screw somebody.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  55. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: You know, it’s when you’ve been shown to be wrong that your character is revealed. Now, you were wrong. Flat-out wrong. You and all the rest of the hysterical Obamacare haters. Wrong.

    I don’t give two shits about your opinion of me, because I know I can count on you to throw them out as if they mean anything any time I present facts, not opinions and other blather. I gave solid links to back up what I said.

    Oh, and @beth: Here’s a slightly less tilted version of Minnesota’s problems – looks like the company made some bad business decisions. So instead of being a victim of Obamacare, it looks like they were a victim of the free market.

    Here’s a slightly more accurate interpretation: the company tried like hell to abide by ObamaCare’s rules, and couldn’t do so without going bankrupt. So they bailed before they went under.

    It’s not “free market” when the government sets up rules that make it impossible to abide by and make a profit. No matter how much you whine and stamp your feet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  56. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    And that’s not the only thing you said that was wrong…but I can’t spend all day correcting you if you aren’t going to pay attention and learn anything anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  57. Jack says:

    @Modulo Myself: The people who voted for it voted for the law AS WRITTEN. And the law as written clearly states that subsidies are reserved for state exchanges. There’s that pesky English language thing again, “established by the state”, is specific and unambiguous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: It’s incredibly clear that this complex law was built for and intended to provide subsidies on the federal exchange. If you want to say that the law’s root is one copy-error, and that everything is contradicted by this first principle, fine. If we were talking about the changes in the Ulysses text it might be interesting. But we’re not: we’re talking about a boring law written to provide health coverage. You guys are like pure bureaucrats trying to find the most petty way to screw somebody.

    So, you’re arguing that the law means whatever you think is best right now, and to ignore the actual written letter of the law? What happens if you decide later that it means something else?

    The proponents said, repeatedly and clearly, that the subsidies were to serve as an incentive to get the states to set up their own exchanges. Now the argument is that there is no connection between the subsidies and whether or not the states set up their own exchanges.

    Were they lying then, are they lying now, or does the law mean whatever the hell you want it to mean?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  59. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s not “free market” when the government sets up rules that make it impossible to abide by and make a profit.

    And yet others are abiding by them and making profits.
    I don’t think that word…impossible…means what you think it means.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  60. Jack says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    It’s incredibly clear that this complex law was built for and intended to provide subsidies on the federal exchange.

    It’s clear to me that the ACA says everyone should pay Jack $1M dollars? What, you didn’t see that provision? It’s so unfortunate that they passed the bill before reading it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  61. David M says:

    The idea that the subsidies were an incentive to build the exchanges is a lie. Everyone knows it’s a lie, including the trolls here and the sociopaths involved in the lawsuits.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  62. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin:

    And yet others are abiding by them and making profits.

    “Valerie Jarrett Assured Insurance Company CEO Who Feared Losing Money on Obamacare”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/383954/valerie-jarrett-assured-insurance-company-ceo-who-feared-losing-money-obamacare-joel

    “The White House wants feds to bail out insurers if they lose money on Obamacare”
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/19/pipes-obamas-risk-corridors-to-a-bailout/?page=all

    “ObamaCare’s Taxpayer Bailout of Health Insurers and the White House’s Involvement to Increase Bailout Size”
    http://oversight.house.gov/report/obamacares-taxpayer-bailout-health-insurers-white-houses-involvement-increase-bailout-size/

    I don’t think that word…profit…means what you think it means.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  63. beth says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: And if you read the rest of the article, you’ll see there’s plenty of other insurance providers in the state that are abiding by the rules and making a profit and signing up new members. Preferred One took a gamble and lost.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  64. David M says:

    The conservative claims don’t remotely make sense. They look at two bills, one with state exchanges and one with a federal exchange, but where everyone was eligible for subsidies, and say the obvious result of combining those bills is a plan where they withhold subsidies from the federal exchange in order to force the states to build their own exchange. They add a federal exchange as a pointless backup and then do not tell anyone that subsidies are only eligible on the state exchanges.

    Now I understand why that moronic logic appeals to sociopaths trying to take away health care from millions because they don’t want the Democrats to be able to do anything. What I don’t understand is why they think anyone else would believe that nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  65. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    Seriously…if you think Insurance Companies are not the biggest winners in the Obamacare sweepstakes…then you are completely ignorant.
    Sorry – there is just no other word to use.
    Insurers are raking in money….they love Obamacare. Of course people like you and Jenos don’t know that because the wing-nuts you trust to tell you things won’t tell you that.
    Look around Jack…well-run insurance companies are doing great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  66. David M says:

    I’d also like to point out that the GOP are the ones trying to take health care away from people, this lawsuit could affect many more people than the small number who had policies cancelled. And unlike most of those people who were eligible for better and cheaper policies, the GOP will be leaving these people with virtually no options.

    And given that the other major GOP action over Obamacare is refusing to expand Medicaid, it’s doubly hard to take their concern over cancelled policies as anything but sour grapes over how successful Obamacare has actually been.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  67. Jack says:

    @David M: Then let them go back and fix the one that was signed, you know, like the law allows. But until then, stick with what was signed and don’t read into it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  68. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: The idea that the subsidies were an incentive to build the exchanges is a lie. Everyone knows it’s a lie, including the trolls here and the sociopaths involved in the lawsuits.

    Here’s Jonathan Gruber, one of the main architects of ObamaCare, saying explicitly in 2012 that citizens in states that didn’t set up exchanges do NOT get the subsidies.

    “In the law it says if the states don’t provide them then the federal backstop will. The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its backstop I think partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it. I think what’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges and that they’ll do it, but you know once again the politics can get ugly around this.”

    (Emphasis added)

    Now Gruber says that he “misspoke” when he said this. Never mind that he said it clearly, supported it in context, and spelled it out in detail. He also said it on several occasions.

    So, David, why did Gruber lie — repeatedly — back in 2012? Is he some crazed right-wing sociopath?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  69. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jack: Go back and change the law? Why bother when you can just say that the law means what you want it to mean now? You got a problem with that, you racist?

    (Just to be on the safe side: that was sarcastic.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  70. David M says:

    @Jack:

    They are following the entire law as written and why subsidies are available on the federal exchange.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  71. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Gruber misspeaking isn’t relevant to the current discussion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  72. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You are so deeply dishonest I don’t know how you can stand yourself. Is it really more important to continue supporting your team than to be an honest man? Is a dishonest hack all you think you’re capable of? Don’t you ever pause to ask yourself why this is all you are? Is this it for you? Have you reached your peak as a human being?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: No, they are following “what we want the law to mean today.” Which is different from what they wanted when the law was written, and — obviously — will be subject to change in the future, when other inconveniences crop up.

    Inconveniences like a lot of critics spent a lot of time futilely predicting years ago, and got called names for doing so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  74. C. Clavin says:

    @michael reynolds:
    They say you should pursue what you are passionate about….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  75. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Blah blah blah. While it’s flattering that you think denigrating me is the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO AT THIS VERY MOMENT, even to the point of going completely off-topic, but you’re really getting boring. I thought you were an award-winning, best-selling author, and that’s the best you can do?

    You’re not even phoning it in, Mickey. You’re texting it while on the toilet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    ObamaCare says that the subsidies are available for those who signed up “through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the [ACA].” The law also spells out that when it says “the State,” it is referring to the 50 states, DC, and territories, not the federal government.

    That’s the letter of the law. The law, as written and passed exclusively by Democrats.

    If that’s not what they wanted, then they shouldn’t have written it that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  77. David M says:

    Shorter Jack: “the card says Moops, millions of people must lose health care, ha ha ha”

    Shorter Jenos: “not only does the card say Moops, the Moops were real”

    Both equally pathetic, but Jenos gets bonus trolling points for added dishonesty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  78. Jack says:

    @David M: Again, there’s that pesky English language thing again, “established by the state”, is specific and unambiguous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  79. Jack says:

    @David M: Shorter David M: Damnit, if we had control of the house we would go back and change the law to say what we want, but because we don’t, we are allowed to interpret it the way we want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  80. michael reynolds says:

    Opponents said Obamacare would explode the deficit. Wrong. The deficit continues to drop.

    Opponents said Obamacare would cause premiums to shoot up. Wrong. Premiums have been rising more slowly than they did before Obamacare.

    Opponents said healthy people wouldn’t sign up. Wrong. The ratios have actually been slightly better than the administration predicted.

    Opponents said insurers would bail out. Wrong. Insurers are jumping in left and right.

    Opponents said people who signed up wouldn’t pay. Wrong. They’ve not only signed up, they’ve paid up.

    Opponents said hospitals would be hurt. Wrong. Hospitals are saving billions in uncompensated care – costs that used to be passed along to taxpayers.

    Opponents said the overall rate of uninsured would not go down. Wrong. It has, for the first time in a very long time.

    Opponents are now left with the “you can keep your doctor” wheeze. Yes, a handful of people lost their doctors. Millions more got coverage.

    So naturally, dishonest hacks like Jenos are obsessed with cherry-picking cases of this or that tiny segment losing out. The fact that these are a minuscule percentage is irrelevant to them. The fact that they’ve been wrong and wrong and wrong over and over again is irrelevant to them. Facts are irrelevant. There’s a black man in the White House trying to make sure working people can see a doctor and people like Jenos hate that. Hate it. Hate that it’s working. Hate that it’s thriving.

    They hate reality. Because once you go down the rabbit hole of the Foxbot universe of propaganda and lies, hate is all you’re left with. Brain death. Empty heads stuffed with nothing but lies, bile, rage, ignorance and hate.

    All because we think poor and working class people should be able to go to the doctor. Just that.

    It’s really profoundly sick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  81. David M says:

    @Jack:

    Except that’s not the entirety of the law, so at best it is ambiguous and allowing the subsidies on the federal exchanges is one of several reasonable interpretations. And in that case the plaintiffs lose, and the GOP doesn’t get their wish to keep millions of people from getting health care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  82. Jack says:

    @michael reynolds: Barack Hussein Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats thought that over time the demand to repeal Obama would subside and be forgot by the American people. Once again the Three Stooges were wrong and according to the most recent Rasmussen poll, 60% of Americans want Obamacare repealed. Only 36% are against repealing the government take over of health care.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  83. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Let me see if I can get the right words here:

    “Get over it. The fight is over, ObamaCare is the law of the land. Get used to it.”

    Now, to use a bit of vulgar language, but I think it makes the point best:

    ObamaCare is a shit sandwich. A lot of us said so, but were shouted down and we lost. Now you’re whining because you just bit into a turd.

    Get used to it, because this is NOT the last.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  84. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    No one is whining except the GOP tools who are unhappy their predictions of failure haven’t come true. Obamacare has been incredibly successful so far, especially when the non-stop GOP sabotage is taken into account.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  85. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    So you have to mis-quote a right-wing polling operation to make your point?
    Which is most likely why you failed to provide a link.
    Here’s what I found from a poll released September 1st (today).

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 36% of Likely U.S. Voters still want Congress to repeal Obamacare in its entirety and start over again. But 47% think Congress should go through the law piece by piece and improve it. Only 12% want to leave the law as is.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/archive/health_care_update_archive/september_2014/voters_favor_piece_by_piece_changes_in_obamacare_over_repeal

    IF YOU HAVE TO LIE TO MAKE YOUR POINT….THEN IT AIN’T MUCH OF A POINT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  86. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The proponents said, repeatedly and clearly, that the subsidies were to serve as an incentive to get the states to set up their own exchanges.

    No, they didn’t. In fact, Harry Reid and several Democrats signed an affadavit accompanying an amicus brief specifically denying this and saying that they intended from beginning that the subsidies to be for all.
    There is no evidence whatsover that anyone, including opponents of the ACA, ever considered that the subsidies might not available to those on the federal exhange. Cannon, Adler, and their supporters are lying bastards for implying that the Democrats intended that the subsidies were not to go to those who signed up for the federal exchange.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  87. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    A ton of people who had pre-existing conditions can now get insurance.
    The rate of uninsured is at a long-time low.
    The rate of increase in health care costs is way down.
    The deficit is down and premiums are increasing more slowly than before Obamacare.
    The life of Medicare has been extended.
    Hospitals are saving billions in uncompensated care.
    Private insurance companies are making tons of money.
    And people like you want to undo all of that and go back to the pre-Obamacare sytem…because you have absolutely no alternatives to suggest. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Just lies and intense bitterness.
    Seriously…….who’s the turd?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  88. michael reynolds says:

    @Jack:

    Oh, look: another sad little lie. As Clavin points out.

    It’s all you people have: lies. Lies and hate. Lies and hate. Lies and hate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  89. michael reynolds says:

    You want proof of how wrong critics of Obamacare have been? They refuse to even bring it up anymore. Critic after critic has gone dark on the subject.

    Who’s writing about Obamacare now? The left. We are. Why? Because we were right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  90. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    Cannon, Adler, and their supporters are lying bastards for implying that the Democrats intended that the subsidies were not to go to those who signed up for the federal exchange.

    Even Cannon initially referred to this as a drafting ambiguity, before realizing that didn’t win the lawsuit. Then it magically became the original intent of the law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  91. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Hey Jack, you know what’s specific? This provision in that same law, which apparently must be interpreted as strictly as the Ten Commandments:


    States must establish American Health Benefit Exchanges

    How come you and other conservatives aren’t arguing on the basis of those six words that states like Oklahoma and Louisiana, etc., should immediately be compelled to set up state exchanges? After all, those words are clear, unambiguous, and mandatory.Never mind there are other provisions that imply that states may at their discretion, decline to set up exchanges.
    Why don’t you and/or Jenos do some homework and explain your reasoning to us? Thanks in advance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  92. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s kind of funny the way right wing pundits have just completely given up predicting doom, including the original poster. They’ve simply given up on the “Obamacare will be a disaster” argument and are left with “Obamacare is unpopular” and “the Obamacare law doesn’t mean what it says.” Note that there are no longer any calls for repeal from Republicans running for office.

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  93. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    McLAUGHLIN & ASSOCIATES
    NATIONAL OMNIBUS
    SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

    8. WHICH COMES CLOSEST TO YOUR VIEW OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, COMMONLY KNOWN AS OBAMACARE?
    1. IT SHOULD REMAIN THE LAW OF THE LAND, EITHER IN ITS CURRENT FORM OR IN AMENDED FORM.
    2. IT SHOULD BE REPEALED AND REPLACED WITH A CONSERVATIVE ALTERNATIVE THAT AIMS TO LOWER HEALTH COSTS AND HELP PEOPLE
    GET INSURANCE.
    3. IT SHOULD BE REPEALED BUT NOT REPLACED WITH AN ALTERNATIVE
    Total 1000
    REMAIN LAW 31.9
    REPEALED/REPLACED 44.3
    REPEALED/NOT REPLACED 15.5
    DK/REFUSED 8.3

    Also, today is October 1 not September 1. Why are you such a LIAR!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  94. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Pick One:

    1. Obummercare
    2. Unicorns
    3. Derp

    At least my survey is up front about how useless it is and isn’t trying to mislead people.

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  95. Rafer Janders says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s a slightly more accurate interpretation: the company tried like hell to abide by ObamaCare’s rules, and couldn’t do so without going bankrupt. So they bailed before they went under. It’s not “free market” when the government sets up rules that make it impossible to abide by and make a profit.

    Um, even under that interpretation, did ALL other insurance companies go bankrupt? No. There were plenty of other companies that managed to abide by Obamacare’s strictures and remain profitably in business.

    It follows, therefore, that this one company didn’tgo bankrupt “because of Obamacare” — because, of course, their more successful competitors were all successfully playing on the same level field. These guys just tried to blame someone else for their own mismanagement. Magic of the market, yo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  96. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    Why don’t you and/or Jenos do some homework and explain your reasoning to us?

    Because the same Supreme Court ruling that called Obamacare a tax also said that states could opt out.

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  97. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s a slightly more accurate interpretation: the company tried like hell to abide by ObamaCare’s rules, and couldn’t do so without going bankrupt. So they bailed before they went under.

    It’s not “free market” when the government sets up rules that make it impossible to abide by and make a profit.

    That’s dumb, even for you, which is impressive. PreferredOne is leaving because they chose to set rates low in 2014 to get market share, but set them too low. Not only that, but they were entering a new market they were not prepared for. So the decisions that caused them problems were of their own making, and were not forced on them by the evil Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  98. Jack says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    There were plenty of other companies that managed to abide by Obamacare’s strictures and remain profitably in business.

    It’s easy to remain in business when the federal government agrees to bail out those that lose money!

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  99. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Hahahahahahahaha…these are the guys that predicted Cantor had an ironclad 34 point lead…just before he got his clock cleaned. Talk about a right-wing bias.

    Cantor’s questionable poll came from a pollster all the main national Republican Party campaign organizations rely on for data. Cantor’s poll was conducted by John McLaughlin and his firm, McLaughlin & Associates — and this race isn’t the first one they’ve gotten wrong. McLaughlin made incorrect predictions on at least four U.S. Senate races since 2012, multiple House races, and several state results in the 2012 presidential election.

    From that survey you linked to:

    9. WOULD YOU SUPPORT OR OPPOSE REPEALING AND REPLACING OBAMACARE WITH A CONSERVATIVE ALTERNATIVE THAT WOULD SAVE $1
    TRILLION, REDUCE PREMIUMS, ENHANCE ACCESS TO DOCTORS, AND INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITH PRIVATE INSURANCE BY 6
    MILLION, BUT WOULD COVER 6 MILLION FEWER PEOPLE OVERALL BECAUSE FEWER PEOPLE WOULD BE ON MEDICAID?

    Talk about unicorns…no such plan exists…there are no serious Republican alternatives…despite years of promises.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  100. David M says:

    @Jack:

    Because the same Supreme Court ruling that called Obamacare a tax also said that states could opt out.

    The Medicaid Expansion is not related to the state/federal exchange issue. Although it does undercut your case a little, as it shows what actually cutting off funds as an incentive looks like. The threat is public. well-known and not a secret, only known to the select few who want to repeal Obamacare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  101. C. Clavin says:

    @David M:
    Between 7,000 and17,000 people will die this year because Republicans refuse to expand Medicaid in their states.
    People will die because of Republican ideology.
    Nice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  102. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    Because the same Supreme Court ruling that called Obamacare a tax also said that states could opt out.

    Out of Medicaid expansion. The SCOTUS simply took it as read that the subsidies were intended for both the federal and state exchanges, BTW- as did the plaintiffs in 2012.

    “[I]n the 2012 constitutional case, these same challengers filed briefs describing Obamacare to the court in precisely the way they now say the statute cannot possibly be read. Namely, they assumed that the subsidies were available on the federal exchanges and went so far as to argue that the entire statute could not function as written without the subsidies. That’s a far cry from their argument now that the statute makes crystal clear that Congress intended to deny subsidies on the federal exchanges.

    I am not a fan of the “gotcha” flavor that some aspects of this case have taken on, but the challengers’ 2012 statements are relevant as a legal matter because what the government has to prove to win—as a matter of black-letter law under the Chevron doctrine—is that the statute is ambiguous. (Chevron says that federal courts defer to the relevant agency’s reading of the statute when a federal statute is unclear—here, that agency is the IRS.)

    Indeed, the plaintiffs went so far as to say the entire Affordable Care Act should have been struck down without the subsidies—because the act would not be able to function as written without them.
    From the brief:

    The Federal Government only subsidizes coverage purchased within an exchange, thus giving insurance companies a reason to sell there despite the distinct regulatory burdens imposed on plans offered through the exchanges. The exchanges cannot be severed from the provisions already addressed. Without the subsidies driving demand within the exchanges, insurance companies would have absolutely no reason to offer their products through exchanges, where they are subject to far greater restrictions. Premised on the mandate, the insurance regulations, and the subsidies, the insurance exchanges cannot operate as intended by Congress absent those provisions. (p. 51, emphasis added)

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/how-the-halbig-plaintiffs-changed-their-mind-109897.html#.U-m0Ck0o_Dc

    The plantiffs are quite simply, grifters, saying one thing in 2012 and a different thing today. Unfortunately, there are grifters on the federal bench who are willing to encourage their BS for partisan gain.

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  103. Gavrilo says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Um, Cantor lost to a more conservative primary opponent. So, right-wing bias doesn’t explain McLaughlin’s bad poll.

    Also, if you look at RCP, every single poll for years (except one, lonely CBS News/NY Times poll) demonstrates that more Americans favor repealing Obamacare than keeping it as is. And, where is the Democrat plan for “fixing” Obamacare? There is none because the provisions that Americans would like to be fixed (like repealing the individual mandate) would destroy Obamacare and Democrats know it.

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  104. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Link to those reputable polls then.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  105. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    Every single commenter above, who supports Obamacare, knows that it is in need of some level of fixing. Every single one. There are no discussions on what or how to fix Obamacare because with you Republicanists it’s a non-starter. Until Republicans in Congress decide they are actually interested in actually governing…it’s a pointless discussion. After they painted Obama as the devil…they realized it’s pretty difficult to explain to the base why they would ever work with the devil.

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  106. Jack says:

    @stonetools:

    The plantiffs are quite simply, grifters, saying one thing in 2012 and a different thing today. Unfortunately, there are grifters on the federal bench who are willing to encourage their BS for partisan gain.

    So, when Obama called it a penalty in the run up to passage but a tax before the Supreme Court, he gets a pass?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  107. Gavrilo says:

    @David M:

    I linked to the RCP page. You can link to any of the 150 or so polls from there. Like this one from Quinnipiac.

    “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a tax hike, American voters say 55 – 36 percent, but in a mixed message, voters agree 48 – 45 percent with the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the law, while they say 49 – 43 percent that the U.S. Congress should repeal it, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  108. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:
    The Quinnipiac poll…a poll over 2 years old…taken before Obamacare was fully implemented.
    C’mon………….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  109. Jack says:

    @C. Clavin: If by fixed, you mean scrapped in total and begun anew, then yes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  110. al-Ameda says:

    The Republican congressional “plan” is to carry on with multiple attempts to rescind, repeal or eviscerate ACA – it’s that simple. They’re not the least bit interested with various measures to reform or fix sections of ACA. Republicans are the anti-matter of American politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  111. David M says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Useful polls include options to keep and expand the health care law. Otherwise people who dislike it because it’s not single payer are lumped in with the repeal Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  112. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: No, they didn’t. In fact, Harry Reid and several Democrats signed an affadavit accompanying an amicus brief specifically denying this and saying that they intended from beginning that the subsidies to be for all.

    Harry Reid, who told us all that the Koch brothers were behind the Keystone XL pipeline, that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid any taxes in years, who claims that the border is “secure,” signed an affidavit saying, essentially, “please ignore the letter of the law and all those things we said 2, 3, 4 years ago. We totes meant just the opposite, honest.” Well, I’m convinced.

    There is no evidence whatsover that anyone, including opponents of the ACA, ever considered that the subsidies might not available to those on the federal exhange. Cannon, Adler, and their supporters are lying bastards for implying that the Democrats intended that the subsidies were not to go to those who signed up for the federal exchange.

    Yeah, if you don’t mind, say, two YouTube videos of one of the prime architects saying exactly that.

    Oh, yeah. He “misspoke.” Repeatedly. At length. In detail.

    I think what’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.

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  113. stonetools says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Obamacare isn’t popular-but so what-neither is Congress. Should we abolish that too?
    What’s clear is that its individual provisions are popular. Moreover, very few (15 per cent, according to your poll) want it repealed and replaced with nothing. And that’s what the Republicans have as an alternative-nothing.
    What matters is that Obamacare is working, and over time, it means that approval for the program will increase.
    Jonathon Cohn in a balanced essay , details how well it’s working here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  114. wr says:

    @Gavrilo: “Um, Cantor lost to a more conservative primary opponent. So, right-wing bias doesn’t explain McLaughlin’s bad poll.”

    Sure. Incompetence did. And that’s a reason we should believe them now?

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  115. C. Clavin says:

    @Jack:
    The problem is that Republicanists like you are not the least bit interested in starting anew…which is why you have no serious workable alternatives.
    You want to just go back to unsustainable health cost increases, unsustainable premium increases, people with pre-existing conditions not getting insurance, Medicare going broke faster, tons of free-riders on the system…and call it a day.
    Got anything but anger and bitterness? Glad to see it. Based on your comments…I’m not holding my breath.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  116. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Well if you disbelieve Mr. Reid, you should easily be able to produce statements by Reid or other Democratic legislators saying that they never intended subsidies to go to those on federal exchange. Go ahead. Link to them. I’ll wait.

    Mr. Gruber has now said many times, including back in 2009 and 2010, when the law was debated , that he intended that the subsidies go to all. Note that Cannon and Adler has presented no evidence at any point that legislators intended that subsidies not go to the federal exchange.

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  117. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: You got any video of Gruber saying just the opposite? Any contemporaneous accounts? Or is this just him conveniently remembering it now?

    What you’re saying was the intent all along was in the bill and taken out. Courts — in a rare display of common sense — tend to see such changes as evidence of intent. And it weighs a lot more than “oh, that’s what we meant at the time, we just screwed up. Honest.”

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  118. stonetools says:

    @Jack:

    So, Jack, why don’t you detail your superior universal health care plan. You’ve had six years to come up with one, so demonstrate that you can do better then the entire Republican Party.

    1.
    2.
    3.

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  119. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: So, now your defense is “whatever, it’s still better than what you got.” Are you conceding that the law has major flaws as written, and the arguments now about the subsidies boil down to “we screwed up, but we don’t want to admit it?” and “the law just means whatever we need it to mean right now?”

    BTW, nice demonstration of Alinsky’s Rule 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” And I don’t feel like playing along with that. Let’s deal with one thing at a time.

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  120. humanoid.panda says:

    @C. Clavin: Beyond that, between then and now, there was a national election, in which Obamacare’s won solidly. Apparently the American people was not so excited about the whole issue.

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  121. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    All of Gruber’s models show subsidies going to all exchanges, whether federal or state run. All contemporary statements about subsidies indicate they would be available on all exchanges. This includes the legislators, plaintiffs, supreme court justices, reporters and commentators. Withholding them from the federal exchange was never discussed and makes no sense.

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  122. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: A few years ago a doctor told me that one problem with the health system is that people are over medicated, over tested, over specialized, and over doctored. Because of the era of the specialist, people are getting overlapping, repetitive, incompatible medications and tests. They are called in numerous and unnecessary times just for a chat, a “pre-op”, a “post op”, and a consultation.
    The age of the family doctor, general practioner is coming to an end. Sad. The doctor around here encourages cash pay: patients save a lot on bills. Some even pay with such things as vegetables from their gardens, or services such as painting, heat/ac maintenance, and car repairs. The doctor says it saves so much paper work and he does not have to worry about a bunch of government regulations. He is going to retire soon and a lot of people don’t know what they will do.

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  123. humanoid.panda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The idea that a supporter of the law is admitting it has flaws and could be improved is a major concession is just frigging ridicilous. I mean, a the tip of a hat, I could name 15t different things I would change in the law if I was a a ruler of the universe. Perfection is however not the standard by which this, or any other law, ever was or should be judged.
    My criteria for judging the law:

    1. Is it an improvement over the status quo? A resounding yes. As far as we can tell at the moment, it reduced the amount of uninsured people, abolished the worst excesses of the insurance industry, and did both without blowing up the insurance industry business model.
    2. Was the improvement worth the money and political capital invested in it? Yes.
    3. Are there major architectural improvements that should be applied to it? Yes. I would, for example, gladly exchange the employer mandate for a higher subsidy level and some improvement in the subsidy calculation process.
    4. Was the implementation process smooth? Here, clearly the administration had an initial F, but iss currently standing at B-.
    5. Was it a budget buster? Absolutely not.

    And bonus point for the Alinsky reference. For the millionth time, the conservative is the only person who had read any of his work in a room full of liberals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  124. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s obvious to all that even if your lies about Obamacare were true, it would still be an improvement over the prior system. That’s the worst case scenario.

    Given that your claims about Obamacare bear no relation to reality, it’s a major success and a massive improvement over either the status quo ante or the mythical Republican alternatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  125. humanoid.panda says:

    @Tyrell: In the highly unlikely case that you are not a genius troll, could you quickly calculate for me how long would it take for you to repay, say, a course of chemotherapy in vegetables?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  126. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Right…thanks for admitting you got nothing…but whiny little bitching noises…like one of those accessory dogs. Yip, yip, yip. But nothing constructive to add.
    I have to admit though…admitting you are a problem is the first step to recovery.
    So good on ya, yippy boy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  127. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Here’s an article by Gruber , in which he gives a detailed analysis of the ACA. Not once does he say that the subsidies would not be available to those on the federal exchange.
    Also too, the Incidental Economist :

    But if you think what Gruber said is some evidence about what the ACA means, you can’t ignore other, similar evidence. That’s cherry-picking. So go ask John McDonough, who was intimately involved in drafting the ACA and is as straight a shooter as there is: “There is not a scintilla of evidence that the Democratic lawmakers who designed the law intended to deny subsidies to any state, regardless of exchange status.” Or ask Senator Max Baucus’s chief health adviser, Liz Fowler. She says the same thing. Or ask Doug Elmendorf, the current CBO Director: “To the best of our recollection, the possibility that those subsidies would only be available in states that created their own exchanges did not arise during the discussions CBO staff had with a wide range of Congressional staff when the legislation was being considered.” Or ask Peter Orszag, then-OMB Director: “[A]s someone who was there, [there is] zero chance this was the intent (as opposed to typo/poor drafting).”

    Or ask Jonathan Cohn or Ezra Klein, both of whom followed the deliberations over the ACA closely. Neither heard a whisper about any supposed threat. Or ask Abbe Gluck, a law professor at Yale who details how “a basic understanding of the ACA’s legislative process makes clear that Congress intended for the subsidies to be available on the federal exchanges.” Or ask Aaron, who wonders, if this threat was so clear, why TIE never mentioned it. “Do you think we would have ignored this? We wouldn’t have been concerned?”

    Better still, ask the states, which were on the receiving end of the supposed threat. According to a report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, there’s no contemporaneous evidence that the states feared that declining to set up an exchange might lead to a loss of tax credits. How can it be that Congress unambiguously threatened the states with the possible loss of tax credits if the states never understood that threa

    Apart from Gruber’s disavowed statement, the Halbig guys have nothing.

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  128. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Nothing, of course, but the actual letter of the law.

    I don’t feel like wading through 27 pages of Gruber’s analysis. Why don’t you show where he actually addresses the issue at hand regarding subsidies? Your statement implies that he says that the subsidies weren’t tied to the states setting up exchanges, but I’d like something a little more concrete.

    As for the analysis… it, again, boils down to “they obviously didn’t mean what they wrote into the law, because they aren’t that stupid.”

    I respectfully disagree. I think that they really were that stupid.

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  129. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    Of course the Halbig troofers have nothing, but that’s not really the point. They are Republicans, and as the trolls have repeatedly shown, the truth is not an obstacle to their goals.

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  130. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Plus, Gruber’s “disavowed” statement just rings true. They wanted the states to set up exchanges, but knew they couldn’t mandate it. So they set up an incentive — their citizens would get financial benefits if they did. And they counted on the states either doing it, or their citizens demanding that the states do it. They couldn’t conceive that more than a handful of states would reject it.

    Well, they did. And it wrecked all their grand schemes. So now they have to go back and rewrite the law, but they can’t, because they did all they could to keep Republicans away from the bill, rammed it down their throats, and then spiked the ball again and again and again, figuring they’d never need the Republicans for anything on this again.

    Well, they were wrong again. They can’t get the law changed. So, instead, they want us all to pretend that the law doesn’t actually say what it plainly says, that it was an “oopsie” that we should all just pretend wasn’t made and just make it up as we go along. Oh, and anyone who doesn’t like the “oopsie” plan is just plain evil and crazy. And evil.

    Your law, your screwup, you get to come up with a plan to fix it. And “oopsie” and “let’s just say the law says whatever we want it to mean right now” won’t fly.

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  131. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    They wanted the states to set up exchanges, but knew they couldn’t mandate it. So they set up an incentive — their citizens would get financial benefits if they did. And they counted on the states either doing it, or their citizens demanding that the states do it. They couldn’t conceive that more than a handful of states would reject it.

    There’s a couple things missing from that. 1. Evidence. 2. Why

    There’s no reason ever given why they wanted to do this. Not why GOP charlatans might have think Democrats might have done this, but why Democrats who were working to increase access to health care would have done this. And any evidence of this “plan” would be the first evidence ever presented.

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  132. Tyrell says:

    @humanoid.panda: I am talking about a gp, family doctor who works in his home and mainly treats sore throats, rhuematism, colds, headaches, ingrown toenails, gout, and does sports physicals; not a specialist.

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  133. humanoid.panda says:

    @David M: I want you to give me a million dollars. For that purpose, I intend to take aim a sniper rifle at you and ask for a ransom so that I won’t pull the trigger. Only problem is that my genius evil plan doesn’t include me calling you and informing you of the threat and the ransom demand,so you keep on behaving normally for years.

    This is basically the legislative history of the ACA as described by the Halbig people.

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  134. David M says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    It’s actually worse than that, as they don’t ever bother to explain how withholding the subsidies to the federal exchange even starts to make sense. It’s underpants gnomes logic.

    1 Withhold subsidies from federal exchanges.
    2 ….
    3 Everyone gets health insurance.

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  135. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:


    They wanted the states to set up exchanges, but knew they couldn’t mandate it

    Actually, as I’ve pointed out above, there’s evidence that they DID mandate it, if you accept Cannon’s cackhanded interpretation theory that you should literally interpret one sentence, to the exclusion of everything else in the world.But let that pass. The Incidental Economist’s analysis demolishes the idea that this was some sort of carrot-and sticks incentive scheme. Plus, prior to the passage of the act, not a single conservative legislator, judge or pundit spoke of the ACA in those incentive terms. It’s classic ex post facto analysis, that would have never occurred if the law had been polished and its drafting errors corrected through the normal conference processd.

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  136. Rob McMillin says:

    “Glee”: where are the Obamacare advocates who, before passage, were telling us we couldn’t read the thing being passed? Where is the ownership of this turd sandwich? “Do what I want” is not a legal basis for anything, unless the speaker is a king in an absolute monarchy, and even then not entirely.

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  137. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Plus, Gruber’s “disavowed” statement just rings true. They wanted the states to set up exchanges, but knew they couldn’t mandate it. So they set up an incentive — their citizens would get financial benefits if they did. And they counted on the states either doing it, or their citizens demanding that the states do it. They couldn’t conceive that more than a handful of states would reject it.

    Let’s see who this didn’t “ring true” for, prior to this lawsuit.

    1. Every Democratic Congressperson
    2. Every Republican Congressperson
    3. The Congressional Budget Office.
    4. Every Congressional aide who helped draft the ACA.
    5. Every federal judge who decided on the ACA.
    6. Every Supreme Court Justice.
    7. Every pundit and reporter who covered the ACA up to its passage.
    8. The plaintiffs in their 2012 Supreme Court Sibelius brief

    You see, Jenos, I was there for the passage of the ACA and followed the debate on it very carefully. There is no doubt that your little scenario is Mirror Universe, alternate history. Occam’s Razor serves well here. The simplest explanation for the provision is question is that it’s a drafting error, asd just as provision under Section1311- “States must establish American Health Benefit Exchanges”- is also a drafting error and not a mandate ordering every state to establish an exchange.

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  138. Rob McMillin says:

    @David M:

    There’s a couple things missing from that. 1. Evidence. 2. Why

    Hey, evidence.

    Obamacare supporters persist in this delusion that there is no knowable past, and frequently are more ignorant of the law as “passed” than its critics.

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  139. David M says:

    @Rob McMillin:

    Gruber’s garbled explanation isn’t proof of anything, especially when his other work supports the subsidies being available on the federal exchanges.

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  140. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “You got any video of Gruber saying just the opposite? Any contemporaneous accounts? Or is this just him conveniently remembering it now?”

    Did Gruber write the bill? Nope. Did Gruber vote on the bill? Nope. Does Gruber’s comment have anything to do with anything? Nope.

    But thanks for adding so much to the conversation.

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  141. wr says:

    @Tyrell: Yes, but here in the 21st century we have antibiotics, so it’s a trade off.

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  142. wr says:

    @stonetools: “Actually, as I’ve pointed out above, there’s evidence that they DID mandate it, if you accept Cannon’s cackhanded interpretation theory that you should literally interpret one sentence, to the exclusion of everything else in the world’

    To be fair to Jenos, reading one whole sentence is already taxing his intellectual capabilities, so we can’t really expect more from him. From a Federal judge, sure — but then Bush set out to trash the judiciary with his appointment of political hacks and he did a pretty good job of it.

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  143. David M says:

    I’m not sure why the Republicans think Gruber’s comments matter, or are meaningful, given the timing problems.

    2010: PPACA is passed
    2011: IRS says subsidies are available on federal and state exchanges
    early 2012: Gruber makes confusing subsidy statements
    late 2012 / early 2013: States make final decision on running their own exchanges

    By the time Gruber misspoke, the IRS had already said subsidies were available on the federal exchange. And that IRS decision was made before it was apparent how many states were going to run their own exchange, so it’s impossible for it to be a reaction to something that hadn’t happened yet. The Republican claims about this just don’t stand up under minimal scrutiny.

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  144. stonetools says:

    @David M:

    By the time Gruber misspoke, the IRS had already said subsidies were available on the federal exchange. And that IRS decision was made before it was apparent how many states were going to run their own exchange, so it’s impossible for it to be a reaction to something that hadn’t happened yet. The Republican claims about this just don’t stand up under minimal scrutiny.

    Yeah, but you haven’t figured in Obama’s time travel capabilities…

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  145. stonetools says:

    @Rob McMillin:

    I give you Gruber’s disavowed statements and raise you all the Congressional staffers who worked on the ACA:

    For staffers who helped write Obamacare though, there isn’t really a debate at all. The answer, for them, is crystal clear: they definitely meant to have subsidies available in all 50 states, regardless on who ran the marketplace.

    “It was always intended that the federal fallback exchange would do everything that the statute told the states to do, which includes delivering the subsidies,” says Chris Condeluci, who worked as tax and benefits counsel for the Senate Finance Committee Republicans during the Affordable Care Act debate.

    To that I add the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, who is certain that the subsidies were intended for everyone and never scored it any other-nor was he asked to score it any other way, even by Republicans.
    So yes, we can know past history-and the evidence tells us that every legislator-Democrat and Republican-believed that the subsidies were intended for all. But let me make it easy for you- link to one legislator, state or federal-who prior to 2012 said the subsidies would not be available to everyone, including those on the federal exchange.

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  146. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: You see, Jenos, I was there for the passage of the ACA and followed the debate on it very carefully.

    And yet the first link you provided to back up your argument said absolutely nothing about the matter at all.

    But hey, you’re some anonymous guy (or gal) on the internet who says things like “I think the Republicans are so sociopathically obsessed with denying health care to the poor and thwarting the ni##er in the White House that they will happily throw millions of the working poor off their plans,” so of course we should all defer to your honesty and accurate recollections and assertions of authority.

    But just for giggles, let’s assume for the moment that it was a “drafting error.” We’ll overlook how the “right” language was in there and then taken out, the explanations of how the letter of the law was the actual intent, and say that it was an oopsie. How should it be addressed?

    News flash: not everyone has signed on to Obama just deciding that the law means whatever it means today, subject to change when he changes his mind. When Congress makes a significant mistake in a law, Congress has to fix it.

    How many times did we hear “it’s the law of the land” and “it’s settled law?” Well, guess what, chumps? You were right, it’s the laws of the land and settled law. You won. You wanna change the law now? Go ahead. Bring it on.

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  147. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Was it a drafting error or an intentional choice? It can’t be both.

    In the case of ambiguous language, the tie goes to he government and the subsidies are valid.

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  148. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “But hey, you’re some anonymous guy (or gal) on the internet”

    Unlike you, right? Because your mommy picked your real name out of some Star Wars tie-in novel?

    Honestly, little Jenos, your current game of projection (“Whatever I do, I’ll blame on them before anyone notices hee hee hee — I’m so fiendishly clever!”) is pathetically transparent, but this one takes you down from “petty annoyance” to “flat out joke.”

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  149. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But hey, you’re some anonymous guy (or gal) on the internet who says things like “I think the Republicans are so sociopathically obsessed with denying health care to the poor and thwarting the ni##er in the White House that they will happily throw millions of the working poor off their plans,” so of course we should all defer to your honesty and accurate recollections and assertions of authority.

    Is it wrong to infer that if Republicans were successful in repealing ACA that, in fact, millions of working people would be thrown off their plans?

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  150. C. Clavin says:

    @al-Ameda:
    That’s not an inference…it’s plain fact.
    Just because someone doesn’t like being told what they are…doesn’t mean they aren’t.
    Actions speak louder than words.
    Throwing millions off their insurance is just that…like it or not.

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  151. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And yet the first link you provided to back up your argument said absolutely nothing about the matter at all.

    Someone needs to brush up on their reading comprehension skills. Seems a lot of people understood the relevancy. Why don’t you re-read with an open mind this time?

    But hey, you’re some anonymous guy (or gal) on the internet who says things like “I think the Republicans are so sociopathically obsessed with denying health care to the poor and thwarting the ni##er in the White House that they will happily throw millions of the working poor off their plans,”

    Definition of sociopath:

    Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.

    Seems to define Republican attitudes to the poor and working class to a T. I would describe Republican attitude to the poor, working class, and minorities as one of callous indifference, if not outright hostility. I’m curious: resisting Medicaid expansion denies access to heath care for millions of poor and working class Americans, even though the federal government pays for most of it. How is doing that not showing “lack of concern” for the poor and working class?

    But just for giggles, let’s assume for the moment that it was a “drafting error.” We’ll overlook how the “right” language was in there and then taken out, the explanations of how the letter of the law was the actual intent, and say that it was an oopsie. How should it be addressed?

    If its a drafting error, the settled law of the land is that the agency’s reasonable interpretation controls, which is why the plaintiffs have to pretend it’s deliberate, unambigious Democratic policy.

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  152. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Once again, you’re absolutely right. I have absolutely no right to argue from authority, and I’ll stop that immediately.

    …which is incredibly easy, because I wasn’t doing that in the first place.

    Christ, you never stop refusing to get the point, do you?

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  153. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Is it wrong to infer that if Republicans were successful in repealing ACA that, in fact, millions of working people would be thrown off their plans?

    You mean that they might get back the plans and doctors they liked, and were promised they could keep? Yeah, that would be terrible. Just awful. Can’t have that, can we?

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  154. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: When the letter of the law is allegedly in conflict with what the drafters intended, then the law should be changed.

    You wanna go into court and argue that someone should be prosecuted when they can pull out the law and show that they actually followed the law to the letter?

    This brings up a fun scenario: imagine the IRS commissioner being brought into court and asked to defend his issuing of tax credits that are in direct violation of the letter of the law. One could even argue it would be a felony — misappropriation of federal funds.

    “Mr. Commissioner, would you kindly read the highlighted sections of the law, and then explain why you did the exact opposite of what the law says?”

    “Because obviously Congress meant just the opposite of what is written.”

    “If that is so, Mr. Commissioner, then why hasn’t Congress changed the law to reflect its intent?”

    “Because when they passed the law, Congress was held by the Democrats, and they could do whatever they wanted. But when the screwup was discovered, those mean nasty Republican poopyheads had taken enough seats back to mean the Democrats couldn’t just do whatever they wanted any more. So we just pretended that they did anyway.”

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  155. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Except the number who couldn’t keep their plans or doctors was quite small, and nowhere near as large as the number the who will lose insurance if the GOP gets their way. Somehow you seem less concerned about these people, so it makes all your previous whining seem even less sincere, difficult as that was to do. I am glad you’ve let us know to never take your nonsense on this particular issue seriously again.

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  156. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I never claimed you were arguing from aurhority. I claimed rightly that you were dismissing someone else’s argument because it came from “some anonymous guy on the internet,” as if you are anything else. It is amusing that we know so much about so many of the lives of the left-leaners on this forum — MR, Anjin and I, among others, are happy to reference our real-world experiences in business and life to back up our beliefs. (And yes, before you start crying like a little baby, I understand we know nothing about Mr. Clavin.) But most of the righties hide behind lies they’ve picked up from Fox News and Red State and the rest and are desperately afraid of drawing on their own successes in life.

    Can’t think why that would be.

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  157. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: Apparently you missed the part where Stoney argued from aurhority. Not surprising; you miss anything that doesn’t support your prejudices. Even more unsurprising, because I actually quoted his unsupported assertion.

    When was the last time you actually argued from the same universe as the other party? Do you even have a tourist visa to reality?

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  158. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Except the number who couldn’t keep their plans or doctors was quite small, and nowhere near as large as the number the who will lose insurance if the GOP gets their way.

    By one estimate, that “quite small” number was 4.7 million people. By that same study, ObamaCare had signed up 2 million people.

    I’m not up on Common Core math, but I’m pretty comfortable in saying that 4.7 billion is more than 2 million.

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  159. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Whoops, I meant 4.7 MILLION in that second reference, not 4.7 BILLION. I’d call it a typo, but it was probably more of a “drafting error” and everyone should just assume I meant “million” all along, and we’ll all pretend that I never typed “billion.”

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  160. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    When the letter of the law is allegedly in conflict with what the drafters intended, then the law should be changed.

    Except that what the government is arguing is that the law is ambiguous, therefore the agency interpretation should control. Now I appreciate that you might not want to understand the government’s position, but try to look past your prejudices on the issue. Note (once again) that six of nine federal judges have accepted the government’s argument on the issue, so you might want to rethink your position that the letter of the law is clear.

    Apparently you missed the part where Stoney argued from aurhority.

    I’m curious: when did I argue from authority? I want to know so that I can refine my argument. Thanks in advance for pointing it out.

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  161. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Daily Caller? I’m not even bothering to look at it. Anyone even barely familiar with the issue should know that quite a few plans ended up not being cancelled and were allowed to continue. So the final number ended up being much smaller than credible estimates, and nowhere near as large as the Republican liars like yourself have been claiming.

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  162. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: I’m curious: when did I argue from authority? I want to know so that I can refine my argument. Thanks in advance for pointing it out.

    That would be the part where you said “You see, Jenos, I was there for the passage of the ACA and followed the debate on it very carefully,” but didn’t offer a single link or citation to back up your position. In fact, the best link you offered was a 27-page analysis by Gruber that didn’t actually address the point being raised.

    You’re welcome.

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  163. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: The Daily Caller? I’m not even bothering to look at it.

    Whatever. Here’s the AP article that the Caller based their article on. And that 4.7 million doesn’t count 18 states who “are not tracking” or “not available,” so the 4.7 million is quite certainly higher.

    Thanks for making me go to the AP source. It’s even more supportive of my point.

    and nowhere near as large as the Republican liars like yourself have been claiming.

    Kiss my ass, lying hack.

    (I hope I got the vernacular right; I’m trying to answer you in your own language.)

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  164. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    By one estimate, that “quite small” number was 4.7 million people. By that same study, ObamaCare had signed up 2 million people

    Holy mackeral, that “estimate” comes from a Daily Caller “report.”. Can you link to something that at least pretends to science and objectivity, please?That would be like me linking to Pravda for reports on capitalism or to the Creation Science Museum for an analysis of evolution.

    The lede:

    Obamacare may have promised health insurance for the masses. But on its first day, it’s left more Americans without coverage than before the law was passed.

    More than 4.7 million Americans had their health insurance canceled as a result of any of the thousand-plus-page law’s new rules, The Associated Press reports, but the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed Tuesday that between federal and state exchanges, just two million Americans have signed up for Obamacare coverage. (RELATED: Obama administration announces net loss of at least 3 million insurance plans)

    Seriously? Something that dates back to a “report” made on 10.1.2013?Better trolling, please?

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  165. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In fact, the best link you offered was a 27-page analysis by Gruber that didn’t actually address the point being raised.

    Not true (again). Gruber’s analysis was done based on exchanges going to both federal and state exchanges, not state exchanges only.

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  166. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Oh, even better. Those were 4.7 million policies that were canceled. That means that one person’s policy counts just as much as, say, the Duggars or the Osmonds, so the number of people who lost their coverage goes up even more.

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  167. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You complained about Obama’s keep your plan fix, so you know the 4.7 million number is in fact not accurate. Ergo, you are lying about the number. It’s pretty simple really.

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  168. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Not true (again). Gruber’s analysis was done based on exchanges going to both federal and state exchanges, not state exchanges only.

    Not that I’m inclined to distrust your word, but could you actually post a quote from that declaring such? I skimmed through it and didn’t find it, but since it’s your source, I’m sure you can find it in no time at all.

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  169. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: I don’t know what the hell you’re arguing, but I linked to an AP article that cited 4.7 million policies canceled as of December 2013 — and didn’t include 18 states. So that number is based on 33 states (well, 32 and DC). Even assuming that the other 18 states didn’t cancel any AND each policy was to an individual, that’s 4.7 million people who lost their policies. And those assumptions are technically possible, but obviously not accurate.

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  170. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Sigh. Someone doesn’t understand what the argument from authority is. Start with this Wikipedia article. I was simply stating that I had followed the ACA debate from the beginning, not stating that I was an authority on a particular topic. But thanks for showing your limitations in the area of logical reasoning.

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  171. stonetools says:

    @David M:

    Well, since he admitted he didn’t read the article, he is kind of at a disadvantage in arguing with you about the contents of the article.

    I don’t feel like wading through 27 pages of Gruber’s analysis.

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  172. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: I said I SKIMMED it. But it’s his citation; it’s his job to show just where it reinforces his point.

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  173. David M says:

    The keep your plan extension meant 1.5 million policies weren’t cancelled.

    Of the remaining cancelled policies, some weren’t going to be renewed, some were eligible for the Medicaid Expansion, some were eligible for subsidies, some were able to get much more comprehensive policies.

    So the 4.7 million number is both not true and misleading, which is quite the achievement in dishonesty.

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  174. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I don’t know who “Stoney” is or why I should care what he said about anything. You dismissed someone’s argument because it came from an anonymous person on the internet, by which standards everything you”ve ever posted should be dismissed.

    As if anyone needed an extra reason.

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  175. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The exchange subsidies spending amount is fixed, it is not lowered depending on the number of states running their own exchange.

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  176. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: By established precedent in this thread, I’m rejecting any link to the Puffington Host.

    And “postponed” just means “canceled, but not just yet.” Much like “it’s cancer, Joe, you have six months to live” doesn’t mean you’re fine.

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  177. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Well , since I originally cited the article, let me direct your attention to Page 5:

    This motivates the third leg
    6
    of the stool: government subsidies to make insurance affordable for lower income families.
    Under the ACA, these subsidies come in two forms. The first is an expansion of the Medicaid
    program to all individuals with incomes below 133 percent of the poverty line (which is $10,830
    for individuals and $22,050 for a family of four). The second is tax credits to offset the cost of
    private non-group insurance
    . These tax credits are designed to cap the share of income that
    individuals have to spend to get insurance, beginning with a cap at 3 percent of income at 133
    percent of the poverty level and rising to a cap of 9.5 percent of income at 300 percent of the
    poverty level (and remaining at 9.5 percent until 400 percent of the poverty level). In addition, if
    individuals have incomes below the threshold for income tax filing, or if the cheapest health
    insurance option available to them costs more than 8 percent of their income, they are exempt
    from the mandate penalty.

    Note that Gruber doesn’t distinguish as to which exchange the individuals are enrolled in. He clearly didn’t contemplate that the individuals would recieve different tax credits based on which exchange they enrolled in-which is why he doesn’t even mention a federal/state distinction.

    For the record , the article was published in June 2011. The ACA was passed in 2010.

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  178. David M says:

    Churn is a normal part of the individual health insurance market that anyone discussing cancelled policies should be familiar with. It seems like Jenos is again talking about issues he does not understand.

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  179. stonetools says:

    The Daily Caller article is simply an excellent example of propoganda sowing FUD. If you clicked through to the article, here’s the lead:

    Millions of Americans who buy their own health insurance were informed this fall that their policies would no longer be offered starting in 2014 because they do not meet the higher standards of the federal Affordable Care Act

    Note the bolded section (whichsomehow did not make into the Daily Caller article). Essentially, the policies were substandard, possibly fraudulent crap.
    Now when the government directs the recall of millions of cars because they do not meet safety standards, we don’t attack the government for “cancelling” voluntary contracts of sale-rather, we applaud them for fulfilling their role as protectors of the consumer. (Well, the non-sociopathic part of the polulation does).
    The issue is whether consumers found better policies in the new insurance exchanges over the course of enrollment. the overwhelming evidence is that most consumers did, which is 74 per cent of Republicans who enrolled in the exchanges stated they were happy with their policies.

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  180. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    I’m pretty sure those people don’t count. How is Jenos supposed to show how awful Obamacare is if he has to include the ones it helped? It’s a difficult enough task with the fact that most of the stories from people who were “hurt” keep falling apart as soon as they are asked the most basic questions. Having to accurately weigh the benefits as well as the costs would just be asking too much.

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  181. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “And “postponed” just means “canceled, but not just yet.”

    No, it doesn’t. Postponed means postponed. Canceled means canceled. You don’t get to change the meanigs of words and then argue based on your changed meaning. I realize you have no skill with the English language, but please don’t assume that’s true of the rest of us.

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  182. C. Clavin says:

    Obama today:

    “…while good, affordable health care might seem like a fanged threat to the freedom of the American people on Fox News, it’s working pretty well in the real world…”

    Meanwhile Jenos argues that postponed means canceled.
    That is all…………….

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  183. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @stonetools: Note the bolded section (whichsomehow did not make into the Daily Caller article). Essentially, the policies were substandard, possibly fraudulent crap.

    Like postmenopausal lesbians being forced to pay for birth control. Or this case.

    “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. Period.” Unless we later decide that we know what’s best for you better than you do, in which case you get what we think you need. So just shut up and pay your money, you stupid prole. Don’t question your betters.

    That about right?

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  184. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Apparently you are unfamiliar with the concept of health insurance or the individual health insurance market. Those aren’t “Obamacare” problems.

    Another point of reference on the Republican “cancelled policy” lie, this time for Florida:

    “It is important to note that the ‘300,000’ was a number that was being used when describing how many Florida Blue members could receive a notice that their policies would not be compliant with ACA requirements throughout all of 2014, if no extension was provided to these plans,” spokesman Paul Kluding told PolitiFact Florida in an email. “In actuality, only 40,000 letters were mailed to members with Jan. 1, 2014, effective dates. Subsequent notices were sent to these members notifying them that their existing plans would remain active and unchanged through 2014.”

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