Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 21, 2014

Obamacare Withstands Legal Challenge

Washington Post: “A federal judge in the District rejected a lawsuit Wednesday that would have gutted President Obama’s health-care law by preventing the government from giving out subsidies to people buying health insurance in dozens of states.”

Wall Street Journal: “Citing a disputed passage in the law’s text, [conservative legal groups] argue that the subsidies can only be given to people in states that set up their own exchanges. More than two-thirds of the states didn’t do so, relying instead on a federally run exchange.”

“If the judge had ruled for the challengers, the decision could have upended the law’s implementation by making health insurance unaffordable for many people living” in the 14 states that run their own exchanges.

Judge Paul Friedman: “The plain text of the statute, the statutory structure and the statutory purpose make clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally facilitated exchanges.”

  • MrBeale

    This was a pretty absurd challenge. If SCOTUS was willing to uphold it in 2012 under the taxing power, I highly doubt they’ll go for this.

  • lookolook

    Theater of the absurd. After throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at Obamacare, in order to upend it, nothing sticks. Yet, the Republicans are still wasting their un-precious time trying to kill the un-killable. It’s their time to waste though.

  • Don4366

    I am still infuriated that the SCOTUS ruled that the penalty for not complying
    with the ACA is a tax. After reading the decision, I still believe the ACA is unconstitutional due to the individual mandate to buy insurance from a private company or be “taxed”. I do not believe the ACA case was argued properly, and the issue should be heard again with better representation.

    Consider that the Constitution defines rights of the federal government to levy taxeson international trade
    (http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html),
    but not having the right to tax interstate trade (http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec9.html
    No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State).

    Considering health insurance is an intangible Article, the US
    Constitution, Article 1, Section 9 would apply. It is established that it is the individual states regulate and tax commerce within the respective state.

    That is why theState of Massachusetts could impose their health insurance mandatewithin that particular state.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_health_care_reform

    The federalgovernment does NOT have that authority to tax in lieu of compliance to purchase an interstate product or to tax in lieu of compliance on
    an in-state product. The U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Sections 8 & 9 clearly defines that the role of the federal government is to regulate and tax international commerce, NOT interstate commerce. The SCOTUS decision is on shaky Constitutional ground since it has ruled that it is permissible for the federal government to impose a “tax” under the ACA authority.

    Let us look at the The Interstate Commerce Act, which was to regulate the
    interstate transport of goods and persons via railroads, buses, and other commercial transport to insure fair business practices,avoiding monopolies.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Commerce_Act_of_1887

    The ICA was authorized by the states to pass a limited responsibility of
    interstate commerce regulation over to the federal government,because it is not a power directly authorized to the federal government by the Constitution. The ICA NEVER authorized the federal government to tax interstate commerce as the news hype wouldlead us to believe.
    The SCOTUS made a political spin decision using the ICA as a reference from all appearances, and the news media hyped it to fool the general public. I am certain that there was a lot of snickering behind closed doors over this “rabbit-out-of-the-hat” decision.

    Since the Congressis jammed up with partisan infighting, it is the SCOTUS that needs to revoke this bad law made by Congress and signed by the President.
    Time is proving the debilitating effect the ACA is having and will continue to have on the U.S. economy. The ACA is clearly unconstitutional when it is argued properly before the SCOTUS. What we, the citizens of the United States, need is a law firm with enough public backing to appeal the SCOTUS decision with the above justification, since this is clearly a new approach and allowable for an appeal. The best thing to do with a bad law is repeal it.

    Insurance companies that want to do use interstate commerce for sales can be
    regulated under the ICA to allow persons with pre-existing medical conditions to obtain insurance for a reasonable price as a requirement for doing business interstate. The individual states can regulate the insurance industry within each state in a similar fashion. There was and is no need for the federal government to conspire with the health insurance industry to burden the entire U.S. Population with unwarranted cost for medical insurance.

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