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Congress Left Out Crucial Part Of Obama-Care Law

From the Washington Post:

Could one word take down Obamacare?

By Sarah Kliff | Monday, July 16, 2012

Section 1401 of the Affordable Care Act is, on the surface, just as exciting as it sounds. It outlines in excruciating detail the eligibility requirements for an American to receive a tax subsidy to assist in purchasing health insurance.

That’s at first glance, at least. Two experts who recently scoured Section 1401 think they found something huge: a missing word that could undercut the Affordable Care Act’s promise of affordable health insurance.

Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathan Adler and Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon argue in a new paper that any federally-established health insurance exchange does not have the authority to dole out health insurance subsidies. Those subsidies are important: They are the $800 billion in tax credits meant to subsidize coverage for low- and middle-income Americans.

This is not really news. The governors have been aware of this for some time. And the left has been worried sick about it.

The leftwing Talking Points Memo reported back on July 3rd: “Because as the result of a drafting oversight, Congress neglected to include automatic appropriations for federally facilitated exchanges (FFEs). That means there’s money on hand to help states that want to set up the exchanges themselves, but the government’s options vis-a-vis states that can’t or won’t act on their own are more limited.”

But it is nice to see the Washington Post finally getting up to speed.

If that is true — and it’s worth noting that the Obama administration, along with a number of legal scholars, argue that it is not — it would significantly curtail the Affordable Care Act’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do: make health care affordable. And that puts Section 1401 at the center of a burgeoning debate over what Congress meant when it wrote the Affordable Care Act, and how that effects its ultimate implementation

So even after passing the bill, Congress still hasn’t found out what was in it.

The last three words [of Section 1311] are the crucial ones, because they indicate that only states can establish exchanges under that Section 1311. There’s a whole other part of the law, Section 1321, that allows the federal government to set up federal exchanges in states that do not take on the task themselves.

This all matters in the all-important Section 1401, where it lays out who can get a federal insurance subsidy. There, the law says that only those who are “enrolled … through an Exchange established by the State under 1311.”

If there’s a smoking gun in this case, it’s that sentence right there. It says that the only people who can qualify for subsidies are those who get coverage through a state-based exchange…

The debate now centers on whether Section 1401 has a drafting error. Did the federal government mean to count federally-established marketplaces there and miss a word? Or did they actually mean to send insurance subsidies only to states that did the heavy lifting?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. The law will find its way back to the Supreme Court and Justice Roberts will rule that it means whatever Mr. Obama wants it to mean at the moment.

“This is a 2,000-page bill that was put together in extraordinarily messy circumstances,” says Yale University’s Abbe Gluck, who has studied the issue…

No kidding. (And it is actually a 2,700 page bill.)

The Obama-Care bill has probably never been read in its entirety by a single human being. Certainly, it wasn’t read by the Congressmen who voted for it, or even their staffers. it is a monstrosity and a travesty.

Still, wouldn’t it be great if Obama-Care is undone by its own sloppiness? Because they were in such a rush to ram it through Congress in the dead of night? We can dream, can’t we?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Congress Left Out Crucial Part Of Obama-Care Law”

  1. ilzito guacamolito says:

    ~ Still, wouldn’t it be great if Obama-Care is undone by its own sloppiness? Because they were in such a rush to ram it through Congress in the dead of night? We can dream, can’t we? ~

    From your lips to Zeus’ ear.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    At the end of the day, it has been proven that the sunset of the nation is at hand. The national socialists are all standing around, holding hands, watching as freedom and liberty descend and on the East, tyranny and despotism rise.

    They love it.

    And, without any conservatives to fight back, or the ones that do ridiculed by the media for speaking sound, reasoned, logical arguments, we the people are now subject to the wind. A socialist wind that stinks and which carries disease as it has in every nation that has such weather.

    Every day I am saddened further at the slow death of this nation that I loved so much I put my life on the line for it. Had I known how things would turn out, I would’ve moved to some other nation and immersed myself in socialism from the very start, maybe even becoming a party operative…just for the sake of survival.

    Well….Since I was born, I have watched as our government has installed thousands of new laws and statutes every year, take more and more of my freedom away as well as more and more of my paycheck….all in the name of “fairness” and “equality” because there are those who want this nation to be just as big a cesspool as the nations that have socialist governments.

    Why do we want to be like France? Are our dear leaders trying to be like the cool kids yet again? It would seem so. Yet, European nations will always hold the US in contempt as an upstart. Why? Because everyone hates a winner. But by making us as big a loser as Europe, it won’t do anything but have them laughing at us even louder.


    The emotions that drive socialists…..which in turn ruin everyone else’s lives. I think the baby-boomers didn’t get anything out of the required reading in high school and then went on to college to find a line of work that would allow them to vent their spleens. A bloody shame, that.

    • Petronius says:

      Rusty, “the slow death of this nation….”

      Compare America in the 1950s to today. Was it better then or now? The people? The economy? The middle class? Our cities? Crime? Manners, morality, and pop culture? Schools? The Constitution and rule of law? Our currency? Our industrial base? Our global standing? Our freedom?

      Fast forward one decade at a time to the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, etc. Are we getting better or worse? Consider everything apart from technology and medicine. If you are as old as I am, and if you have watched it with the same eyes that I have, you can see an unmistakable decline steadily taking place.

      A people reach their peak during their period of high barbarism. For us that was the mid-19th century.

      The late-1950s was the high-water mark of our civilization. 1965 was the turning point. The fiasco in Iran and the invasion of the Marielitos in 1980 were clear signs that something was seriously wrong, that the Liberal Death Wish was in the ascendancy. The decade of the 1980s was our last stand.

      Even if Nerobama is defeated in Nov, and surrenders power without a fight, he will remain eligible to run again in 2016. And by then there will be another 10 to 15 million foreign voters to swell the ranks of the Left.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Like this will make any difference to a federal establishment so corrupt, riddled with fraud and deceit and operating with wing tanks filled with malfeasance and hate.

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