Then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi famously stated that Congress must pass the 2500+page-Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “quickly” so that “we could find out what was in it.”
Mistakes were made, and I don’t mean just The Mistake of passing Obamacare at all.
In its haste, Congress only specifically authorized for purchasers of health insurance on state exchanges to receive tax-payer-subsidies and not on the federal, Healthcare.gov exchange. Democrats now claim that this was a scrivener’s error but it appears this was actually done to try and coerce mostly Republican-controlled states to agree to set up state exchanges.
A court could soon rule on this matter and if subsidies are denied on the federal government website-purchases, Obamacare chaos could reach even higher levels that we have seen from millions of policy cancellations and people now being denied coverage for emergency room visits that they thought they purchased:
On Tuesday Judge Paul Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said he would rule on whether people who sign up for health insurance on federal exchanges in 34 states can get subsidies.
Under the Affordable Care Act, subsidies are only available for state exchanges. But through regulation the Internal Revenue Service has extended subsidies to federal exchanges too.
Separately, the White House signaled on Wednesday that it is postponing for a few months the penalties for people who do not sign up for health insurance — even though earlier this month PresidentBarack Obama attacked congressional Republicans who sought to postpone penalties for a year. Also see: Obamacare penalties to be delayed.
Several groups are challenging the federal subsidies. Judge Friedman ruled that their case could go forward, disappointing the administration. The Justice Department argued that the court should throw out the case because the plaintiffs had no standing. After the judge’s ruling, the plaintiffs are standing tall.
The above is only the latest court challenge to Obamacare.
Eleven state attorneys general are also considering bring suit to stop delays of the individual manadate that states relied upon and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear another challenge below: