Obamacare supporters are running scared. With SCOTUS hearings in King v Burwell just a week away, every argument in support of Obamacare and in opposition to the King position is coming out in the press again, regardless of how the issue had been resolved already in the lower courts.
In the past few weeks, we’ve heard about the standing of the plaintiffs in the case. The Wall Street Journal first raised the question of standing with their article: Health-Law Challenger’s Standing in Supreme Court Case Is Questioned. I love the title of the article. It makes it look like we’re going to learn about who it is that is questioning the plaintiff’s standing, but after a careful reading, it is apparent the people questioning the plaintiff’s standing are the authors (and therefore their editor and publisher). What is passed off as a news story is really an unofficial Amicus Brief. The pro-Obamacare press then came out in force revealing itself for all to see.
Kaiser Health News posted its introduction to the WSJ article: More Questions Emerge Regarding Standing Of King V. Burwell Plaintiffs.
CNBC piled on with Shaky standing for big Obamacare court case plaintiffs?
Talking Points Memo wondered allowed if the standing issue was A New Surprise Twist In The Big Anti- Obamacare Lawsuit Before SCOTUS?
California Healthline upped the ante declaring, New Questions Raised Over King v. Burwell Plaintiffs’ Standing.
And finally, a breathless New Republic suggested The Supreme Court Could Dismiss the Obamacare Lawsuit Over This One Legal Quirk.
First of all, the questions are not new, nor are they a surprise. Every court that has considered this case has considered the standing of the plaintiffs. And SCOTUS will consider standing, too.
There have been Op-Ed pieces, too many to count, vouching for the intent of Congress to make premium assistance tax credits available to people in all 50 states, and there have been the those on the other side.
Former staffers have written about how it was never their intent to limit access to the premium tax credits. Press covering Congress have shown the voting record of Congressional Committees voting for language that clearly indicated otherwise.
The truth of the matter is that the architects of this particular part of the law thought that they would be dealing with a few thousand people who did not receive subsidies in places like North Dakota and Wyoming and New Hampshire. They did not foresee the rebellion in the fly-over states and the millions that would be without premium assistance when those states refused to play along.
And to add insult to this potentially grievous injury, the American people are discovering what happens when we let the government run such a large and complex program.
Forbes tells us Obamacare’s Costs Are Climbing, Not Receding.
Kaiser Health News tells us that Even Insured Consumers Get Hit With Unexpectedly Large Medical Bills.
Even the Congressional Budget Office gave up on scoring Obamacare last summer.
My sources tell me there is a real shot that SCOTUS will find for the plaintiffs, essentially killing Obamacare. Republicans in Congress are desperately preparing legislation in the event SCOTUS rules against the government. They know what is coming. They also know how dangerous the SCOTUS ruling could be.
State legislatures continue to apply pressure on the feds as state after fly-over state continues to kill Medicaid expansion despite the wishes of their Republican governors. Already this year attempts to expand Medicaid in Virginia, Tennesee, Wyoming and South Dakota have failed. In Texas, and across the South, it is a non-starter and Alaska’s legislature is expressing doubts.
Independence Day in 2015 may have a unique meaning in American history. The beginning of the Big Government retreat from our lives.