Supreme Court Could Defund Obamacare
Federal subsidies are the lynchpin holding Obamacare together. Without them, insurance plans bought on state-run exchanges would be too expensive for most people to buy.
Which means there’s a huge gaping problem if you live in one of the 36 states that chose to let the feds run the exchange: You don’t qualify for federal subsidies.
“Congress was exceedingly clear that tax credits and subsidies are available to people whose plans ‘were enrolled in through an exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,’” argues Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, in the Wall Street Journal.
“Congress specified that credits and subsidies are only to be available in states that set up their own health-insurance exchange for a reason: It could not force states to set up exchanges. Instead, it had to entice them to do so.”
But if the enticement fails, then citizens are exposed to the full brunt of Obamacare’s increased cost structure for health insurance. That’s the risk the health law’s drafters took. Now the plain meaning of the text should result in a massively unpopular program.
The Obama administration is spooked. If the vast majority of Americans are forced to choose between paying the real price of Obamacare-related insurance or a hefty fine, there will be an electoral tsunami in 2014.
Here’s hoping Oklahoma’s lawsuit gets a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court sooner rather than later.