An Oklahoma Federal Judge, the (allegedly) honorable Ronald A. White, has ruled that the majority of the Affordable Care Act cannot be funded. Millions will be affected by this ruling, barring a stay by a higher court. It may
come as a shock be glaringly obvious that this dimwitted shortsighted man was a Bush appointee.
How does this moronic ruling work? Well according to the judge the states can set up their own exchange program and cannot be forced to do so by the Federal government. However, if they so choose the federal government can set up the exchange for them. The problem this suit covers is the fiscal manner in which subsidies are paid out. If the state itself sets up the exchange without the federal government then it can give subsidies to the insurance companies, thus lowering your and my insurance rates and co-pays. However, should these exchanges be set up by the federal government these subsidies will not be authorized.
This means that the exchanges set up where the state is not putting up their own exchange will be forced to DEFUND the subsidies given to the insurance companies. What does this mean for you and me? It means that our rates will increase exponentially. As the subsidies plummet our cost of insurance increases dramatically.
It’s a liberatarian dream! Call it the fantasy of deregulation.
Currently nine federal judges have had cases held before them regarding this question. The vast majority of them have ruled against this. Anyone want to take a guess at which party the dissenting judges are in? All of these Republican judges have written their dissenting statements in contradiction of the law, yet continue to support their own weakly-formed arguments based on…..because they want to….?
It’s almost as if these judges have never heard of judicial review (which they are actually performing in these rulings) or the fact that case law builds precedent and they are ruling in obvious contradiction of all previous rulings…including the Supreme Court which ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional, and thus legal in every aspect.
This is another pathetic ploy by the activist Rethuglican judges who are attempting to play party politics by pushing their own agenda whether it falls in line with what is actually legal or not. One has to wonder if these judges even care about the welfare of the citizens who help keep them in their positions…
This move puts millions out on their own with affordable health insurance. Judge White is basing his interpretation on the analysis of one Jonathan Gruber, a Professor of Economics who helped design the law. Gruber stated
if you’re a state and you don’t set up an Exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits
So White seems confident that his narrow view of the law is concrete and that this will take the case further up to the point of eradicating the law. Unfortunately he missed a few thousand memos. First and foremost it is of import to mention that Gruber is not a lawmaker, nor even a legal analyst. He’s a number cruncher. He does not determine the legality of system nor the manner in which it can be implemented. He merely knows the way money works.
That would be like asking a brain surgeon to give his opinion on the way a car warps when it gets into an accident. An expert in one field is not an expert in any other field, barring the great exceptions of those holding multiple PHD’s…
However, context is key. Here’s the rest of what Gruber had to say
Yes, so these health insurance exchanges . . . will be these new shopping places and they’ll be the place that people go to get their subsidies for health insurance. In the law it says if the states don’t provide them the federal backstop will. The federal government has been sort of slow in putting up its backstop, I think, partly because I think they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it.
I think what’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.
While this in itself explains what Gruber meant, and remembering that he is no legal expert, even from a financial and economic standpoint it is important that states set up their own exchange system – that would include the 23 Republican states that have continued to screw their constituents at an alarming rate by refusing to expand medicaid…
As we all wait with baited breath on the edge of our seats let’s hope that judges will start ruling based on law, not partisan politics.