Some people want you to suspend your imagination and your memory regarding what the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) actually states in terms of who can receive subsidies for their health insurance. Of course, as usual, when you have right on your side, truth does not matter. But we will explain why the subsidies disbursed from the federal exchange fails the test of what is right.
As you know by now, there were two rulings issued in a Court of Appeals that were diametrically opposed to each other. The issue revolves around whether the federal exchange (operating in 36 states) which is dispensing subsidies was authorized by the law. In referring to who may issue subsidies, the law says “an Exchange established by the State.” The people in favor of continuing the federal subsidies want us to believe that either that was not what the law really says or was countered by language in other sections of the bill, or that was clearly not the intent of the law.
After spending a couple weeks reading and listening to those who support the federal subsidies, I have not become aware of any substance to these positions. A perfect example is a principal supporter of the law in the press, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post. He states as a defense “the law was not particularly well drafted.” He then goes on to say “Never mind that many other parts of the law clearly assume that the subsidies apply to people on both the state and federal exchanges.” Mr. Dionne, like everyone else making this argument, fails to cite where in the law this is done. Tell us where and we will believe you, but what the true believers think is that if they repeat that claptrap often enough it will become the truth. Not so. Dionne goes on to say “And never mind that during the very long debate over the ACA, no one ever said otherwise.” Let us understand -- since no one argued a negative that the federal exchange is not able to issue subsidies, it must be able to issue subsidies even if the law clearly says they are allowed from state exchanges.