Hank  Adler

The language of the Obamacare legislation is unambiguous:

the monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 [1] of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

This language clearly and concisely provides that the Obama administration did not and does not have the right to provide subsidies to individuals enrolled in states that did not organize state exchanges (or prospectively states that eliminate their state exchanges). While the Obama administration has played fast and loose with effective dates, insurance requirements and the like, both the language and the history of this language should hardly be in dispute.

Note that while the Courts may currently be split on whether the Obama Administration can continue to pay these subsidies, Joel W. Hay argues that it is possible that all recipients of such subsidies may be required to repay their subsidies to the Federal government. So, while the Obama Administration can continue to pay, the President may be putting millions of families across the country at risk for repayments they will not possibly be able to afford. This possibility has not been discussed in the press. Is the Obama Administration or any of the insurance companies alerting anyone to this possibility?

There are two bona-fide witnesses that the language was no typo. Further, Democrats did not take the opportunity to try to change or "fix" the legislative language through a technical corrections act.

The first bona-fide witness was the then Leader of The Pack, Nancy Pelosi, who famously said that everyone would have to read the bill to know what was in it. This is the manner in which Ms. Pelosi chose to legislate. Shame on her, shame on the Democrats who were one hundred percent of the votes in favor of Obamacare for what they now portray as shoddy legislation (although most believe this was the intent of the Democratic Party's outside expert.) The legislation is what the legislation says, no more and no less.


Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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