Obamacare has proven again to be the biggest legislative failure in history, with last week's ruling that its subsidies are illegal. These subsidies induced some 5 million Americans to sign up for Obamacare but are prohibited by law as held by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Halbig v. Burwell.
This humiliation to the Obama administration was a devastating setback to legislation already disfavored by a 59-40 percent margin among the public, according to the latest CNN poll. Twice as many Americans say they are being hurt rather than helped by Obamacare.
Officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare is neither affordable nor protective of patients. It promised subsidies for millions of Americans to buy new health insurance and to pay costly premiums that have driven insurance company stock values to record highs.
People in households making between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line (between $11,670 and $46,680 per year for one-person households) have been getting subsidies to buy insurance on health insurance exchanges. A staggering 90 percent of those who signed up for this Obamacare insurance did so in reliance on these subsidies, which the court just ruled are illegal.
These health insurance exchanges are much more than marketplaces, like Travelocity or Expedia, to make it easier to shop for and buy health insurance. They are also the vehicle for dispensing subsidies and imposing penalties, while also building big brother-like databases about Americans.
The liberal central planners inside the D.C. Beltway thought the 50 States would comply with President Barack Obama's demand that they set up these health insurance exchanges at costs estimated to be as much as $100 million per exchange. As an incentive for states to set up these exchanges, the law provided substantial subsides to people who sign up for a state-established exchange.
The central government planners thought the subsidies would coerce states to establish their own health insurance exchanges, similar to how the federal government coerces states to obey D.C. commands in other fields such as education. But states balked after they saw how much control they would be giving to the federal government by establishing a state exchange and how expensive they would end up being.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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