ObamaCare Still Has Plenty Of Legal Challenges In The Works

Many people got on John Boehner’s case for saying that Obamacare is now “the law of the land.” Unfortunately, he’s right. With the loss of the race for the White House, and no control of the Senate, there is now way for the GOP to repeal it, or even water it down and/or limit its damage. At least at this time. If, say, the GOP manages to win the Senate and White House in 2016, it will be darned hard to repeal and replace a law that involves 1/6th of the U.S. economy. That said, there are still plenty of legal challenges to the law

(Politico) The Supreme Court gave its definitive ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act in June.

Actually, no. The ruling kicked the can down the road to hear legal challenges on the Mandate till 2014, when people will be actually affected by the tax.

But that hasn’t stopped three other legal challenges to core provisions of Obamacare – including the mandates and subsidies – that could unravel big parts of the law if they succeed.

One case challenges whether people can get subsidies for health insurance in states that don’t run their own insurance exchanges. Another puts forth a new legal argument against the constitutionality of the individual and employer mandates. And the third argues that the law isn’t valid because it originated in the Senate, and the Constitution says tax legislation needs to start in the House.

There’s also a barrage of lawsuits against the administration’s contraception coverage requirement, which wouldn’t derail the overall legislation but would keep the public focused on a controversial aspect of the law.

Of course, the ultimate challenge will be when the law truly starts affecting and harming people. When companies start dropping their insurance plans. When costs go up due to the massive bureaucracy necessary to run this polished turd of a law. When doctors refuse to accept the insurance offered through the exchanges, along with dropping Medicare and Medicaid coverage en masse. When the Central Government restricts procedures, medicines, and cause rationing.

And while the lawyers fight it out, the cases continue to be political irritants and a way to keep the antagonism to the law burning hot.

How dare you pesky American citizens fight against your masters!!!!!!

The subsidies, in the form of tax credits, are available only through these exchanges. But the law was based on the assumption that most states would run the exchanges with the federal government as a backup. Yet at this point, only 13 states and Washington seem likely to run their own exchanges, although a few undecided states could tip that way. The rest will either let the feds run them or will create so-called partnership exchanges with the Department Health and Human Services and the states divvying up responsibilities.

Oklahoma – building its case on an argument made by the Cato Institute and Case Western Reserve University Law professor Jonathan Adler – argues that the subsidies can be administered only through the state exchanges, not federal ones.

This is a big one, because, no matter the intent of the whole 2,700 page law, the specifics in the law made no provision for the Federal government to administer the subsidies. Oops.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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