Here’s one of Jonathan Adler’s posts on the Halbig ruling. (And here’s Jonathan’s post on the other ruling on this matter yesterday – this one from the U.S Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit – King v. Burwell.)
The D.C. Circuit ruled today that the government isn’t Humpty Dumpty and so statutory text doesn’t mean whatever the government says it means. The provision at issue, which grants tax credits for people to buy health insurance, only applies to people buying policies through “exchanges established by the State”–which in any sane world can’t apply to exchanges established by the federal government. The fact that the vast majority of states have declined the federal government’s offer to establish exchanges–the list grows daily as initially supportive states’ exchanges fail–and that the resulting system thus doesn’t function as Obamacare’s supporters hoped is of no moment.
The government would have the IRS and courts rewrite the law to fix its massive structural weaknesses. But neither executive-agency bureaucrats nor judges can change the text of the Affordable Care Act, after-the-fact legal rationalizing notwithstanding. Today’s ruling shows that Obamacare, a cynical political bargain that lacked popular support from day one, simply doesn’t work as conceived. It’s time to repeal this Frankenstein’s monster and instead pass market-based health care reform that lowers costs, expands choice, and increases quality-all while respecting the rule of law.
Enough for now about about recent court rulings that end in v. Burwell …. Here are three other, unrelated items:
Over at the New York Times‘s “Room for Debate,” Tim Worstall – as well as Chris Edwards – weigh in sensibly on corporate “inversion” deals (that is, on attempts by corporations to protect themselves from the greedy, taxing hand of government).