Reed: Supreme Court Ignores Legislation with ACA Ruling

cato“I am disappointed by the ruling (King v. Burwell). Obamacare has been flawed from the very beginning, and as a Congress we need to make every effort to repeal the law.” — Tom Reed

(Yet Tom Reed’s motto once was “Fix not Fight.”)

In his June 25th Press Release, Tom writes:

In the original Affordable Care Act language, the bill states “an Exchange established by the State,” when discussing which types of individuals are eligible for subsidies. During implementation, subsidy guidelines were extended to all citizens who purchased health insurance on any public exchange.

“The original wording was not sloppy legislating, or an oversight, but was an intentional position as part of the Administration’s coercive tactics to force the states into accepting Obamacare. The Administration and Members of Congress are now back peddling for political expediency, but this was and has always been the intention of the law,” Reed continued.

Reed claims that the administration intended ACA to be non-functional without State Exchanges to force States to to create such exchanges. Therefore Reed suggests the text of the law singled out by the petitioner’s reflects what Congress intended and should have been upheld. The Court rejected this view.

The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State’s individual insurance market into a death spiral. It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner. Congress made the guaranteed issue and community rating requirements applicable in every State in the Nation, but those requirements only work when combined with the coverage requirement and tax credits. It thus stands to reason that Congress meant for those provisions to apply in every State as well. 

The Court then concluded:

(e) Petitioners’ plain-meaning arguments are strong, but the Act’s context and structure compel the conclusion that Section 36B allows tax credits for insurance purchased on any Exchange created under the Act. Those credits are necessary for the Federal Exchanges to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.

The final words of the majority opinion:

Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt

Amy Davidson, writing for The New Yorker, concludes:

It is not the business of the Court, Scalia writes, to “repair laws that do not work out in practice.” But the opposite truth seems to be the problem for Scalia and his cohorts: Obamacare has worked. And they can’t break it.

http://reed.house.gov/press-release/reed-supreme-court-ignores-legislation-aca-ruling

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-114_qol1.pdf

http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/obamacare-survives-the-scalia-treatment

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About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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6 Responses to Reed: Supreme Court Ignores Legislation with ACA Ruling

  1. Anne says:

    Tom ought to stick to debt collection; he’s clearly not a very good legal thinker (despite presuming to know more than any of the Supremes know). Poor baby has had a bad few days, though.

  2. Robert says:

    Reed, like so many of his ilk, can never get it through his thick head when enough is enough. The majority of people want insurance and healthcare reform, and his type prefers to further the interests of Big Insurance-at the cost of everyone but the 1%. They are as hellbent on destroying the will and wishes of the voters as the gun grabbers are-but 10 times more repugnant and pugnacious about it.

  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    I suspect that Tom Reed and the rest of the GOP were actually relieved by this court decision. Had the court voted otherwise, thousands of people would have lost their health insurance because the GOP has no alternative plan…and they would have been blamed for that loss.

    • pystew says:

      He realizes that he shouldn’t move too far toward the center of political thought since that a might bring a righty in for a primary.

  4. Deb Meeker says:

    How does Reed square the idea of the ” …Administration’s coercive tactics to force the states into accepting Obamacare” – with the language throughout the law that sets up the caveat that states don’t have to? Reed’s just making it up as he goes along. No statesmanship nor No Labels effort there…

  5. whungerford says:

    Not even the dissent of Scalia, Thomas, and Alito took a position as far out as Tom Reed–that Congress intended ACA to be dysfunctional.

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