The White House Blasts Supreme Court Case That Could Gut Obamacare

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The White House was careful not criticize the Supreme Court for deciding to hear the case which could determine the legality of ACA subsidies in 34 states, but it called the lawsuit itself another partisan attempt to undermine the healthcare law.

SCOTUS blog was the first to break the news that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case that centers on the legality of ACA subsidies,

The Supreme Court, moving back into the abiding controversy over the Affordable Care Act, agreed early Friday afternoon to decide how far the federal government can extend its program of subsidies to buyers of health insurance. At issue is whether the program of tax credits applies only in the consumer marketplaces set up by sixteen states, and not at federally operated sites in thirty-four states.

Rather than waiting until Monday to announce its action, which would be the usual mode at this time in the Court year, the Justices released the order granting review of King v. Burwell not long after finishing their closed-door private Conference.

It only takes four justices to decide that the court will hear a case, which is bad news for the Obama administration, because it means that there are likely already four votes against the subsidies on the court.

The White House reacted to the news that the Supreme Court will be hearing the case by calling out the lawsuit as another partisan attempt to destroy the ACA.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said,

The ACA is working. These lawsuits won’t stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act and the millions of Americans who can now afford health insurance because of it. We are confident that the financial help afforded millions of Americans was the intent of the law and it is working as Congress designed.

This lawsuit reflects just another partisan attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to strip millions of American families of tax credits that Congress intended for them to have. We will continue to ensure that every American has the peace of mind of having access to affordable insurance. We are confident that the Supreme Court will recognize both the clear reading of the entire law, and the certain intent of Congress in crafting it. Indeed, with uninsured rates plummeting across the country, it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act is already working. American families who have already enrolled, or are planning to sign up during the open enrollment period beginning on November 15th should know that nothing has changed: tax credits and affordable coverage remain available.

Even though the White House has the statutory argument on their side, there is a great deal for the administration to be nervous about. It was odd for the Supreme Court to hear the case because the lower court have not disagreed in their rulings. If the White House loses, 4-5 million people will see their ACA subsidies taken away, and the structure of the healthcare law will be thrown out of balance. However, a victory by the White House would put an end to the attempts to destroy the law through the court system.

The stakes are huge, and by the end of June or early July 2015, the nation will find out the future of the Affordable Care Act.

53 Replies to “The White House Blasts Supreme Court Case That Could Gut Obamacare”

  1. Okay so be it. The White House should send notices to the millions who depend on the ACA telling them what is at stake and get mobilized.

  2. How did people not get that for the 50 times that they have tried to repeal ACA that now its going to cost them just like before ..tons of money to have no coverage! Are we serious RW peoples? This is what you love and want.You don’t mind that your party has not one single solitary thing in mind that would give you any kind of break in this life. What part of all that they do do you not see or how does it not bother you as a human being? As a mother if you’re one. How do you plan to survive when all of our hard work is going to the 1%. Do you really not care that they get to keep everything..the wealth..while you and your family struggle to make it. I make decent money a year. But even with that I’m living paycheck to paycheck so I say to myself how the hell are others surviving on $20-$30 thou a year or less?What is it about you people that you submit to thi s kind of brutal treatment by the GOP? You have placed so little worth on yourself. Like your nothing and your not worth a di…

  3. And so more will starve and die. The GOP is already passing legislation that does not put even a glass of water on your table. I really hope your ready for the suffering you’re about to experience. Your poor grandchildren..you know those ones they love to throw in your face for guilt? Watch what they leave them. NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I’m so sick and mad I can’t stand it anymore. I was getting ready to retire too..now I fear it like hell.

  4. Aren’t Americans tired and exhausted from being terrorized and threatened by the right wing assclowns?

  5. Talk about a uprising…..the SCOTUS would need to go into hiding! People would not happy after being given something, only to have it yanked away! Affordable healthcare for the first time!

  6. “It is going to be a long 2 years” What makes you think this is going to change in two yrs? This has been going on for 35 yrs. If people didn’t do anything about it up to this point what makes us think it will change in two years. The American people just gave the republicans two more yrs. to gerrymander, suppress voter, etc, etc so they can steal other election.

  7. And the war of the GOP and the reactionary USSC against ordinary Americans continues. Woe to you if you’re not part of the 1%–that puts you on the wrong side of this battle as far as they’re concerned.

  8. If it was affordable I might agree with you. This insurance will never pay a bill because of the high deductible’s and then only pays 70% of the bill. What happens if one has a lot of problems and has to go to the hosp. more than once. More bills they will have to pay out of pocket and most can’t afford that. Because the insurance pays for the freeloaders, that is not right. That’s why it is so unaffordable .

  9. I know you are slow and cant remember what you had for dinner last nite much less what the insurance use to do before the ACA. It was dropping your dumbass when it was no longer profitable for them. But you may get your demented wish soon when if this happens and you have to go back on the market and you have a pre existing condition like being a women and they wont cover you, you can wheeze you last breath saying yeah the free market. You big dummy

  10. Not all things are included in that deductable. Freeloaders to you are the poor and those who make low wages. Please move back to Iran, the rest of us care about Americans

  11. 5-4 already a done deal when they decided to go against the lower district court. Get ready to bend over and take what papa Koch has in store.

  12. Faye, So, what are you saying? That those who don’t have insurance through financial, or just wanting someone else to pay for their insurance needs, should go to ER and we premium payers pay for them? Are you one who never had insurance, and don’t want to pay for it now. Or, you have good insurance like me, but think we should also pay for pure deadbeats? Smart.

  13. If she has good insurance I bet the taxpayers are subsidizing her premiums so her dumbass don’t know the true cost.

  14. I doubt that most Americans want our country to become a Third World-type country with a few fabulously rich people in control and everyone else starving and dying in the streets without healthcare.

  15. I have no doubt SCOTUS will rule against POTUS, citizens be damned. I mean, it’s not like the Roberts Court gives a rats ass about the common man and woman. Ruling in favor of anti-lower and middle class, pro-corporate tools is this courts modus operandi …

  16. It’s all a set up. The repubs will blame Obama and the dems for a badly written bill.

    Then ……

    Repubs to the rescue?

  17. Can someone explain how this is a constitutional issue. How is it unconstitutional? The ‘suppress the people’ court judges should be given drug tests because there is something seriously wrong in their reasoning abilities. If corporations are the eqiuvalent to people than people are corporations, therefore, people should have the same rights as corporations: avoid paying taxes, bribe politicians, offshore bank accounts, poluting, right of eminent domain such as in fracking, right to fire our employer, right to collude and monopolize, the right to gamble with other peoples money, government bailouts, the right to pay what we want for a product, not what the product costs or deserves. We the corporations of the united states, in order to form a more perfect union…do hereafter suppress the people. Supreme court preamble.

  18. This isn’t auto insurance where if you cant afford it you don’t drive.
    Emergency visits cost taxpayers far more in the long run than covering what you call “freeloaders”.
    Unless you think only the rich deserve healthcare?

  19. I hope they present the CBO report at the hearing which shows in states that have the
    Affordable Care Act in place it is reducing health care costs, And it is popular with voters in those states. So popular in fact election exit polls showed Obama could have pushed for single payer.

  20. Republicans have people convinced only the rich deserve health care.
    Meanwhile we taxpayers pay not only their salaries in congress and senate but their healthcare also.

  21. The Republican Party is without question, ran by a bunch godless people, to think that a political party would let American citizens die because of a lack of healthcare, just to satisfy their prejudice souls is unthinkable in this country by decent citizens!!!!!! I thank God I don’t feel this way!!!!!

  22. The Roaches continue to force America to suffer terribly for, electing a black man twice, to the Whitehouse. Teaparty is just an excuse collective of racist whitefolk that just don’t enjoy life as we know it, now where’s my gun? Oh, my stupid forgetful ass. There it is next to my my portrait of Jeebus.

  23. Can someone explain how this is a constitutional issue.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hold on a minute while I slip on my protective headgear and then I’ll answer.
    (The Doppler radar forecast for my area says mallets may be imminent.)
    .
    .

    It isn’t a constitutional issue. It’s a statutory construction issue.

    Read here and see if it helps.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/392308/supreme-court-hear-case-against-obamacare-subsidies-veronique-de-rugy

    I’ll give O’care supporters a short version forecast of a possible worst-case scenario… which could make you feel better.
    If the Supremes find in favor of upholding the statute as written, the pressure will fall on Republicans in Congress to re-write the law. Of course there would be tons of blowback from the right if they do that so then the pressure will fall to Republican governors to build their own exchanges…which they very well might do.

  24. so then the pressure will fall to Republican governors to build their own exchanges…which they very well might do.

    With what money, charlie? Or do you think it doesn’t cost a dime to set up exchanges for hundreds of thousands, even millions Americans?

    So the worse-case scenario is this: should SCOTUS gut ObamaCare, useless GOP governors will tout plans to open State exchanges in order to calm upset but stupid Republican voters, but nothing will come of it. It will just be more hot air blown up their numbskull voters’ collective sphincters.

    Republicans are, after all, just a bunch of lying, cheating, hot-air blowin’ crooks and devoted corporate lackeys. And their voters and supporters, sans being corporate lackeys, are no different.

  25. And Republicans have – and this is far beyond my ability to understand since I treasure common sense as an asset, not a liability – convinced older White Americans, especially those on a fixed income thanks to Democratic policies, that they, not Democrats, can ensure that social security and medicare will be safe in their hands.

    OMFG. How stupid are these White Americans??

  26. Why does it displeases you? From the very beginning you were against people having affordable insurance. It was socialism, why should your money go to help those others, their making me change my doctor, if I want crappy insurance that’s my god given real American right and so on. I would think you would be ecstatic to go back to the old system where the insurance companies can do what they want because that’s the market.

  27. Because it’s been consistently reported since the law took effect that twice as many people are being impacted negatively by the law than are being helped by it.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/167756/number-americans-saying-aca-hurt-inches.aspx

    It just doesn’t make sense to me if we have a law that is doing more harm than good.

    I didn’t post a comment today to argue or pick a fight.
    The pendulum swung again, but keep in mind… it always does. I just wanted to say hello and that I hope everyone here is doing okay.

    I’ve been taking a few well-deserved days off so if you’ll forgive me, I’m going to get busy doing nothing.

  28. I’m sorry, what insurance are you talking about? The ACA is not insurance, it is a set of laws regarding insurance. The insurance policy you bought is designed and sold by your private insurance company.If you can’t afford it you get a subsidy. So what’s the complaint again?

  29. Under Obamacare, subsidies and tax credits are provided for purchasing health plans “through an Exchange established by the State.” (emphasis added) The language of the ACA statute clearly defines “State” as “one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.” Since only 14 states and D.C. established State exchanges, under the plain language of the law, only those States qualify for subisdies and credits. The IRS, however, has been issuing subsidies and credits to those who enroll through the federal exchanges of the 36 states that did not set up state exchanges. This is not authorized by the statute, i.e., it’s illegal. Hence, your assertion that “the White House has the statutory argument on their side” is illusory.

  30. And on the other side

    “The Affordable Care Act authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to stand in the state’s shoes when she runs an exchange on behalf of that state — thus acting as the state in building a marketplace — and includes numerous other sections that contradict the plaintiff’s assertion. The law as a whole also intends to provide everyone with affordable coverage, the administration argues, and its authors attest that they never meant to “limit financial help only to people in states opting to directly run health insurance marketplaces.” The IRS had agreed with this interpretation and has upheld the legality of the subsidies. (Courts have generally deferred to an agency’s interpretive authority.) ”

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/11/08/3590572/the-6-biggest-consequences-of-the-supreme-court-striking-down-obamacares-subsidies/

  31. U.S. Supreme Court – Caminetti v. U.S., 242 U.S. 470, 37 S. Ct. 192 (1917): “…the meaning of the statute must, in the first instance, be sought in the language in which the act is framed, and if that is plain, … the sole function of the courts is to enforce it
    according to its terms.”
    Anything is possible, but I expect Obama to lose this one.

  32. Ironically, Justice Antonin Scalia and writing expert Bryan Garner wrote a 567 page book on Textualism entitled Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. “We look for meaning in the governing texts, ascribe to that text the meaning that it has borne from its inception, and reject judicial speculation about both the drafter’s extratextually derived purposes and the desirability of the fair reading’s anticipated consequences”.

  33. It is a separation of powers issue. According to the plaintiff, the executive branch is encroaching upon the legislative power of congress. The IRS has been issuing subsidies and credits to those who enroll through the federal exchanges of the 36 states that did not set up state exchanges. Since this is not authorized by the statute, Obama is, in effect, writing the law as he goes. And that is why he is going to lose.

  34. Corporations are considered “persons” so that an injured party doesn’t have to sue each and every stock holder in a company. It also encourages investment because investors (stock holders) are (generally) not exposed to lawsuits. It’s called a “legal fiction.”

  35. The election results suggest that productive Americans, (i.e., those who pay the bills) are getting tired of supporting an endlessly expanding welfare state.

  36. It suggests, but you have no evidence to support that. Especially since the blue states support the red states that use the most welfare

  37. Ya’ll can downvote ^ all you want, but Shiva told the truth. Blue states pay more and get less out and the difference goes to pay for Red states that take more than they give. It’s not complicated and the proof is all over the interwebs.

  38. Actually, this election cycle shows that Democrats are fools for running away from their accomplishments, allowed the GOP and “liberal” media to define them and the Administration and some Democrats were too lazy to get off their asses and vote. To think this election is a GOP mandate, is to say that pigs do fly and unicorns are real. I fully expect the GOP to overplay its hand as it does every time it wrongfully believes it has a “mandate.” And, as a result, I fully expect it the overreach to bite the GOP in its collective ass as it does each and every time.

    I will agree with you on one point – I’m tired of my tax dollars going to support the freeloaders in red states who are dumb enough to keep voting against their best interests.

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