Court rules the clear language of the ACA on subsidies does NOT mean what it says
If you haven't followed the controversy, it's that the part dealing with subsidies says that people are only eligible for a subsidy (a check from taxpayers) if they bought their insurance through an "exchange established by a State."
Does that seem confusing? What do you think the law's drafters meant by that phrase?
The intent of this provision was to dangle a carrot in front of the states, to encourage all the states to set up their own exchanges. This incentive didn't work: Only a handful of states set up their own exchanges, and at least two that states spent over a billion dollars building have now been terminated as being too costly.
But back to the language: If you don't believe that the restrictive language (only to "an exchange established by a State") was inserted to entice the states into setting up their own exchanges, the main architect of Obamacare has been captured on video--on two separate occasions--saying exactly that. So if you're looking at the intent of the law's language, there it is.
But let's suppose he hadn't made those two statements (again, caught on video). In that case courts try to use logic to divine the intent of congress. So consider this: If the lying asshole socialist bastards who wrote the actual language in the bill had intended that everyone who bought health insurance would qualify to receive a subsidy, why would the drafters bother inserting any qualifying language in the bill at all?
If they intended that everyone would qualify for a subsidy, any "limiting" language would not only be unnecessary but inaccurate. So the mere existence of any language that would restrict the subsidy in any way speaks to their true intent.
The only possible conclusion is that the bill's authors meant what they wrote in the bill--NOT what they now claim.
But the court ignored this bit of very obvious logic in favor of re-writing the bill to do what the drafters NOW claim they wanted to do. Which was give subsidies to everyone.
If you're a Democrat, liberal, "progressive" or communist, this is just faabulous. Those folks all love for the courts to rewrite laws to accomplish things the Left wants done. Unfortunately the court has historically declined to do that, reasoning that if the language clearly says "X," but congress wails that they *really* meant "Y," congress is free to repeal or amend the defective law at any time.
This principle has been upheld so many times as to be considered a fundamental judicial mandate.
By contrast, this court ruled that doing what the actual, you know, language says could possibly make Obamacare unworkable. Since the court considers it unthinkable that Obamacare NOT work, it will simply re-interpret the clear language to be...inoperative.
Folks, I can't adequately describe what a ghastly, horrible, dangerous, deadly threshold this court has just crossed. Because I'll bet you the drink of your choice that the justices won't actually re-write the troublesome language, nor rule that "Section xxx, line y is hereby deleted." They won't do that because doing so will make it too obvious that they've crossed the line into legislating.
So the inconsistent language will remain. But now what does the law actually *say*? The Left knows what effect they (now) want, and the justices agree, but how are the rest of us to know what the unwritten language of the law now says?
Admittedly this example isn't dire, but the precedent is. For if the court can rule that a law that clearly says X "really means" Y--but without setting that out in the statute itself--then no one can know what the law is.
Here's what dissenting justice Scalia wrote about today's decision:
1. “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is [deemed to be] ‘established by the State.’”
2. “Under all the usual rules of interpretation...the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”
3. “Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.”
4. "[T]he discouraging truth [is] that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”
Eh, no matter, citizen. As I've written many times, the U.S. stopped being a nation of laws about seven years ago. When it comes to the law we're now no better than Kenya or communist-ruled South Africa or North Korea: the people who run the government will decide what a given law means, and which should be enforced, and against whom. And it's just bad luck that you're always on the wrong end of those decisions, while elites like Hillary are always on the right end.
Damn shame about that, citizen. Oh, just leave your keys on the front table when you leave. Your former house will make a dozen new U.S. citizens very comfortable. Oh, and don't bother telling anyone about this--no one will believe you.