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Friday, January 18, 2019

WASHINGTON — Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens captured our ideal when he wrote of the judge as “an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

By effectively gutting the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, two members of a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals showed how far right-leaning jurists have strayed from such impartiality. We are confronted with a conservative judiciary that will use any argument it can muster to win ideological victories that elude their side in the elected branches of our government.

Fortunately, the D.C. Circuit ruling is unlikely to stand. On the same day the D.C. panel issued its opinion, a three-judge panel from the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously the other way and upheld the law.

There is a good chance that the 11-judge D.C. Circuit will take the decision away from its panel — something it is usually reluctant to do — and rule as a full court to affirm the ACA as commonly understood. It is virtually certain that a majority of the court’s members disagree with the panel’s convoluted reading of the law and that they want to avoid creating a needless conflict in jurisprudence with the 4th Circuit.

When Congress wrote the health law, it envisioned that the states would set up the insurance exchanges where individuals could purchase coverage. But knowing that some states might not want to set up these marketplaces themselves, it also created a federal exchange for states that bowed out. There are 36 states under the federal exchange.

The law includes a mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance and subsidizes those who need help to pay their premiums. The law falls apart without the subsidies, which go to its central purpose: providing insurance for those who cannot afford it.

But the law was not particularly well drafted. It’s not uniquely flawed in this respect. As Judge Andre M. Davis wrote in a concurrence to the 4th Circuit ruling: “Neither the canons of construction nor any empirical analysis suggests that congressional drafting is a perfectly harmonious, symmetrical and elegant endeavor. … Sausage makers are indeed offended when their craft is linked to legislating.”

Here’s what the two Republican-appointed judges on the D.C. panel did to make the sausage disappear entirely: Because the subsidies are established in a part of the law referring to state exchanges, the D.C. Circuit ruled that no one on the federal exchange is eligible for them.

Poof! There goes the health law in most of the country.

Never mind that many other parts of the law clearly assume that the subsidies apply to people on both the state and federal exchanges. And never mind that during the very long debate over the ACA, no one ever said otherwise.

In ruling to kill the subsidies for an estimated 5 million people on the federal exchange, Judge Thomas B. Griffith invents the idea that Congress may have intended to deny subsidies to people in states that didn’t set up their own exchanges as an incentive for those states to do so. But as Judge Harry T. Edwards writes in his dissent, the “incentive story is a fiction, a post hoc narrative” to justify the idea that “Congress would have wanted insurance markets to collapse in states that elected not to create their own exchanges.”

The extreme judicial activism here is obvious when you consider, as the 4th Circuit did, that even if you accept that there is ambiguity in the law, the Supreme Court’s 30-year-old precedent in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council held that in instances of uncertainty, the court defers to federal agencies rather than concocting textual clarity when it doesn’t exist.

Griffith has to pretend that his cramped reading of the written text — again, a reading utterly disconnected from the reality of the law’s history — is the only one possible. From there, he goes on to force the government and those losing their subsidies to live with a patently absurd result.

Edwards’ logic is compelling: that the Griffith decision “defies the will of Congress” and goes along with a “not-so-veiled attempt to gut the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

As the 4th Circuit’s Davis put it, the law’s opponents are trying “to deny to millions of Americans desperately needed health insurance through a tortured, nonsensical construction” of the law.

We cannot use judicial sophistry as an instrument of anti-democratic sabotage.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.

Photo: Scott* via Flickr

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163 responses to “Blind Ideological Justice”

  1. Dominick Vila says:

    The latest attempt to destroy the Affordable Care Act, this time by judging that subsidies are, apparently, unconstitutional, highlight the cynicism of those who are desperately trying to preserve Reagan’s SUBSIDIZED Emergency Room care.
    The indifference of those who not only had no problem subsidizing routine medical care at ERs, and who are fighting tooth and nail to preserve Reagan’s socialist system, are now enraged because Americans earning between the designated poverty level and $94K a year enjoy different levels of subsidies to make medical care affordable and accessible to everyone.
    In any case, this latest attempt to destroy the ACA will end up the same way all other attempts did, in the trash where they belong.

    • anothertoothpick says:

      They rebupliclowns have given up on repealing the ACA legislatively and are now putting in on the courts.

      Some day ACA will be overturned or “thrown out”. Not even the ten commandments could survive this kind of scrutiny.

      We will then, once a again be at the mercy of the insurance companies. The first thing they will do is put that pre-existing language back into every policy, just like before. That one was the real money maker.

      After all the smokes clears, can you imagine ANY politician bringing up a health care bill?

      It took 60 years to get the congress to address our health care issues. And once they throw out the ACA…it will probably take another 60 years.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        I doubt they will succeed, but you are right, if the ACA is dismantled it will be a very long time, if ever, before another President has the courage to confront the insurance and medical industries.
        Another clause that would be re-instituted immediately is the benefits cap, which used to force insured Americans to sell everything they had to get the medical care they needed when expenses exceeded a pre-specified cap.
        The fact that so many people still insist on going back to the worst medical coverage system in the world is a testament to the effectiveness of brain washing and scare tactics.

        • sigrid28 says:

          A collateral benefit of the debate raging over the ACA every time Republicans make an incursion, like this panel’s decision this week, is that the public becomes more aware of why the ACA was and is needed by millions of Americans–even the great unwashed. Let’s look at the worst-case scenario, in which Ted Cruz’s “train wreck that is Obamacare,” is overtaken by the “train wreck that is having no Obamacare.” As you point out–welcome back, pre-specified caps, no insurance for those with preconditions, sky-high premiums–the list goes on. Only now, many more people nationwide know it doesn’t have to be that way.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            As I am sure you already know, the reason the GOP-TP opposes the concept put forth by the Heritage Foundation, and beta tested by Mitt Romney, is because it was championed and signed by a black man named Barack Obama.
            Logic, fairness, and having a positive impact on our economy, lifestyle, and competitiveness, have absolutely nothing to do with what the GOP has been doing.

          • sigrid28 says:

            But we do agree, don’t we, that the American public–over three hundred million strong–isn’t completely duped by Republican talking points. All three hundred million cannot fit into the Republican bubble, can they?

            Even from challenges like this one on the panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals, some truths about the value of the ACA will emerge: that was my only point. There is a Democratically appointed majority on the full court that probably will reverse that ruling. Then there will be others.

            What if the right to basic health care is finally accepted worldwide only after a long struggle to defend the ethics of this cause, like the long struggle to overcome slavery as a human institution? I just hope we will not lose confidence in continuing to support a humanitarian value that stands in opposition to the biological imperative to destroy those who are not like us.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Not only do I agree, I believe a majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. The fact that some of us would have preferred the Single Payer System, and that others believe facets of the program should be changed, does not mean most people oppose something that is, clearly, in our best interest, both as individuals and as a society.
            I believe the latest attempt to destroy, or at least undermine the effectiveness of the ACA will be over turned, but I would not be surprised if the GOP-TP continues to look for ways to attack ACA. Let’s not forget that similar attacks took place against Social Security and MEDICARE, until it became obvious that most Americans supported those programs, at which time most politicians ceased to attack them to save their political careers.

          • Allan Richardson says:

            Medicare, as originally proposed, WAS supposed to be a single payer option for people of all ages (ref. the parody song album “My Son, the Folk Singer” made in 1962 by Allan Sherman, in which one song contains the lines, “I went down to Mount Sinai Hospital, to see my little BABY there, and I said, thank God for the Blue Cross, but I wish we had the MEDICARE”), but was “talked down” by conservatives into only covering the elderly.

          • JSquercia says:

            Those attacks on Social Security and Mare continue to this very day as evidenced by the Paul Ryan Budget

          • JSquercia says:

            Actually the basic right to health care Has been accepted World Wide every other industrialized nation has universal health care and in Iraq it was written into their constitution .
            We must push for Single Payer the easiest being Medicare for ALL .It is funny but even the Tea Party types love THER Medicare even if they don’t realize it is Government Health Insurance .
            The Brits love their SOCIALIZED Medicine so much that they included a TRIBUTE to it in the opening ceremony of the last Olympic games .

      • TZToronto says:

        The ACA will do for Americans what healthcare in Canada did for Canadians. Any politician that even suggests that Canadian healthcare should be handed to completely to private corporations might as well pack his bags and go home. Canadians love their single-payer healthcare. Americans who never had health insurance before but can now get treatment for their ailments will never vote against what they have–once they realize that it’s really a benefit to them.

        • Dominick Vila says:

          The same is true for every country where healthcare programs similar to ACA have been put in place. If anyone is in doubt, they should remember the way the British showcased their healthcare system as a major accomplishment during the last Olympic Games.

          • JSquercia says:

            AND THEIR system REALLY is Socialized Medicine Government owns Hospitals and employs Doctors

          • Dominick Vila says:

            You are correct. Calling a system that uses private practice medical personnel, for profit hospitals and labs, and is administered by for profit insurance companies socialist is so absurd it borders on comical. What should be obvious by now is that those childish claims are made by people with a misconception of what socialism stands for, or use the term to influence the opinion of the most ignorant members of our society.

      • Canistercook says:

        Trouble is the ACA only made things worse. Taxed the heck out of the working people to reward the drug and health care industry. $5,000 for 4 hours in the ER is not sustainable.

        • Allan Richardson says:

          The PRE-ACA situation caused the $5000 bill for 4 hours, which in the long term the ACA is supposed to help reduce. And remember, when that ER visit exposes a long term life threatening illness, the bill ONLY covers getting the patient “stable,” that is, not dying TODAY. An uninsured patient has no way of paying for followup care, including an expensive “elective” surgery (who “elects” not to save their own life?) and/or regular doctor monitoring and/or long term prescriptions.

          If your life, or a loved one’s life, was saved by being able to get MORE than just immediate ER care, you would not say that the ACA which allowed you to be insured “made things worse.”

        • johninPCFL says:

          But the ER for a broken leg while uninsured is the norm. With insurance, you go to the walk-in. Why not for the uninsured? You have to pay. With the ER visit, you can skip, or “negotiate” to pay a small token.

        • Independent1 says:

          Taxes were raised when?? There’s been no tax increase related to ACA. Where are you getting that??

        • Independent1 says:

          ACA has driven ER costs down even in some red states:

          Arizona hospitals already reaping benefit of Medicaid expansion

          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/09/1312845/-Arizona-hospitals-already-reaping-benefit-of-Medicaid-nbsp-expansion

          And it’s not just because of Medicaid expansion, it’s also because more people are insured.

    • BiteMeLiberals says:

      Socialized healthcare = rob from the rich so the lazy couch potatoes can have a free ride. How liberal of you.

      • esg says:

        Ok sir lets take away you job let you fend for youself and also burden you with heart issues and see where you stand then. How you can be so utterly oblivious to the obvious is beyond comprehension. You really need to open your peepers and see the reality of life here in the US. You obviously have more money and time than the rest of us and therefore wear blinders so you can hide from reality.

        • BiteMeLiberals says:

          What part didn’t you understand?

          • esg says:

            If you had a preexisting condition and could not purchase health insurance and you had a heart attack the cost is $75,000.00. Now lets be downsized from you job at an age that it is extremely difficult to get another job after sending out 1500 resumes and getting the reply you are over qualified then cannot purchase insurance and then the heart attack and then no money to pay for it and then tryting to start a business with limited funding and see where you end up sir. What about that do you musunderstand.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Apply for a bail-out.

          • esg says:

            You sir are an ass

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Asshole

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Yes, I’m quite sure you could find a partner to accommodate that particular form of sexual activity.

          • jmprint says:

            This has to be Ted Cruz.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            …or a Karl Rove low level employee…

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            cut pork

          • Sand_Cat says:

            I’m curious: how do you use cut pork in your… you know?

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            thank you

          • Sand_Cat says:

            I don’t think jmprint is really interested in sharing your perversions.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            I sympathize, but please, no one here – not even your fellow political deviants – is likely to want to – ugh, the image sickens – well, you know.

          • awakenaustin says:

            You realize of course this thing is a troll and a clown. She/he is impervious to education and fact based realities.
            I suspect it goes home everyday and brags to its offspring about the number of times it was able to be a turd and an a-hole to real human beings.
            It isn’t very bright and can only respond with slogans and insults.
            It is most likely one of the old familiar creatures with a new name.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Unlike you I’m not a libtard.

          • awakenaustin says:

            Re-read paragraph three above.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Really, it’s sad. If you can’t get sex by the usual method, you could surely find a prostitute to accommodate your perversions.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            I heard you were castrated pussy.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            You could try NAMBLA.
            But then, you may be only 12 years old mentally and emotionally. Don’t think those guys want middle-aged little boys.

      • Grannysmovin says:

        Uninsured Americans — including those with incomes well
        above the poverty line — leave hospitals with unpaid tabs of up to $49 billion a year, according to a USA TODAY analysis of government statistics. Rob from the rich – are you saying only the rich people can afford health insurance? Only rich people are entitled to health insurance? Well how many of those rich people are driving the corporations trucks, working the assembly line, manufacturing the product they sell? Or is it those “lazy couch potatoes” who work their a$$ off for the rich people and in most cases are barely paid enough to sustain a family.

        • BiteMeLiberals says:

          Life is never fare now is it?

          • Grannysmovin says:

            No it is not – people like you still exist.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Which is a good thing since I never asked for any support or freebies from the system.

          • Grannysmovin says:

            Neither have I, but many of your fellow Republicans do. Corporate Welfare, Farm Subsidies and oh most of the Republican Southern States are receiving benefits from various government programs.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            good for you, now act like it

          • Grannysmovin says:

            You really are ignorant, what the hell does that mean “now act like it”. Don’t bother to respond – just read a post where you claim you are paid to do this which infers you are “paid troll”.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            dumbass

          • jmprint says:

            No because you stole it.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            explain that

          • Allan Richardson says:

            You personally paid for the roads you drive on, for inspecting your food to make sure you don’t die of dysentery after eating it, for patrolling the streets, fixing potholes, and launching the satellites that make your GPS work so that you can find where you need to go without “asking for help?” You personally arranged for your mother to go to a hospital with sanitary facilities to give birth to you? To perform the research that led to the medicines you may have to take on occasion?

            If you were left on a deserted island like Robinson Crusoe immediately after birth, and somehow managed to feed yourself as an infant, survive to become an adult, and build your entire infrastructure to support yourself, THEN you could claim that you never asked for any support or “freebies.”

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Ever hear of the word taxes?

          • Wedge Shot says:

            Really, did you not attend “public school?” Do you not drive on public roads?

          • ralphkr says:

            REALLY??, BMJ, if your statement is the honest truth then you must have lived your entire life in a tent in the desert or other wilderness habitat depending entirely upon the food you are able to catch and tools you have made by chipping rocks. You NEVER used roads or sewer systems or water systems paid for by the taxpayers nor have you EVER gone to a store or medical facility since they only exist because of taxpayer funded infrastructure.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            See above.

          • Wedge Shot says:

            It’s fair, not fare.

          • Grannysmovin says:

            I believe your post was in response to bitemeliberals.

          • Daniel Jones says:

            You are correct, sir. Life is not defined by how much cash you have (fare).

          • JSquercia says:

            Looks as if you can’t even spell . The word is FAIR not Fare

          • ralphkr says:

            No, BMJ, life always demands that you pay the fare in one way or another. On the other hand, a fair is where we farmers vie in how far we can throw a dried cow pattie.

      • jmprint says:

        If you are bored, so chase some hub caps on the freeway.

        • BiteMeLiberals says:

          i get paid to do this, with benefits

          • Grannysmovin says:

            A paid troll – no respect. At least before I could defend your right to your own ideology, but your paid what to say and think.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            No, i’m free to express my opinion and facts. I don’t work for King Obama.

          • Grannysmovin says:

            You are a paid troll – so your employer doesn’t pay you to promote ideas that differ from theirs. Also – King Obama – what Faux News Talking points haven’t been updated.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Much better than drawing the welfare check.

          • Grannysmovin says:

            Would not know – I am fortunate that I earn enough not to have to seek welfare assistance and I am not a paid troll spewing other peoples ideas.

          • Wedge Shot says:

            I would rather you did collect welfare then we wouldn’t have to read your drivel.

          • plc97477 says:

            At least collecting welfare would be honest and a step up from what he is doing.

      • Dominick Vila says:

        Do you like Reagan’s communist er freebies better? In that case, hard working Democrats, who are accustomed to paying for what we get and need, have to pay for the freebies the Tea Party bums are determined to preserve at all cost.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        Referring to your screen-name, this really is an odd forum in which to solicit sexual favors. Are your fellow wing-nuts too inhibited for you, or are you just desperate because no one with any sense wants anything to do with you?

      • Allan Richardson says:

        Like socialized fire departments rob from the people who are already paying for fire insurance and installing your own private fire extinguisher system to put out fires for people who are too “lazy” to buy all those services and devices for their homes, RIGHT?

        If you had been in the Good Samaritan parable, I imagine you would have let the injured man die, wouldn’t you?

      • Wedge Shot says:

        Sorry but you are completely wrong.

      • iowasteve says:

        How does ACA rob from the rich so “lazy couch potatoes” can have a free ride??? You really need to explain and provide facts on this one. There is absolutely NOTHING in the ACA that provides for what you describe. Every person needs to pay for and purchase health insurance under the ACA. And yes, some poor may qualify for a tax deduction to help with their insurance costs – but this still is not what you described. Why do I believe this? Because the majority of the rich are already robbing from the government by NOT paying taxes and in some cases actually receiving refunds! Maybe you could just forget the first request and explain why the second part is even possible. And please if you are going to even attempt to justify your statements with facts, no convservative talking points nor quotes from FOX or any of the idiot talk show hosts – OR conservative blogs.

      • charleo1 says:

        Let me tell you something, you’ve obviously missed. All healthcare is Socialized. I repeat, all healthcare is subsidized by the Gov. To say we want the, “Capitalized,” commodity based, free market driven, competitive, non-monopolized, healthcare. Is to claim to desire something that has never existed in this Country, or any other. What access to healthcare had become, is the anchor employers tied around the necks of their employees. Who once diagnosed with a chronic cond. were literally staked to their jobs. Captives in the supposed land of the free. Plus anyone wanting to start a business, and create some competition, were shackled with the fear they couldn’t afford private insurance, or couldn’t buy the product because the owner wouldn’t sell it to them. That’s not Capitalism, by the way. That’s people control. That’s what you’re selling here, or trying to. People that’s been in the World a little longer, see this, and think, and sometimes say… Man, are you stupid, or what??? I’ll say merely ignorant. You’ll learn.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        Poor “BiteMe” boy, reduced to coming here to find partners.
        What’s the matter?
        Too nano for the Nazis?
        Too flaccid for the Fascists?
        Rejected by the racists?
        Can’t get it up with Conservatives?
        Too limp for Libertarians?
        Impotent with independents?

        Sorry, but I think most liberals have far too much taste to be interested in a little boy like you; have you tried NAMBLA?

    • Grannysmovin says:

      Who has said they are unconstitutional? The two Conservative Judges in the 4th district said that in that one provision it only identified state exchanges being eligible for Federal Tax Credit. However as Julian Epstein pointed out in 6 other Provisions it was explicit that people enrolling on Federal Exchange would be eligible for Federal Tax Credit. The CBO Scoring contemplated tax credits that Federal Exchange enrollment would be eligible for tax subsidies.
      The second ruling contradicted the 4th Circuit ruling, as possible they applied the Chevron Doctrine when a law was ambiguous which it seems both courts agreed on. “Chevron doctrine comes from the case Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984). It refers to a defense invoked by a government agency allowing the court to show deference to the agency’s interpretation of a law the it administers. It basically says that if Congress hasn’t addressed the matter, the agency’s
      interpretation of a regulation or statute it administers is permissible it should be deferred to.” Scalia and Alito have signed there names to ruling that have endorsed the Chevron Doctrine. This is not a done deal.

      • michaeljashley says:

        as Thelma
        explained I cannot believe that a stay at home mom can make $7420 in four weeks
        on the internet . more info here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • Allan Richardson says:

      It is interestingly ironic that the Reagan era emergency room access law is considered “socialist” when it ONLY applies to life and death cases that, one would THINK, should be covered by common sense and humanitarian ethics; that is, that no decent human being would deliberately withhold lifesaving assistance from a dying person. But hospitals occasionally, and TOO often, did just that.

      A truly socialist health care system would help to pay for ALL medically necessary care, not just immediate help to keep a sick or injured person from dying immediately. And if a society truly believes in an ethic that values the lives of ALL its people, “socialized” health care would be more appropriate than pay-to-stay-alive-or-die.

  2. bud2011 says:

    Why does the healthcare have to be subsidized by the government? Why can’t it stand as an insurance program that provides and pays for healthcare services. Why involve the federal government?

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      President Obama originally wanted single payer. The GOP tyrants who live off HMO campaign donations like Mitch McConnell does, wouldn’t go for that.

      No for profit business should be tied to healthcare. Which is more important then? Your healthcare or their profits? Wake up and smell the coffee.

      The only reason the GOP wants to be rid of the ACA is to keep profits in the hands of those who control your healthcare.

      • bud2011 says:

        By having the federal government provide subsidies, it is providing the very freeloading that you object to by making the taxpayers underwrite other persons. No Subsidies.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Wrong…What about 35% loss of an income that’s half of what YOU YOU YOU earn don’t you get?

          Is it fair to expect a family of 4 living on $40K a year, pay SS and other payroll tax deductions that are stolen and used to cut taxes on people who earn millions and billions a year?

          Sorry but your kind of economics is why the US is no longer viewed as a super power. When you gut the middle class and leave the most vulnerable at your mercy, you inevitable pay the price.

          Subsidies are tax dollars. So what if the ACA provides subsidies to families who barely make ends meet? When you live high on the hog, does that make your nose so high in the air a rain event will drown you?

          We are Americans. We have never, until the selfish, self-important dungheads of Middle Aged matured, ignored the less fortunate. Now, every middle aged Yuppie brain thinks they have zero responsibility for the society they live in.

          Yet, these are the big spenders who spend like no tomorrow and then whine they are broke? Really? You need a 5 bedroom home with 2 hot tubs, an outdoor kitchen and 3 gas guzzlers? But then, you want some profiteering HMO CEOs to get his high end $10.6 million annual bonus like Robert Benmosche of AIG receives?

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Solution: find a job that pays for your healthcare. Bingo!

          • Grannysmovin says:

            What bubble to you exist in – please take a breath of oxygen and see what the real world is.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Walmart huh?

          • Grannysmovin says:

            No that is where paid trolls like you go to shop and support the owners.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Negative, never buy chinese made junk. Nice try.

          • jmprint says:

            OH YOU ARE DEFINiTELY TED CRUZ. Is IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE TWO ASSHOLES.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            i really feel sorry for you

          • jmprint says:

            Impossible, without a heart.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            How would you know without a brain?

          • jmprint says:

            Well can you image I have no brain, and have been in self employed 34 years. BUT even without a brain I can SEE right through you, a heartless, selfish, godless poor excuse for a human being.

          • Allan Richardson says:

            I think his real name is either Ebenezer or Jacob. He hasn’t seen his ghosts yet.

          • Faraday_Cat says:

            Problem with your “solution”, in search of the almighty dollar, companies have done one of two things, if not both…outsourced the jobs for cheaper labor (immigrants or overseas) and/or cut benefits, including healthcare…both of which makes finding a job that pays for healthcare a hell of a lot harder than saying “bingo”…

          • bud2011 says:

            No subsidies. Those with a low or no income have Medicaid. Incoherent rambling about rich people does not solve the problem. The problem is subsidies.

          • jmprint says:

            No you don’t understand, people that make 25K per year don’t qualify for Medicaid. YOU ARE JUST MISINFORMED.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            work more than one job and bust a little ass for a “change!”

          • jmprint says:

            MORONS like you are clueless and lack heart, no need in responding. You are exactly what the bible calls evil. Yes I forgot you get paid for being evil.

          • Grannysmovin says:

            He is a paid troll!! He is paid to promote other people’s opinions as his own.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            ^Stupid ass here^

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Dude, you are a first class atheist.

          • jmprint says:

            You are the devil’s advocate.

          • iowasteve says:

            actually, you are a no-class christian – and I use that term very very loosely because if you were a real christian – you would be following the beliefs of the bible – and so far you have been working against every belief of the bible.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Why is that? Cause they never paid into it! Get a better job or die.

          • jmprint says:

            EAT SHIT AND GO TO HELL!

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Spoken like a true libtard.

          • jmprint says:

            It’s the only language you understand.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Oooh! How can you expect to get anyone to cater to your perversion when you call them names?
            Looks like you’re going to be a lonely little twirp for quite some time until you lose that attitude.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Don’t let poor little “BiteMe” upset you. He’s just trolling for liberal sexual partners to satisfy his fetish; he may get an erection if you lose your cool.
            I think we need to recommend he contact NAMBLA. They know how to handle little perverts.

          • jmprint says:

            If you were smart enough you would know if a person is employed legally you pay into the medicaid and SS through your employer. NO matter how much you make.

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            And people that make less than 25K pay into it, but can’t collect. Is that what you are saying?

          • jmprint says:

            No that is not what I said, learn to read. Or do you not get paid for that?

          • BiteMeLiberals says:

            Yes you did. “No you don’t understand, people that make 25K per year don’t qualify for Medicaid.” They would if they paid into it.

          • jmprint says:

            No you are talking about two different things. An individuals that gets hurt and doesn’t have insurance does not qualify for medicaid unless he/she is disabled or retired.

          • Faraday_Cat says:

            25K or MORE, do not qualify.

          • iowasteve says:

            OK – we pay into Medicare while working. Medicaid is something provided via state taxes – not something we pay for while we work. The issue here is that people who make over 25K, as jmprint has said several times now to you – are NOT eligible to get standard Medicaid via the state. So, they need to have regular insurance. Thus they need help to pay for it, so they are subsidized by the government for part of that. Again, though, no different from corporations being subsidized by a whole lot more!

          • Wedge Shot says:

            Please go away, trying to debate an issue with an ignoramus is futile.

          • awakenaustin says:

            It is a matter of where you pay for it and how much you pay for it.
            You pay for it in emergency rooms before the ACA.
            You pay more for curative care in an ER than you do for preventive care in a doctor’s office.
            The basic idea is to move people from ER’s to Dr.’s offices and lower the cost of healthcare in the nation as a whole while extending basic healthcare to a greater number of people.There are other elements of the law which try to create savings and lower overall healthcare costs.
            A little help here and it will cost you less in the long run. Or, I guess you could continue to promote doing it the old-fashioned stupid way.

          • Dominick Vila says:

            Individuals and families whose earnings are below the poverty are, indeed, eligible and get MEDICAID coverage. The scaled ACA subsidies are for people whose earnings are above the poverty line. The amount of the subsidy is reduced consistent with earnings, until it stops when the earnings for a family of 4 reach $94K (I can’t remember the exact amount).
            I would have preferred the Single Payer system, but accept ACA because I realize that major paradigm changes such as this can only be achieved incrementally.
            As for the subsidies, I believe that if we can afford to give subsidies to corporations that are posting huge profits, we can also give them to people who are struggling to make ends meet.

          • Faraday_Cat says:

            Cognative dissonence, much? Who pays for the Medicaid you seem to be okay with?

          • Wedge Shot says:

            Actually, they do not. Most on Medicaid are children and the handicapped, the extremely poor and the people in nursing homes.

          • iowasteve says:

            Medicaid might be useful for those blue states where it is now part of the ACA. It is the majority of the states, who happen to be RED, that does not support this. And sorry, but 40,000 is over the limit for medicaid in most states – and also, it is mainly given to children and handicapped people – NOT families for the purpose of insurance coverage. The subsidies are actually nothing more than tax deductions anyway. I would think that the rich fully understand that term. They use it constantly to NOT pay taxes.

        • Wedge Shot says:

          Wrong. Everyone needs to have health insurance and you can’t expect someone earning minimum wage to pay for a very costly policy. People without insurance that get sick have been getting the health care by tacking on the cost to people paying for health insurance. With the ACA everyone will have health insurance and everyone will pay something.. Even those getting a subsidy pay something.

      • BiteMeLiberals says:

        Oh…. the VA has done such a bang up job. Great example of a government run healthcare system. When will they get it right? 84 years and counting.

        • Allan Richardson says:

          The truth is that veterans who get VA health care find the care EXCELLENT. The part that is NOT so good is GETTING it, AFTER the Bush wars created a greatly increased PATIENT count, but Congress never authorized money to hire MORE DOCTORS and more facilities.

          And that is a government RUN system (like the one that serves active duty military, originally on the battlefield, and later at home), and no one, not even Tea Party Congresspeople and Republican Vice Presidents, objects to the quality of care; if they did, they would pay for their own private doctors to do their heart transplants rather than have them done at Walter Reed on OUR dime.

          A single payer system allows patients to go to ANY doctor who accepts that system, who then bills the insurance, government or private (there is no reason a patient cannot buy EXTRA private insurance) for the necessary services rendered. Basic Medicare is a single payer system, which, by the way, spends 97 percent of its budget on paying for actual care, while private insurance companies are only required to spend 70 percent, and before the ACA, often spent less than that.

          One advantage of a single payer system is, with most medical services by most providers being billed to one agency, that agency can monitor the quality of care, and expose and punish bad providers, without the patient HAVING to become involved in malpractice suits, or having to wait until a suit is settled before being compensated for actual losses or being able to get corrective care from another provider.

        • iowasteve says:

          Somehow, you are confusing government run healthcare systems with the ACA. Hmmm you really don’t know the difference do you?

    • Grannysmovin says:

      Because the ACA is a beginning and now if we had a working Congress interested in doing their jobs they would find solutions to the problems. Single payer is one solution

      • jointerjohn says:

        Single-payer is THE solution, the only one that will get us onto the right track. The primary reason the republicans in Congress won’t go there is because it is a solution. They hate solutions. They live off of the fomentation of problems and the subsequent votes of malcontents. Solving problems is like Kryptonite to that crowd.

    • Wedge Shot says:

      Millions of people could not afford health insurance without subsidies. I am sure you have noticed how expensive health insurance has become. Also, the ACA does much more than help pay for health insurance; it also prevents insurance companies from dropping you if you get sick, allows everyone to get health insurance even if they they have a preexisting condition, allow kids to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26 years old and eliminates a cap on benefits. It also closes the “doughnut hole” in Medicare and pays for expansion of medicaid at the state level.
      Why would anyone except the very most vindictive want to get rid of the ACA?

    • johninPCFL says:

      Subsidize the poor and they get preventative care. Otherwise they go to the emergency room with more major issues. Preventative visit = $200. ER bill (that will be unpaid) = $10,000. Difference? Insurance costs taxpayers $150. ER costs taxpayers $10,000.
      Get it now?

  3. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Oh joy!…So the subsidies to the ACA are unconstitutional? Really? When taxpayer money is funding it? And most of those tax dollars come from blue, not red states?

    First of all, when the ACA was written, it had a simple flaw that should have been noticed. It was that the states who refused to allow the set up (all GOP governed states, by the way) of a state agency would allow the uninsured to receive funding from the federal government. The very same federal government that hands out $50 billion every year to Big Corporations.

    The word “law” doesn’t apply in those backwoods, frontier and backwater states where education is not law either. It’s a “privilege.” Little wonder then why these same idiot states who live off blue state tax dollars like a bunch of yahoo freeloaders are so hot to get rid of the ACA..they want us to pay for their healthcare needs.

    • BiteMeLiberals says:

      I understand your anger, but look at the bright side of things, it is their attempt for you to shrivel up and die.

      • jmprint says:

        And you, sucking on government tit for your benefits!

        • BiteMeLiberals says:

          not

          • iowasteve says:

            I’m wanting to know who the idiot rich person is that is paying you to troll these blogs and post idiotic garbage that they tell you to post. Wanna bet the jerk that is paying you is NOT paying his/her fair share of taxes? So, again, how is the rich being forced to pay for the poor’s medical insurance?

          • plc97477 says:

            I wonder if he is getting minimum wage.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Not what? Not a sexual pervert?
            You do seem a little young. Did some adult take advantage of you? Little boys can be vulnerable. Did he say he was a “liberal”? Is that why you have this sexual fixation on liberals?

      • Eleanore Whitaker says:

        First of all let me dispel any childish notions that you and your freeloading Middle Aged penis brains make me angry. Savvy, educated women don’t get angry..they get even..usually at your kind when they vote.

        At the rate you gun nuts of the right are killing your wives and kids, I’d say we older generation won’t make your dream come true and shrivel up and die.

        You and your violent bully bois will do for us what we wouldn’t have considered: Kill each other off. Take the hint joi boi…Time to invest in a condom for that penis brain.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        Really sorry about your sexual frustration, little boy. Maybe you should see a therapist. It might be covered under the Affordable Care Act, and – if not – maybe they’d take you as a hardship case. You sound like someone who seriously needs help. Liberals can sympathize, but becoming involved with you would only make your pathology worse.
        Again, there’s always NAMBLA.

  4. rustacus21 says:

    At the heart of the matter here is, once again, government. While the
    ACA wasn’t perfect in every respect, what it DID do, was allow Americans
    a measure of protection they didn’t have otherwise & it should be
    noted, prior to a Liberal taking over the reigns of our nations
    government. American’s however, didn’t understand, being on the rebound
    of the absolute worst economic catastrophe in 80 years. The best thing
    happening in 2010 was the opportunity to remove the ideological morass (Republicans) from Congress,
    responsible for the policy genesis which destroy the near-perfect world
    WE the people desired be crafted during the administration of President
    Bill Clinton. WE FAILED!!! This is the result of that failure. The
    ACA could have been better w/brighter, more virtuous minds & input
    HELPING guide the administration closer to Single Payer. Instead, the
    law was crafted by Republicans & Health Care industry lobbyists,
    w/the intent of what we see here – a half-baked law, w/so many
    imperfections, it WILL eventually collapse under the weight of it’s own
    ineptitude! As the article points out, the subsidies were key, but also
    points out why the American voter, being so detached, is damning itself
    to being responsible for the unstable, irrational flailing going on in
    the conservative camp. This wasn’t a decision against the law, as much
    as it was aimed at taking down President Obama, w/his own assistance. A
    strong, determined, insistent LIBERAL would have refused to negotiate
    on anything less than what the people needed. Maybe he thought the
    ‘people’ knew this & trusted us to vote as if we did in 2010. We
    didn’t & so we are here, at the mercy of empowered haters of a
    Democracy they (conservatives) are determined to destroy. But don’t
    take my word for it. Look around & understand who stands in the way
    of the recovery progress we KNOW the nation has needed since September
    18, 2008…

  5. Paul Bass says:

    Just chill everybody. As the article points out, this is a POLITICAL decision. it WILL be throw out by the full circuit court. The Right Wing is just giving it all this media attention to try to stir up their base. It won’t be upheld. Nothing to see here folks move along.

  6. jmprint says:

    Using “judicial sophistry as an instrument of anti-democratic sabotage” is and has been the norm for Cruz and his band of Tea-Party puppeteers.

  7. howa4x says:

    Did you ever as a kid start to roll your ball down a hill, and wish you hadn’t? This is the republican dilemma. They started a repeal movement for the ACA and now that it is gaining in popularity and covering more people they want to stop it. Trouble is the GOP is now a many headed hydra and not everybody has gotten the message to lay off this one. So now we have republican judges once again trying to kill the ACA very publically, so if anyone looses their subsidy because of this they will blame the GOP. This is a no win for them. If it stays they are in trouble with the Tea party Base, and if it is thrown out they will be is deep trouble with everyone else. Add to all this that the ACA was initially a republican plan, and if it goes they have nothing else in the game plan for healthcare reform. Message to republicans: Be careful what you wish for!

  8. ram1020 says:

    I’m sure that the court will make the right call on intent rather than parsing the words; however, maybe they should have read the law before they passed it. 🙂

  9. esg says:

    Let’s try an experiment. Take BiteMeLiberals income and livlihood completely away and put him on the street and see how he does with not help from anyone and no possible compasion form anyone. I for one would like to see how he does.

  10. Daniel Jones says:

    Blind Ideological Justice is literally impossible, because blind ideology is antithetical to justice–blind or otherwise.

  11. capemh says:

    It would be interesting to see how this would play out in the states that refused to do their own exchanges, what with a number of their citizens, having bought insurance with the expectation of being reimbursed, suddenly out that money. How would they then feel about their Republican Governor/legislature?

  12. Firbolg says:

    Oh my, Dionne… can you get any more hypocritical? It’s ‘blind ideology’ if you don’t agree, but acceptable ‘judicial activism’ if you do!

  13. 1standlastword says:

    The way I understand it, the “Patient Protection” and Affordable Care Act exists to “protect” Americans from an avaricious institution (the health care insurance industry) within our philosophy of capitalism which endorses the “right” of business entities to make a profit.

    PPACA says to consumers that you will “never” have to pay more than you can afford to pay for your health insurance AND you will always have access to care.

    To the insurance industry, it says the government will makeup the shortfall incurred to you for providing Americans access to vitally need heath care services.

    PPACA “as it is” cannot live up to its schizophrenic objectives because it strives to give the insurance industry a clientele government: that on the one hand, while on the other it pledges to protect the insured from the beast it continues feed a platter of subsidies.

    PPACA is a “hybrid” between our capitalist philosophy and a socialist model of governing and therein lies the problem!

    Can we agree that we need a healthcare system that genuinely protects “us” and not one that “we” have to protect from “us”?
    There are 10 million people who today have insurance they didn’t before PPACA: (thanks completely to progressives).

    I want to think ALL people can find components of PPACA they like.

    If we cannot have single payer system then we need to have a government run system that provides basic healthcare running along side a private system for the folk who CAN AFFORD to buy care.

    No mandates…no penalties just “split-the-baby!!!”

    Putting government as an affordable alternative against private carriers would let the marketplace decide the best and most desirable product. Isn’t that a major tenant of capitalism?

    • Allan Richardson says:

      The ACA is analogous to a system in which the government tries to make sure everyone can afford to subscribe to police protection insurance, without which reported crimes are not investigated, as opposed to the system we have, in which police are paid by taxpayers (socialist!) and obligated to investigate crimes regardless of whether the victims can afford to pay them. And yet, even subsidized crime insurance would be better than completely privatized police, who would not protect you from criminals unless you, yourself, can afford to pay for police protection, which would be the equivalent of the pre-ACA situation.

  14. Joseph says:

    The IRS believes that each Citizen that receives a subsidy is standing on solid ground. As a licensed insurance for Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia and Georgia, my clients should be very upset by very idea that subsidies should be scrapped. My other states of New York, Connecticut and Colorado do not have such a concern.
    Here we have the dividers at work again. Only 16 states have Health Exchanges, should the other 34 states and US territories be left in the wind? I think not. Also, some states did not want work with the Federal government trying to derail the Affordable Care Act. The people should not be at the whim of such nonsense.
    Where is the ACLU now?

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