Here he is discussing the case on Cavuto last month:
Here he is discussing the case on Cavuto last month:
I have blogged about the Internal Revenue Service’s attempt to tax, borrow, and spend $800 billion contrary to the clear language of ObamaCare, and how both Oklahoma (in Pruitt v. Sebelius) and a group of individuals and small businesses (in Halbig v. Sebelius) have filed suit to block this raw power grab. The Congressional Research Service writes that these challenges “could be a major obstacle to the implementation of [ObamaCare].” George Mason University law professor Michael Greve writes:
This is huge: all of Obamacare hangs on the outcome…If successful…[either] case will bring Obamacare’s Exchange engine to a screeching halt…In short, this is for all the marbles.
Last week, the Halbig plaintiffs asked the U.S. district court for the District of Columbia to speed things up. Though the IRS doesn’t have to respond to the Halbig complaint until July, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to rule on the case before the end of 2013. According to the plaintiffs:
Plaintiffs need a determination on the merits far enough in advance of January 1, 2014, to allow them to conform their behavior to the law. Because the validity of the regulation turns on a purely legal question and the administrative record is closed, Plaintiffs are moving for summary judgment now, and hope thereby to avoid the need to litigate a motion for preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order at the eleventh hour.
The plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment cites my paper (with Jonathan Adler), “Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits Under the PPACA.”
On June 17, one week from today, Cato will host a policy forum on Halbig v. Sebelius featuring plaintiffs’ counsel Michael Carvin and other luminaries. Register here.
So far, officials in 34 states have elected not to create insurance exchanges under the law where the uninsured can go to purchase affordable or subsidized health care coverage. And only 20 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to expand Medicaid programs for the poor and disabled…
Earlier this year, Cannon published a lengthy Cato “white paper,” a handbook of sorts for gumming up the works. Entitled “50 Vetoes: How States Can Stop the Obama Health Care Law,” the report urges governors and state officials to refuse to set up insurance exchanges in their states and to refuse to opt into an expanded Medicaid program for the poor…
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, and a board member of Enroll America, complained…that Cannon’s handbook was designed to “throw sand into the machinery of state implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
“So has it been a factor? Of course,” added Pollack.
Click here to read “50 Vetoes.”
The IRS is attempting to tax, borrow, and spend more than $800 billion over the next 10 years without congressional authorization, and indeed in violation of an express statutory prohibition enacted by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
By offering the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s] subsidies in states that have not set up [health insurance] exchanges, the federal government is inflicting tax penalties on individuals and employers that go beyond even what Obamacare allows…
Pruitt v. Sebelius has been supplemented by a lawsuit filed last month by a group of small businesses and individual taxpayers also challenging the IRS’s authority to impose penalties outside of state-created exchanges…
Stopping the IRS from imposing punitive taxes where it has no legal power to do so should in fact be a popular and bipartisan issue, regardless of one’s opinions about the ACA itself…
Republican governors, attorneys general, and state legislators looking to use their offices to the significant benefit of the nation as a whole should be lining up to create a 30-state united front with Oklahoma. Scott Pruitt is fighting for the rule of law, and Republican governors might trouble themselves to give him a hand.
to create an Exchange is to create a taxpayer-funded lobbying group dedicated to fighting repeal. An Exchange’s employees would owe their power and their paychecks to this law. Naturally, they would aid the fight to preserve the law.
California was the first state both to reject my advice and to prove my point.
Officials operating California’s exchange–which the marketing gurus dubbed “Covered California“–recently and deliberately misled the entire nation about the cost of health insurance under Obamacare.
They claimed that health plans offered through Covered California in 2014 will cost the same or less than health insurance costs today. “The rates submitted to Covered California for the 2014 individual market,” they wrote, “ranged from two percent above to 29 percent below the 2013 average premium for small employer plans in California’s most populous regions.”
See? No rate shock. California’s top Obamacare bureaucrat, Peter Lee, declared his agency had hit “a home run for consumers.” Awesome!
Unfortunately, anyone who knows anything about health insurance or Obamacare knew instantly that this claim was bogus, for three reasons.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health-care law that Obama signed in 2010, asks state governments to set up health exchanges, and authorizes the federal government to provide tax credits to people who use those exchanges to get insurance. But most states have refused to establish the online marketplaces, and both the tax credits and many of the law’s penalties can’t go into effect until the states act.
Obama’s IRS has decided it’s going to apply the tax credits and penalties in states that refuse, even without statutory authorization. During the recent scandal over the IRS’s harassment of conservative groups, many Republicans have warned that the IRS can’t be trusted with the new powers that the health law will give the agency. They are wrong about the verb tense: It has already abused those powers.
For more, read my article (with Jonathan Adler), “Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits Under the PPACA.”
You can’t make this up: Obamacare exempts certain American Indians from the “choice” Americans will face as of January of buying health insurance or paying Chief Justice Roberts’s special tax. But apparently this is a far narrower category of people than those recognized as “Indian” under various state laws:
The problem is so new that the federal government is still seeking to establish how many people might be affected, although Indian health advocacy groups estimate it could be up to 480,000.
In California alone, about 21,000 people who currently receive free health care through Indian clinics are not recognized as Native American by the federal government and would have to pay the penalty, according to the nonprofit California Rural Indian Health Board.
So people who’ve considered themselves American Indian all their lives and have been treated as such by their states–including for health care purposes–suddenly won’t be considered Indian as far as Obamacare is concerned.
Wow–Indian law is complicated and constitutionally problematic enough without having further regulatory overlays bollix up the works even more. But that’s what happens when government encoraches more and more into civil society. As I wrote in January in an article on, of all things, the contraceptive mandate:
But there’s an even bigger issue here. This is just the latest example of the difficulties in turning health care—or increasing parts of our economy more broadly—over to the government. As my colleague Roger Pilon has written, when health care (or anything) is socialized or treated as a public utility, we’re forced to fight for every “carve-out” of liberty…
The more government controls—whether health care, education, or even marriage—the greater the battles over conflicting values. With certain things, such as national defense, basic infrastructure, clean air and water and other “public goods,” we largely agree, at least inside reasonable margins. But we have vast disagreements about social programs, economic regulation and so much else that government now dominates at the expense of individual liberty.
Obamacare delenda est.
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