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Supreme Court to hear new ObamaCare challenge

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posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear a new challenge to ObamaCare, bringing the law back before the court after it survived a brush with death in 2012.

At issue in this case is the legality of subsidies offered to help millions of low- and middle-income people buy health insurance. Opponents argue that most of the subsidies are illegal. Source


it would appear that at least 4 of the Justices have opted to hear the subsidy aspect of Obamacare even though the entire Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has not yet heard the case which they had scheduled for December 17th.

The Supreme Court typically does not hear cases unless there is a split verdict as the D.C. court threw out a previous ruling by part of the court nullifying the split decision in which a Richmond based appeals court upheld the IRS rgeulations that permitted subsidization as legal.

Opponents argue that the law has been fundamentally changed and the subsidies are not legal based on Executive Order changes made to the law.

Either way, the Supreme Court will most likely here this in the spring making it the third time they will be ruling on the law. A negative ruling in this case my spell the end for the law as currently constituted as it would render it unaffordable to nearly 5 million people.
 






edit on 7-11-2014 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer




posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:00 PM
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it the third time they will be ruling on the law. A negative ruling in this case my spell the end for the law


So if two previous rulings were positive for the law, why would one negative one mean its demise?

How many times have the republicans tried to repeal already? 50? Now they can just bypass the lower court and send it straight to the supreme court.

Just seems like nonsense to me and whiny little brats that won't quit until they get their way.



posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:07 PM
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originally posted by: tinner07

So if two previous rulings were positive for the law, why would one negative one mean its demise?


The previous two rulings were both not positive. The last ruling (Hobby Lobby) was considered a minor set back, striking down the subsidies would make the law unaffordable for 5 million and would render it unable to provide for many of the people it claims to have made provisions for.


How many times have the republicans tried to repeal already? 50? Now they can just bypass the lower court and send it straight to the supreme court.


The bypass occurred as the Supreme Court opted to take the case as at least 4 justices requested in be remanded to them.



posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:14 PM
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a reply to: tinner07

Now they can just bypass the lower court and send it straight to the supreme court.

If Obama can bypass Congress with just a Pen and Phone, then anyone else should be able to Game the system as well.




posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:41 PM
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Looks like it isn't just a ruling on Obamacare.

Rather it appears another issue is involved here.

Executive Orders appear to be a second and quite valid option.

If the Executive Orders fundamentally changed the ACA then the orders would be invalid because by law the President can NOT issue Executive Orders that fundamentally change legislation passed by congress.



posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:45 PM
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I have little faith in the Supreme Court making the right decision for the citizen anymore. They will make their decision based on corporate interests, this one being the health insurance industry and big pharma. The 5/4 votes make it seem like they care, when the reality is they do not want to alienate themselves from popular opinion with a 9-0 vote.



posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: grandmakdw

That is correct. The case is based on executive orders altering the law and making de facto legislation on who is eligible for a subsidy.



posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 04:59 PM
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originally posted by: jrod

The 5/4 votes make it seem like they care, when the reality is they do not want to alienate themselves from popular opinion with a 9-0 vote.


So you are saying the Liberal justices really want to vote in favor of striking down the subsidies but are playing a part in a charade? Seems a bit far fetched.



posted on Nov, 7 2014 @ 06:43 PM
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suprised this thread isnt getting more attention.does any one know when they will take up the case(like what month or like time frame on it being heard) as depending on how this goes a good chunk of aca funding will be removed with the subsides ,and just as a random question what happens to those who may have all ready received/spent their subsides? do they owe it back or like how will that work?



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 07:03 AM
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a reply to: RalagaNarHallas

It would appear they will take this case in the spring with a verdict to be handed down in June.



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 05:37 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: grandmakdw

That is correct. The case is based on executive orders altering the law and making de facto legislation on who is eligible for a subsidy.



No, that is NOT correct. This has nothing to do with Executive Orders. This has to do with one line in a document that is, according to those opposed to the ACA bringing the suit, counter to the strong intent of the law as a whole.

The arguments are thus:

The plaintiffs want to use language in the ACA law that mentions the phrase "exchanges in the States..." and use that to create a LITERAL interpretation meaning NO Federally run exchanges (i.e. through Healthcare.gov) are eligible for subsidies. There are only 16 states that currently have their own exchanges.

From SCOTUSblog:


Underlying that issue, however, is the broader question whether the words Congress chooses are to be the sole guide to what a law does, or whether the larger purposes that Congress seems to have in mind should determine how to read the words.

The challengers take the “literal interpretation” approach, although they also have policy reasons for reading the ACA as they do. The Obama administration takes the “broader purpose” approach, contending that Congress would not have set up the insurance program on a basis that is as limited as the challengers contend. There are Justices on the Court on both sides of that debate over interpreting federal laws.


In other words, they are arguing that Congress, AT THE TIME THE LAW WAS PASSED, intended to limit subsidies to only those states who created their own exchanges. The meme around this is that the Democratic Congress wanted to push the states oppositional to creating their own exchanges by threatening to withhold subsidies from their constituents if they did not sign-on to creating ACA exchanges.

What is the truth of this meme? It seems to be promoted heavily by the plaintiffs - perhaps they are one of the sources of this idea? If someone knows the root of the "carrot and stick" meme (which I have been guilty of taking on myself), please let me know - I can't find it other than in relation to this legal attempt.



Michael Carvin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, who are individuals and business owners from six states that declined to set up exchanges, urged the judges to look at what lawmakers wrote and not “psychoanalyze” what they thought.

State Carrot

The language restricting subsidies to state exchanges was a carrot to persuade states to set them up, Carvin said.

U.S. Circuit Judge Harry Edwards told Carvin,“Your argument makes no sense.” Adding that he found no evidence that Congress sought to use the subsidies as an inducement, he said, “Who cares who set up the exchanges?”

Source - Bloomberg



The argument is, well, let's just say it isn't bi-partisan and it has the potential impact of gutting the ACA. While some may cheer that on with banners and fireworks, others, such as myself, are biting my nails and worrying about my children.

peace,
AB



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 06:22 PM
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originally posted by: AboveBoard

No, that is NOT correct. This has nothing to do with Executive Orders.



"Nevertheless, the Obama administration and others are asking the courts to disregard the letter of the law and instead rule based on bureaucratic rewrites and revisions."


As Congress has not rewritten anything about this law who would that be referring to?



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Please source the Executive Order that you are talking about. There isn't one for this issue mentioned in any of the articles on this, and I've read quite a lot of them. I would be happy to admit my error if I've made one.

The language "bureaucratic rewrites and revisions" - please source this as well? I personally don't think this means what you think it means. Executive Orders are official signed legal documents, this language speaks to the plaintiff's interpretation of the ACA in a narrow and literalistic way on this one phrase, with the intent to kill the entire law.

Here is another framing of this same legal issue:
The argument is between some people choosing a literal meaning of one phrase in the ACA law, and putting it up against the clear mandate and intent of the law to insure as many Americans as it could, not just those from state exchanges.

Thanks for the response,

AB



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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originally posted by: AboveBoard
Please source the Executive Order that you are talking about. There isn't one for this issue mentioned in any of the articles on this, and I've read quite a lot of them. I would be happy to admit my error if I've made one.



King v. Burwell will test, as so many other cases have in the Obama era, whether this Administration can unilaterally rewrite the law to suit its political ends. Source



The language "bureaucratic rewrites and revisions" - please source this as well? I personally don't think this means what you think it means. Executive Orders are official signed legal documents, this language speaks to the plaintiff's interpretation of the ACA in a narrow and literalistic way on this one phrase, with the intent to kill the entire law.


Link is in the Original Post.



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Yes and no.

I do not buy into the liberal versus conservative facade for the most part. Both sides sell US the citizens out to corporate interests. There are very few true liberals or conservatives in DC, The Supreme Court included.



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Sorry - that source requires me to pay to read it... Is there another one? I will look also. This was not mentioned anywhere except in interpretation, not in the nature of executive orders as legal documents. The interpretation that "this Administration unilaterally rewriting" the law?

Well, there are some EO's for the ACA, like this one:
Executive Order 13535-- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Consistency with Longstanding Restrictions on the Use of Federal Funds for Abortion

In fact, after going through the entire list of Executive Orders from the present back to prior to the formation of the ACA, this is the ONLY actual Executive Order I found.


If you want to talk about the arguments between Congress and the White House in regards to implementation to the law. Here it is - but it has nothing to do with the current legal argument headed to the SCOTUS:


Arguments For and Against the Administrative Actions

Opponents of the ACA, who believe that the law is fundamentally flawed, argue that some of the Administration’s actions effectively rewrite the law in an effort to make it work and confuse the public. The ACA’s critics also assert that the actions taken by the Administration to delay enforcement of the employer mandate are illegal and raise concerns that the President is not upholding his constitutional duty to faithfully execute federal law.

The Administration counters that its actions are not a refusal to implement and enforce the ACA as written. Instead, they represent temporary corrections necessary to ensure the effective implementation of a very large and complex law. Agency officials point to a number of factors that have made it difficult to meet various ACA deadlines. Those factors include a lack of appropriations to help fund implementation activities, technological problems including the poorly managed launch of the websites for the federally facilitated exchange and the state-based exchanges, and the need to phase in the various interconnected parts of the law so as to avoid unnecessary disruption of employment and insurance markets.

Regarding the employer mandate delay, the Administration says that its actions are no different from those taken by previous administrations faced with the challenges of implementing a complicated law. The Administration notes that its decision to grant employers “transition relief,” taken pursuant to administrative authority under the Internal Revenue Code to “prescribe all needful rules and regulations” to administer tax laws,10 is part of an established practice to provide relief to taxpayers who might otherwise struggle to comply with new tax law.

Notwithstanding the Administration’s arguments, critics question whether some of the recent delays of ACA provisions exceed the executive’s traditional discretion in enforcing law to the point that they represent a blatant disregard of the law. For example, they argue that the decision to encourage states to allow insurers to renew noncompliant policies for people who want to keep their current plans directly contravenes provisions of the ACA that had become politically inconvenient.


If Congress goes through with its potential lawsuit that Boehner talked about, then that would directly play into the theme of "lawlessness" from the conservative side of things.

peace,
AB
edit on 8-11-2014 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 07:55 PM
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Ok. I finally understand that you are linking this current SCOTUS hearing to the general argument I posted above, but this still isn't about Executive Orders, this is a disagreement of Administrative actions during implementation.

They have yet to actually sue the President. Many see this argument as simply part of the bitter partisan divide.

Peace,
AB


edit on 8-11-2014 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2014 @ 08:26 PM
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originally posted by: AboveBoard

The plaintiffs want to use language in the ACA law that mentions the phrase "exchanges in the States..." and use that to create a LITERAL interpretation meaning NO Federally run exchanges (i.e. through Healthcare.gov) are eligible for subsidies. There are only 16 states that currently have their own exchanges.


They must have had several hundred attorneys and legal people working on the ACA before it was enacted. Everything else in all those 1800 pages is literal and they screwed this ONE LITTLE PART up? Okay. Guess they should have worded literally what they DID mean!

And by the way, here's the EO's signed by Obama where he could have fixed this:

3. Subsidies may flow through federal exchanges: The IRS issued a rule that allows premium assistance tax credits to be available in federal exchanges although the law only specified that they would be available “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311.” (May 23, 2012)

19. Extending subsidies to non-exchange plans: The administration released a bulletin through CMS extending subsidies to individuals who purchased health insurance plans outside of the federal or state exchanges. The bulletin also requires retroactive coverage and subsidies for individuals from the date they applied on the marketplace rather than the date they actually enrolled in a plan. (February 27, 2014)




By our count at the Galen Institute, more than 42 significant changes already have been made to ObamaCare: at least 24 that President Obama has made unilaterally, 16 that Congress has passed and the president has signed, and 2 by the Supreme Court.


That's a lot of changes to something that was so great. Someone needs to review everyone of these changes to see if they're legal.
edit on 8-11-2014 by StoutBroux because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 05:34 AM
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Well, I'll tell you what. I've had a strange feeling that there was just no way we're going to get rid of the individual mandate all along (And I know they've already ruled on the mandate and this is about something else. I just call the whole law the individual mandate because that's the worst part of it).

I seriously doubt anything good will happen here (and by "good" I mean anything that would undermine the whole thing). Roberts had the perfect opportunity to trash the whole law by simply ruling against the individual mandate and he didn't do it. Actions speak louder than words.



posted on Nov, 9 2014 @ 06:56 AM
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a reply to: StoutBroux

Thanks for the references.

A massive piece of legislation is a human endeavor - I fully expected tweaks and changes, to see what part had the desired effect to insure the most people possible, thus allowing them to get appropriate healthcare, and what needed to be changed, etc. That is only reasonable.

What was unreasonable and painful was how things were before the ACA in regard to pre-existing conditions. The way they chose to handle this was massive enrollment to offset the cost of actually insuring sick people. As someone who directly experienced this, and who has seriously ill children, I do not want this very real problem to return.

I don't care if the law gets fixed and made to work better, or something else comes along that solves the same problems that it did - I just don't want the insurance company death panels to return.

peace,
AB




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