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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/9/15

Obama: Supreme Court should not have taken Obamacare subsidies case

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Reprinted from Daily Kos

By Joan McCarter

Speaking at a briefing wrapping up the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Germany, President Obama said that King v. Burwell "should be an easy case, frankly it shouldn't have even been taken up." This is the case challenging subsidies to people in 34 states using the federal marketplace that could potentially take subsidies away from more than 6 million people.

"Obama rejected the basis for the challenge and said it is 'well documented' that the authors of the Affordable Care Act 'never intended' to block people on federal exchanges from obtaining the subsidies.

"'There is no reason why the existing exchanges should be overturned through a court case,' he said.

"He declined to answer questions about his contingency plans for a Supreme Court decision against the law, and said people should 'assume' that it will be upheld. [...]

"'I think it's important for us to go ahead and assume that the Supreme Court is going to do what most legal scholars who've looked at this would expect them to do.' [...]

"'Part of what's bizarre about this whole thing is, we haven't had a lot of conversation about the horrors of ObamaCare because none of them have come to pass,' he said."

President Obama went on to say that "well-established statutory interpretation" by the court -- including current justices -- leads him to being optimistic that the court will uphold the subsidies. According to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) that statement is the president "bullying" the Supreme Court. He adds that instead of trying to intimidate the court, Obama "should spend his time preparing for the reality that the court may soon rule against his decision to illegally issue tax penalties and subsidies on Americans in two-thirds of the country."
So talking about Supreme Court precedent is bullying. Also, Barrasso is overstating the challenge here. Tax penalties -- the individual mandate -- has nothing to do with this case. Not that you'd expect honesty from a Republican on Obamacare.

The president is absolutely correct. Supreme Court precedent, the congressional record, and the balance of the entire statute -- not just the four-word phrase the challengers' case rests on -- should result in the statute being upheld. But he's also right that this case should never have reached the court.

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