Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Supreme's Heard King v. Burwell Argument on Obamacare Tax Credits

Chief Justice John Roberts extended the time for both sides to make their presentations as the case was being argued.

March 4, 2015 the Supreme Court heard oral argument in King v. Burwell, an important case dealing with the Obama administration’s attempt to hand out tax credits not authorized by the text of the law.
As for yesterday's oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the federal health-care law, here is the take from NBC's Pete Williams: "After hearing arguments for about 90 minutes, the U.S. Supreme Court gave little indication Wednesday about how it plans to rule in the latest challenge to Obamacare. Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the crucial vote in 2012 to save the health care reform law, didn't pepper government lawyers with questions this time. A possible swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, appeared to find constitutional problems with the case against Obamacare, but didn't fully tip his hand one way or the other." Yet here is where the Obama administration stands compared with three years ago: BOTH Roberts and Kennedy are in play for them, which wasn't the case after the oral arguments in the 2012 constitutional challenge over the law.
In brief, Section 1311 of Obamacare grants tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance on exchanges “established by the State.” However, when the majority of states refused to set up Obamacare exchanges, the federal government stepped in and set up federal exchanges. So far so good. However, the IRS then began authorizing tax credits for individuals on the federal exchanges, despite the fact that the text of the law authorizes tax credits only for state-run exchanges. The Justice's may rule by June. More