- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
EDITORIAL: Obamacare’s fatal flaw
The state exchanges undermine the health care scheme
For good reason the Internal Revenue Service is one of the most despised government agencies, and it's more unpopular than ever. A Fox News poll finds that 84 percent of those responding were concerned about the agency's abuse of power. It's only going to get worse.
Obamacare requires states to establish health care exchanges by Jan. 1, 2014. These bureaucratic creations are meant to offer highly regulated health plans carrying the administration's seal of approval. This is a central element of how Obamacare works: Individuals who obtain health insurance through a state exchange qualify for federal subsidies and tax credits. The availability of subsidies is the basis of the employer mandate.
The text of the health care law unambiguously says that a "state" must set up the exchange to enforce the tax credit and the mandate penalty. The federal government can create a federal exchange, but the plain language of the statute clearly says the mandate penalty and associated tax credits apply only to state exchanges. A new lawsuit argues that this puts the 33 states that chose not to establish state exchanges off the Obamacare hook.
To get around this difficulty, the IRS unilaterally declared Obamacare's tax provisions applicable to the federal exchange. The IRS decision sets out that subsidies shall be available to anyone "enrolled in one or more qualified health plans through an Exchange," and then defines "Exchange" to mean "a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange, and Federally-facilitated Exchange."
Michael Carvin, who argued the Supreme Court's Obamacare cases last year, is working with the Competitive Enterprise Institute to reverse the agency's decision. "The IRS rule we are challenging," says Mr. Carvin, "is at war with the act's plain language and completely rewrites the deal that Congress made with the states on running these insurance exchanges."
If the Obama administration thinks there's a problem in the law, it should ask Congress to fix it. The White House can't bring itself to admit the president botched his greatest legislative achievement, so the IRS was dispatched to do the work behind the scene. Given the revelations of IRS misbehavior over the past few months, the agency itself demonstrates that it can't be trusted. The courts should expedite this important case before the rogue agency undermines health care in the way it undermined the tax code.
The Washington Times
About the Author
- Former CIA head Gen. Michael Hayden to pen Times column
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Orlando well-suited for DNC
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: President 'mom jeans' vs. Putin
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: House has the power it needs
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Misunderstanding the Second Amendment
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
Get Breaking Alerts
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash