- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Readers who made it to Page 42 of a lunchtime ruling on Obamacare’s subsidies may have felt their stomach’s grumble Tuesday, when a federal appeals judge resorted to pizza analogies to make his point.

Senior Judge Andre M. Davis, sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, was trying to explain why the health care law’s framers intended to dole out financial assistance to all of the states’ exchanges.

Opponents of the law say the law calls for subsidies to flow to states that set up their own health exchanges, and not the three dozen states that relied on the federal government to do it for them.

But the administration says Congress intended to give subsidies to any qualified American no matter where they live, because the Health and Human Services Department stands in for states that refuse to establish an exchange.

Or, let Judge Davis explain:

“If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order,” Senior Circuit Judge Davis wrote.

“That is this case,” he continued. “Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange.”

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