2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

The CBO shot down the King/Halbig plaintiff's argument. 68 times.

Again, I know this is a few days old, but I've been playing a bit of catchup lately. You know how the King v. Burwell case (aka Halbig v. Burwell, effectively...same case, different U.S. Circuit, but King is the one going to SCOTUS) is entirely based on the claim that Congress intended for the IRS to only dole out tax credits to people who enrolled via state-based exchanges, not through the Federal exchange?

Yeah, about that...

The Congressional Budget Office wrote 68 reports about the Affordable Care Act during the session that Congress debated the law. Not one of them, a new analysis from Harvard University's Theda Skocpol, ever explored the possibility of limiting insurance subsidies to the state marketplaces after the law's full implementation.

The analysis could prove relevant in the pending Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, where challengers argue that Congress meant for Obamacare to limit subsidies to state exchanges. If the justices agree, millions of Americans who purchased coverage through Healthcare.gov could lose billions in health-insurance subsidies.

The CBO's whole job is to game out how much different laws will cost. The agency typically looks at different possible scenarios. When the Supreme Court ruled, for example, that the Medicaid expansion was optional, it published new cost estimates for scenarios where some states either did or didn't opt out.

Skocpol points to the fact that CBO never considered a similar, alternate scenario where some states didn't build exchanges as evidence that Obamacare's drafters meant for all states to get subsidy money.

Ultimately, John Roberts and the rest of the SCOTUS will rule however the hell they feel like ruling, based on whatever criteria they wish, and there's not a thing anyone can do about it, but this just adds to the mountain of evidence that the King plaintiffs are utterly full of hooey.