A couple more noteworthy King v. Burwell items
This morning I noted several new developments in the ongoing King v. Burwell saga (formerly Halbig v. Burwell...and yes, I know that's technically a separate case, but cut me some slack here). However, I forgot a couple more:
Here's a list of people who--to the best of my knowledge--have now been proven not to ever have the slightest inkling, hint, suggestion or thought that federal tax subsidies weren't supposed to go to states which didn't establish their own ACA exchanges at any point throughout the many-year process of the law being crafted, drafted, printed, read, debated, argued about, voted on or signed into law:
- Any members of the U.S. House of Representatives, regardless of party
- Any members of the U.S. Senate, regardless of party
- Any staff member of any member of Congress
- Anyone working at the White House
- Anyone working at the Dept. of Health & Human Services
- Anyone working at the Internal Revenue Service
- Anyone working at the Treasury Department
- Anyone working at the Department of Justice
- Anyone working at the Congressional Budget Office
- Any Governor or State Legislator, or any of their staff members, regardless of party
- Anyone working for any of the insurance companies or hospital coporations who were involved in the process
Well, today, the Dept. of Justice added 4 more names to this list: Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas & Alito.
It's undisputed that virtually everyone had — for years — construed the Affordable Care Act to allow subsidies for Americans even if their state didn't set up an insurance exchange. But the Justice Department wants it to be clear that "everyone" includes the four conservative justices on the Supreme Court who voted to wipe out Obamacare in 2012 and will now hear a new challenge to the law.
...In one section the brief quotes the conservative justices acknowledging that the Democratic-led Congress "thought that some States might decline ... to participate in the operation of an exchange." The aim is to rebut the challengers' contention that Congress expected every state to set up an exchange and was blindsided when some three dozen declined to do so.
There was one more interesting King-related item today. As noted above, the original "federal ACA exchange subsidy" case was Halbig v. Burwell in the D.C. Circuit Court. However, in the end it was King v. Burwell (essentially the same case), in the Fourth Circuit, which made it's way to the Supreme Court.
However, there was/is also a third variant of, again, essentially the exact same case: Pruitt v. Burwell, out of Oklahoma (the 10th Circuit).
Well, today it was announced that the SCOTUS will not be adding the Pruitt case to the pile:
he U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to include Oklahoma’s case against the Affordable Care Act when justices consider whether people in 37 states can get federal subsidies to buy health insurance.
Without comment, the high court rejected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s request to bypass a federal appeals court’s consideration and pair the Oklahoma case with the Virginia case already under review. The question in both state cases is the same and is expected to be answered by the court sometime this summer.
I'm sure those more knowledgable about these things can tell me whether the SCOTUS decision on the King case will automatically shut down the other identical/nearly identical cases; I assume this would be the case?