Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Reminder That the GOP Celebrates in Taking Healthcare Away From People

The GOP is still trying to kill Obamacare since they can't to it through electing officials, since they have already lost in the Supreme Court, but they won't stop.  A recent 2-1 ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court  (2 very conservative justices), ruled against the subsidy portion for states that use the federal exchange.  The South Dakota GOP immediately jumped on the ruling to link the ACA to Rick Weiland.  Posted on South Dakota War College:
“President Obama and his loyal foot soldier Rick Weiland were given an emphatic ‘no’ today by the D.C. Court of Appeals on their failed Obamacare law,” said Dick Wadhams, spokesman for the South Dakota Republican Party. “The court ruled on what the Obamacare law actually says, not what President Obama and Rick Weiland say it says....”
 “The current Obama-Weiland health care law is bad enough but Weiland actually wants Obamacare on steroids,” Wadhams said. “Weiland would dramatically expand Medicare and make that federal health care program for seniors available to everyone. Weiland’s Medicare/Obamacare expansion proposal would destroy Medicare as we know it for seniors.”
It will be interesting to hear what the GOP will say when the ruling is reversed.  It seems that the two judges wanted to ignore precedent and ignore the whole context of the law (2,000 pages) based on one line.
The Fourth Circuit in Virginia upheld the subsidies—indicating the government had the better argument, but regardless applying the longstanding rule that when a statute is not clear, courts defer to the agency administering the statute (in this case, the IRS). The D.C. Circuit, however, ruled the other way, reading one provision of this massive and complex federal law out of context. That opinion not only misinterprets the statute—with enormous practical consequences—but also does a deep disservice to conservative jurists and lawyers who have spent the last 30 years arguing that text-based interpretation is sophisticated, not literalistic, and serves democracy....
It is true, as the plaintiffs argued, that a single provision of the statute provides that subsidies shall be available to exchanges established by states, and that that provision does not also mention the federal government.But it is also emphatically true that the rest of the statutory text makes quite clear that the subsidies were also intended on federal exchanges. Another provision of the statute requires reporting to the IRS of subsidies doled out on federal and state exchanges alike—and that provision expressly mentions the federal exchanges. The statute also, in several other places, mentions state exchanges in ways that clearly are intended to refer to exchanges operated by the states or exchanges operated by the federal government for the states.

So the realistic probability of this argument continuing is actually slim.  It does serve as a reminder that the South Dakota GOP and Mike Rounds looks forward to increasing the number of people that are uninsured.  (Remember that Daugaard is hoping to use the ACA foe health insurance for state employees.)  We are reminded that the ACA is working to lower uninsured rates the United States.  That South Dakotans of all ages are benefiting from the law.
·         92,000 uninsured South Dakotans will have new health insurance options through Medicaid or private health plans in the Marketplace. 
·         In the first ten months of 2013, 8,200 seniors and people with disabilities have saved on average $714 on prescription medications as the health care law closes Medicare’s so-called “donut hole.” 
·         9,000 young adults have gained health insurance because they can now stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

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