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Hoist By Their Own Petard

Let’s remember, for just a moment, how Obamacare was passed. It was cobbled together by a team of industry insiders to cater to all the special interests. It was then sent to Congress, where it would be honed and passed. But when Scott Brown won the election in Massachusetts, they suddenly did not have a filibuster-proof majority. So they rushed it through on a budget reconciliation. As a result, the bill contains a lot of bad language, poor wording and unclear statutes. Nancy Pelosi famously said we had to pass it find out what was in it. And now we’re finding out that what’s in it could destroy it.

Earlier this week, the DC Circuit Court ruled that the Obamacare subsidies could not be given to people whose states had not set up insurance exchanges because the law did not specify it. Liberals screamed blue murder about activist courts and people losing insurance and other arguments from the “Oh Come On!” school of jurisprudence. They said that Michael Cannon and Cato and other people arguing that the subsidies were meant to be withheld to force states to set up exchanges were “sociopaths” who would say anything to take insurance away from the poor. They’re livid that Obamacare might be overturned by what they’re calling “a typo”:

his week, Jonathan Gruber appeared on MSNBC to assert that the DC Circuit appellate court got the ObamaCare statute all wrong in its Halbig decision. Gruber, one of the key architects of the ACA and of the Massachusetts “RomneyCare” law that preceded it, insisted that the state exchange requirement for subsidy payment was purely accidental. “It is unambiguous this is a typo,” Gruber told Chris Matthews. “Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it`s a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states.”

Even if that were true, these kind of typos are what you get when you shove a law through without reconciliation. And while “everyone” might agree that Congress intended the mandates to be universal, it’s difficult to tell what Congress intended because Congress barely debated the fucking thing.

But is it true that Congress intended the subsidies to be universal? For that, we should ask one of the architects of Obamacare such as … um … Jonathan Gruber?

Two years ago, though, Gruber gave a much different explanation for this part of the ObamaCare statute. Speaking at a January 2012 symposium for a tech organization that this was no typo. It was, Gruber said, a deliberate policy to twist the arms of reluctant states to set up their own exchanges — and that a failure to do so would mean no subsidies for their citizens.

You can go to Hot Air and watch the video, including the full video that shows this was not taken out of context. Gruber has since said his words were a “speak-o” and he was mistaken. If so, this Obamacare architect — who was paid a cool $400,000 for his contribution — now appears to have made that “speak-o” multiple times.

As Ed Morrissey points out, this doesn’t really matter for the court case. The Court will be considering Congressional intent not consultant intent. And to be perfectly frank, Gruber is a hack who will say whatever the Obama Administration wants him to say. If he got a memo saying that Obamacare was actually French Toast, he’d be handing out eggs and butter at these meetings.

But it does make for some great entertainment to watch these guys flounder around trying to explain what the bill really means.

3 comments

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  1. AlexInCT says:

    Meh, these people think the law applies to the unwashed masses and not to them, so I am willing to bet money they will just ignore the ruling and do what they want anyway. After all, they know what’s best for the rest of us fuckwads.

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  2. AlexInCT says:

    Oh yeah, I think it is worth mentioning that this was not a type either: the way this was written was by design. At the time they were cobbling together this piece of shit law the scumbag progressive nanny staters who knew how bad it was going to be figured they needed another series of hammers the feds could use to beat states into compliance. And this particular regulation about who got money and how one of the big ones. The primary reason the democrats writing this evil law put this in was so the feds could use this law and the money, like they do money for road maintenance and other such things, as a mega club to force states to do what the feds want, regardless of what the people wanted.

    And remember that the primary agency to force compliance with this law is the IRS. That’s also by design, by the way. Just look at the things we so far know about behavior at the partisan IRS for a clue why that’s so. The idea there was that the IRS would wield it’s power to force compliance and again, target political enemies for the left. Death panels were built into this thing. Especially for the enemies of the left.

    Anyone that still doubts the progressives want to use their power as a club to beat people into compliance and destroy their enemies, and buys their nonsense about doing this shit to help, needs their fucking heads examined.

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  3. Seattle Outcast says:

    The drawback being they never actually conceived that so many states would give them the finger. The flaw of groupthink – you never actually know what others are thinking.

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