Federal Subsidies for ObamaCare Question Likely Supreme Court-Bound

Discussing the recent “circuit split” when different federal appeals courts delivered different rulings on the legality of taxpayer-funded subsidies on the federal ObamaCare exchange, the National Center’s Dr. David Hogberg told One America Network’s Rick Amato that both courts agreed the “substance of this law comes from the wording.”  But they nonetheless still came up with different solutions to the problem that will probably see the question ultimately decided in the U.S. Supreme Court.

On the 7/25/14 edition of “The Rick Amato Show,” Dr. Hogberg noted both the D.C. Court of Appeals and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed — in rulings handed down on the same day — that there was no evidence on Congressional intent.  It may be that members of Congress or, at least, Democrats, wanted premiums subsidies to go to both federal and state exchanges.  However, neither Court could find any definitive evidence of what Congress intended during that time that Congress debated and passed ObamaCare.

While he favored the logic of the D.C. Circuit because they operated with the motivation that they “actually have to deal with evidence,” Dr. Hogberg said the 4th Circuit’s more willful decision to defer ObamaCare implementation guidance (thus siding with continuing federal subsidies) to the IRS likely means the issue will “eventually wind up in the Supreme Court, and what happens there — who knows.”  A pessimistic Dr. Hogberg suggested Chief Justice John Roberts and the other justices may not want to be saddled with the “headache” of ruling that people lose their subsidies on the federal exchange.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.