Speed Reads

Saving ObamaCare

Former Republican officials, staffers agree Supreme Court case against ObamaCare is bogus


In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will once again issue a do-or-die judgment on ObamaCare, based on a legal challenge that supporters of the law say is nothing less than absurd. The plaintiffs argue, based on an ambiguous sentence in the doorstop legislation, that Congress did not intend for the federal government to provide health care subsidies to residents of states that decline to create marketplace exchanges for insurance plans — a position that would undermine the very intent of the law.

Now, the actual drafters of the law, including prominent Republicans like former Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, have told The New York Times that Congress never intended to withhold the subsidies, saying the four ambiguous words in the sentence in question were likely an innocent mistake:

"It was never part of our conversations at any point," said Ms. Snowe, who voted against the final version of the Senate bill. "Why would we have wanted to deny people subsidies? It was not their fault if their state did not set up an exchange." The four words, she said, were perhaps "inadvertent language," adding, "I don't know how else to explain it." [The New York Times]

Whether that will affect the thinking of the justices remains to be seen.