Could A Simple Mistake Destroy Obamacare?

Also, doesn’t Ezra Klein know that calling the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” is raaaaacist?

Case Western Reserve University’s Jonathan Adler and Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon argue in a new paper that any federally-established health insurance exchange does not have the authority to dole out health insurance subsidies. Those subsidies are important: They are the $800 billion in tax credits meant to subsidize coverage for low-and middle-income Americans.

How so?

Let’s back up and look at Adler and Cannon’s argument. It starts with the the Affordable Care Act’s defining a health insurance exchange, in scintillating Section 1311, as a “governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a state.”

The last three words are the crucial ones, because they indicate that only states can establish exchanges under that Section 1311. There’s a whole other part of the law, Section 1321, that allows the federal government to set up federal exchanges in states that do not take on the task themselves.

And here we go

This all matters in the all-important Section 1401, where it lays out who can get a federal insurance subsidy. There, the law says that only those who are “enrolled … through an Exchange established by the State under 1311.”

Who would have thought that there could possibly be all sorts of mistakes in a poorly written 2,000+ page document that no one who was voting “Aye” read? Mistakes that could doom how the Exchanges work if States say “we’re not establishing an exchange”?

The way it is written clearly states that if the exchange is established by the feds there can be no subsidies to those who enroll.

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2 Responses to “Could A Simple Mistake Destroy Obamacare?”

  1. Gumball_Brains says:

    The way it is written clearly states that if the exchange is established by the feds there can be no subsidies to those who enroll.

    … and either way, the Socialists win. Either the feds gain more control over the state and its people by implementing their own “exchange” – which I don’t see any different than Medicaid for the working class, or the feds lure you in with more tax-borrowed subsidies.

  2. Who knows, it could be an intentional screwup, like so much of the rest of the ACA.

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