Obamacare: HuffPo Writer Whines GOP Won't 'Fix' Law to Allow Federal Exchange Subsidies

Jeffrey Young is a health care writer for the Huffington Post but you really have to wonder if he is posting his stories from Bizarro World. He is actually upset that Republicans in Congress, in the wake of the Halbig vs Burwell D.C. Circuit Court decision, won't join together with the Democrats in a giant kumbaya to "fix" the highly unpopular Obamacare law so that the language will clearly state that states using the federal exchange will be eligible for subsidies.

What is interesting is how liberals until about a week ago derided the idea that the language of the Obamacare law only allowed subsidies to go to state-based exchanges. However, this has drastically changed. Not only due to court decision but also because two of the biggest Obamacare cheerleaders who mocked the notion of Congress really intending what was clearly  written in the law, Jonathan Gruber and Jonathan Cohn, were discovered to have in the past supported that very "Truther" position. So here we have Young bemoaning the fact that those "stubborn" Republicans won't save an unpopular liberal law:

A handful of simple words in a piece of legislation could prevent more than 4 million people losing their health insurance, but Congress isn't going to write them.

At issue are several lawsuits against Obamacare moving through the legal system that may go all the way to the Supreme Court. Among other things, the suits contend the precise phrasing of the Affordable Care Act means that low- and moderate-income health insurance consumers in most states can't receive subsidies to make coverage more affordable.

Lawmakers could end that threat any time by changing the law's wording to make it clear subsidies are available nationwide. But in today's take-no-prisoners Congress, Republicans won't let it happen and Democrats won't even try.

"The political point has been very clearly made by Democrats: Let's fix it," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who was chairman of the the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of five panels that wrote the law in 2009 and 2010, and is now its ranking Democrat. "The Republicans won't allow it. The only thing they want to pass is repeal."

Waaaaah! Why can't those nasty Republicans be "reasonable" and act like liberal Democrats to save a law that none of them supported?

These lawsuits come down to the phrase "exchange established by the state,” which appears in the Affordable Care Act. In a nutshell, the plaintiffs argue this means the tax credits available to people who earn up to four times the poverty level, which is $94,200 for a family of four this year, only can go to people who bought their health insurance in one of the 15 state-run health insurance exchanges, not the federal exchanges in 36 states.

Like other Democrats, Waxman rejects the contention that the law doesn't intend subsidies to be granted nationally. But he does acknowledge the Affordable Care Act language needs to be cleaned up in places.

And we must acknowledge that Jeffrey Young must live in Bizarro World if he thinks Republicans have some sort of obligation to "clean up" the Obamacare language in order to enable a law the Democrats arrogantly shoved through Congress without allowing any input from the other party. The absurdity of Young even suggesting that the Republicans should help Obamacare survive is reflected in many of the reader comments following his posted fantasy:

Hey, they had to pass it to find out what was in it right?

Intent by government definition mean NOTHING. A tax laws intent has no legal standing, its the enforcement and collection that has the legal standing. Since Obama, Reid, and Pelosi wrote and passed the ACA and all of its mandates down the throats of the voters, the mistakes are theirs. Intentions are like Obama's promises, they mean NOTHING.

Republicans were blocked from participation in crafting the bill. And now they're supposed to clean the ridiculous mess caused by the Democrats' rush to pass the bill before it was even read? Uh, huh.

Look, the Dems passed this thing via reconciliation not only without any Repub votes, but without so much as a whiff of compromise. This was back when Obama told Repubs they could sit in the back of the bus, and "elections have consequences". So, Dems fouled up the language in the original bill. Maybe they were in a hurry in case Landrieu or Nelson changed their minds. Maybe they didn't notice it cause they had to read it to see what was in it, and they didn't. And now they want Repubs to help them clean up their mess?

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.