King v. Burwell (Obamacare, Round III) — Amicus Brief

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Health Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Today, our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition the Obamacare healthcare “exchanges” created by the federal government contrary to the plain language of the statute.

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) authorized tax credits only for taxpayers who purchase qualified health insurance through an “Exchange” which was established by a state. However, after ACA was enacted, state legislatures reflected popular opposition to Obamacare, and only 16 states created such Exchanges, despite being offered federal bribes to do so.

The ACA authorized the Department of Health and Human Services to create Exchanges in those States where the States declined to create them; however, no tax credits could be given to taxpayers in those States refusing to take the federal carrot. Despite this clear statutory plan, a highly-politicized IRS determined that the tax credits should be made available to everyone who purchased health insurance from any exchange – regardless of whether it was established by a State or established by HHS for a State.

The Government views this case as simply a difference of opinions about statutory construction – as to whether an Exchange established by the federal government for a state is the same as an Exchange established by a State. In truth, the statute is so clear, the question really is: Shall the statutory text President Obama wanted in 2010 be applied as written, or instead disregarded to conform to what President Obama wants now?

Our amicus brief explained the history of Obamacare to provide the Court a context for the King case. Birthed and enacted into law by a process of political intrigue and deception, the Obama Administration has adopted a lawless strategy of ACA implementation, unilaterally waiving or delaying various statutory requirements under the guise of presidential discretion. Contrary to his claim of discretion under his constitutional duty to take care that the law be faithfully executed, the President has instead exercised an unconstitutional prerogative power, dispensing with explicit, congressionally imposed deadlines, in violation of the separation of powers principles and ministerial practices contemplated by the Constitution.

The ACA provision in question should be interpreted according to the plain meaning of the statutory text, rather than according to the Humpty-Dumpty approach “words mean what I want them to mean” urged by the Government.

Link to brief