Obamacare was poorly drafted — it now appears one missing word could take it down

Well, that missing word does mean that Obamacare could run into a wall, a legal wall that is. But hey, we’re talking Obama here and he “don’t need no stinking laws,” cause he just does whatever he wants to do. He just cut the heart out of welfare reform, the most effective and successful federal program for the poor that has ever existed; he wrote an executive order eviscerating the Federal Immigration Act for certain illegal aliens; he has stated the Defense of Marriage Act shall not be enforced. All of these actions by Obama are an abuse of his power as President. He does not have the Constitutional authority to do any of it. But unless Congress stops him, and it won’t, he will get away with it. The Justice Department is supposed to enforce Federal Law but it’s in the hands of Eric Holder at the moment, so forget about that.

So what’s the problem with Obamacare? What’s the missing word? According to Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog the problem exists in the interface of Sections 1401 and 1311 having to do with insurance exchanges. Section 1311 defines a health insurance exchange as a “governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a state.” [emphasis addes]

Section 1401 says out who can get a federal insurance subsidy. These subsidies are the $800 billion in tax credits meant to subsidize coverage for low- and middle-income Americans.  But Section 1401 says subsidies may go only to those who are “enrolled … through an Exchange established by the State under 1311.” [emphasis added]

So if states refuse to set up these insurance exchanges, and several have already said they will refuse, the Federal government can do it but they can’t give any subsidies to anyone to buy health insurance.  That will make Obamacare unworkable, if it isn’t repealed first.

One can imagine Obama making an emergency phone call political speech aimed at Chief Justice John Roberts to fix this.  Maybe the federal exchanges can’t give anyone a government subsidy, but if Justice Roberts will just call it something else…a tax or something…yeah that’s it, then Obama can get around this little problem.

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