Obamacare Lawsuit: An Empty Suit?

Jonathan Chait comments on the latest news related to the Obamacare subsidies case “reassuring those of us who followed the health-care debate when it happened that we are not completely insane.”

“It is difficult to convey to people who don’t follow health care for a living just how preposterous the lawsuit against Obamacare has become. The original theory behind the lawsuit seized upon a tiny drafting error.”

“At the beginning of the legislative process, the law’s authors assumed that states would be happy to build their own exchanges. As it proceeded and the backlash reached a fever pitch, Congress realized that Republican states might boycott the exchanges, and created the federal exchanges as a fallback. But they failed to correct every line in the text, leaving one stray passage that assumes exchanges will be created by a state.”

“And so we are left with a lawsuit that is likely to gain at least three, and possibly as many as five, votes on the Supreme Court despite the fact that it rests on a history that is almost literally insane. Even those of us who have a low estimation of the intellectual standards of the conservative movement have been astounded by its ability to persuade itself of a historical theory so clearly at odds with reality.”

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