Full Court Press Is on to Pressure Supreme Court into Saving Obamacare
President Obama is once again telling lies about Obamacare while bullying the Supreme Court to decide in his administration’s favor in King v. Burwell, a court case which will likely be decided this month and which has the potential to gut the law’s subsidies.
On cue, the mainstream media have marshaled their forces in defense of Obama and his signature legislation. And the media, just like the President, have been peddling many of the same lies about this law at the expense of the health and welfare of average Americans.
A recent health care poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, popular with many in the media, asked whether Congress should intervene on behalf of low-income persons who might lose their subsidies. Not surprisingly, six in ten responded, “Yes.” But that poll does not appear to have asked the deeper question of whether all three branches of the federal government should respect the law as written.
“And under well-established statutory interpretation …you interpret a statute based on what the intent and meaning and the overall structure of the statute provides for,” said Obama at a June 8 press conference in Germany.
He added, “It has been well documented that those who passed this legislation never intended for folks who were going through the federal exchange not to have their citizens get subsidies.”
Furthermore, he said, “And so this should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up. And since we’re going to get a ruling pretty quick, I think it’s important for us to go ahead and assume that the Supreme Court is going to do what most legal scholars who’ve looked at this would expect them to do.”
In other words, President Obama has determined what the Supreme Court Justices should decide, and that it should be in his favor. But he is wrong on his facts, and abusing his powers.
Whatever happened to the separation of powers?
The President clearly doesn’t believe in that doctrine. In 2010, President Obama publicly attacked the members of the court during his State of the Union address over the Citizens United decision.
“Why does President Obama criticize the Supreme Court so much?” asked a recent Washington Post headline.
Their answer sounds like an endorsement of his tactics: “Obama’s willingness to plunge into the court’s business reflects his background as a constitutional law lecturer, his irritation with the legal and political wrangling surrounding the landmark health-care law and his view of the court’s role in American society.”
While some in the media, such as The New York Times, have presented biased accounts of the health care law’s drafting, essentially arguing that this case hinges on a “drafting error,” we have long been reporting that the record is clear: these words were intentionally inserted to garner votes. The phrase “Exchange established by the state” appears ten times in the legislative text. So clearly, it wasn’t a drafting error.
As we recently pointed out, then-Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) was cited in a Politico article published months before the so-called Affordable Care Act passed, saying that the current bill was a “dealbreaker.” “The national exchange is unnecessary and I wouldn’t support something that would start us down the road of federal regulation of insurance and a single-payer plan,” said Nelson, who played a key role in passing Obamacare.
In addition, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber was a key architect of Obamacare. He stated that passing Obamacare depended “on the stupidity of the American voter,” and that it was “written in a tortured way” in order to deceive the voters about all the taxes they would have to pay. On the issue of the subsidies being paid only to state exchanges, Gruber said that was “to squeeze the states to do it [to set up exchanges].”
When these comments were made public, Gruber and the Obama administration downplayed his role in Obamacare. But The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a batch of previously unreleased emails indicates that his role was much greater than previously acknowledged.
Also, President Obama has lost many cases his Justice Department took all the way to the Supreme Court, with 20 unanimous decisions against the administration by last July.
That means all nine justices, even the most far left among them, wouldn’t see it Obama’s way. But none of that matters to President Obama. To hear him tell it, he is just looking out for the people, and the country—and he always does the right thing, and for the right reasons.
“The president could not simply give out subsidies if the court stripped them away, so the critical decisions about how to respond ‘would sit with Congress and the states,’ said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services,” according to The New York Times.
When asked on June 10 whether there was any health care legislation currently pending in Congress which the President would sign that fixes the subsidies issue, Secretary Burwell also told Congress, “We have not seen anything.”
The Post’s Dana Milbank also disingenuously told his readers after covering that hearing that “The alternative to Obamacare is nothing” because Congress is so divided. But that is another myth, namely that Republicans haven’t offered any alternative to Obamacare. Forbes demolished that myth back in 2013, but it persists, because it is the Democrats’ narrative.
“And despite the constant doom-and-gloom predictions, the unending Chicken Little warnings that somehow making health insurance fairer and easier to buy would lead to the end of freedom, the end of the American way of life—lo and behold, it did not happen,” said President Obama on June 9 in Washington, D.C. “None of this came to pass. In fact, in a lot of ways, the Affordable Care Act worked out better than some of us anticipated.”
Politico covered Obama’s statements under the headline, “Obama makes moral case for preserving his health care law.” In reality, Obama’s speech was a toxic mix of arrogance, misinformation, and outright lies mirroring those often perpetuated by the mainstream media.
President Obama is wrong about Obamacare across the board, and the results show it.
An examination of the media coverage shows that many in the media also deliberately omit or underplay key facts in order to mislead the public about the underlying viability of Obamacare.
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