WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 1, 2014) — A federal judge’s ruling on Tuesday declaring Obamacare subsidies on federal exchanges to be an “abuse of discretion” by the federal government is a victory for the rule of law, the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) said today, agreeing with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, the plaintiff in the case, Pruitt v. Burwell.
“It’s another smackdown for these illegal subsidies,” said ACRU Chairman/CEO Susan A. Carleson. “We are encouraged by this ruling as this case and others like it head toward the Supreme Court.”
U.S. District Judge Ronald White called the creation of the subsidies, which are not included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), “an invalid implementation” of the federal law. As the ACRU notes in a brief filed in another case, King v. Burwell, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the subsidies:
“When 36 states failed to establish Exchanges, [Health and Human Services] used its Section 1321 authority to establish federal Exchanges,” the ACRU brief states. “But that left taxpayers enrolling through a federal Exchange ineligible for the ‘premium assistance credit’… [R]ather than seek corrective legislation, the Internal Revenue Service ignored public objections… and issued a final regulation ‘deeming’ federal exchanges to be State Exchanges.”
“We are prepared to file another brief when the Obama Administration appeals the Pruitt ruling at the 10th Circuit, and we look forward to a likely hearing on the matter at the Supreme Court,” Carleson said.