WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 10, 2014) — In a major development that may bode well for reining in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U. S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge based on the creation of federal health insurance exchanges.
As stated in its brief in King v. Burwell asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, the ACRU contends that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acted illegally when it issued an Obamacare rule allowing subsidies for health care insurance purchased in federal exchanges in states that declined to create their own exchanges.
“This may be just the right medicine for curing the nation of the afflictions brought on us under Obamacare,” said ACRU Chairman and CEO Susan A. Carleson. “If the Court follows the clear statutory provisions of the law, potentially, most Americans would be excluded from the Obamacare health insurance premium assistance, and most Americans would be unable to afford the costly Obamacare insurance without the federal subsidies.
“This gives the Court another chance to restore the rule of law and curb the power of federal bureaucrats.”
By ignoring the clear wording of the ACA, the Obama Administration violated Congress’s unique constitutional power to enact federal laws, the brief states. The ACRU is joined on the brief by the Pacific Research Institute, the CATO Institute, the Individual Rights Foundation and the Reason Foundation.
“When 36 states failed to establish Exchanges, [Health and Human Services] used its Section 1321 authority to establish federal Exchanges,” the 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.”
The brief notes that, “There is no indication in the ACA that Congress delegated to the IRS the power to determine whether billions of federal subsidy dollars annually should be disbursed to those purchasing health coverage on federal Exchanges.”