Federal Appeals Court Says Obamacare Subsidies Illegal

Tuesday saw the largest blow to Obamacare yet. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a 2-1 ruling that declared:

The lawsuit, Jacqueline Halbig, et. al., Appellants v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, in her official capacity as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, et. Al., Appellees was argued before the court on March 25, 2014 and decided on July 22, 2014. Halbig and others challenged the constitutionality of the federal subsidies given to Americans who apply for coverage through federally established exchanges. The lawsuit states:

“Appellants are a group of individuals and employers residing in states that did not establish Exchanges. For reasons we explain more fully below, the IRS’s interpretation of section 36B makes them subject to certain penalties under the ACA that they would rather not face. Believing that the IRS’s interpretation is inconsistent with section 36B, appellants challenge the regulation under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), alleging that it is not ‘in accordance with law.’ 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A).”

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“On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court rejected that challenge, granting the government’s motion and denying appellants’. See Halbig v. Sebelius, No. 13 Civ. 623 (PLF), 2014 WL 129023 (D.D.C. Jan. 15, 2014). After resolving several threshold issues related to its jurisdiction, the district court held that the ACA’s text, structure, purpose, and legislative history make ‘clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally-facilitated Exchanges.’ Id. at *18. Furthermore, the court held that even if the ACA were ambiguous, the IRS’s regulation would represent a permissible construction entitled to deference under Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984).”

“Appellants timely appealed the district court’s orders, and we have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. Our review of the orders is de novo, and ‘[o]n an independent review of the record, we will uphold an agency action unless we find it to be ‘arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.’’ Holland v. Nat’l Mining Ass’n, 309 F.3d 808, 814 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (quoting 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A)). Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges ‘established by the State,’ we reverse the district court and vacate the IRS’s regulation.”

In other words, the court ruled that in states where HealthCare.gov was used to purchase health insurance that federal subsidies are illegal and should not have been granted to consumers. No one is sure at this time if Americans will be required to pay back the subsides they were given or how this is going to be handled.

One thing is for sure, this will probably end up before the US Supreme Court, especially in lieu of the ruling issued only two hours later by the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals that decided that the federal subsidies are legal. This court ruling was a unanimous 3-0 vote.

The outcome is more than just whether or not people will receive a federal subsidy. The CNBC.com report explains just what is riding on these court decisions and the subsidies:

“The subsidies are also the linchpin to Obamacare’s two mandates.”

“One mandate now requires people obtain affordable health insurance or pay a fine. The other, beginning in 2015, will require mid- to large-sized employers to offer such insurance to workers or pay a tax penalty.”

“If the subsidies aren’t legal in HealthCare.gov-served states, the employer mandate would be eliminated in those states and the individual mandate would be effectively crippled.”

“The subsidies to HealthCare.gov enrollees were authorized by an IRS rule that was issued after the Affordable Care Act was passed.”

Obamacare has been rife with illegal and unconstitutional actions. Since Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that the individual mandate penalty is actually a tax to be overseen by the IRS, that makes the Affordable Care Act a revenue generating bill. The Origination Claus in the US Constitution clearly states that all revenue generating bills originate in the House. The Affordable Care Act originated in the Senate and is therefore illegal.

Secondly, the Affordable Care Act was an act of Congress and Congress is the only legal body that can make any changes to it. Yet Barack Obama has repeatedly made ad hoc changes to the bill without the authorization of Congress which is a clear violation of the US Constitution.

Third, the employer contraception mandate violates the First Amendment freedoms of American business owners.

Fourth, Barack Obama promised middle and lower income Americans that he would not raise taxes on them and yet Obamacare contains over 20 different tax increases that are hitting everyone, especially lower income families and senior citizens.

Now we find a federal court ruling that the federal subsidies given to Consumers in states where the exchanges are run by HealthCare.gov are illegal.

It forces me to ask the question if there is anything legal about any part of Obamacare or is the entire package nothing more than an illegal attempt of the federal government to control the healthcare and insurance industries and the American people?

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