Here’s an idea: when the Supreme Court holds their five-hour long oral arguments on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, perhaps they could discuss what Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon of the Wall Street Journal refer to as ”a major glitch that threatens its basic functioning.”The two authors even claim that the aforementioned “glitch” is so huge that the Obama administration is trying to fix it by rewriting the bill without involving Congress.What’s the “glitch”? Adler and Cannon explain:The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act offers “premium assistance”—tax credits and subsidies—to households purchasing coverage through new health-insurance exchanges. This assistance was designed to hide a portion of the law’s cost to individuals by reducing the premium hikes that individuals will face after ObamaCare goes into effect in 2014. (If consumers face the law’s full cost, support for repeal will grow.)The law encourages states to create health-insurance exchanges, but it permits Washington to create them if states decline. So far, only 17 states have passed legislation to create an exchange.This is where the glitch comes in: ObamaCare authorizes premium assistance in state-run exchanges (Section 1311) but not federal ones (Section 1321). In other words, states that refuse to create an exchange can block much of ObamaCare’s spending and practically force Congress to reopen the law for revisions.The Obama administration wants to avoid that legislative debacle, so this summer it proposed an IRS rule to offer premium assistance in all exchanges “whether established under section 1311 or 1321.” On Nov. 17 the IRS will hold a public hearing on that proposal. According to a Treasury Department spokeswoman, the administration is “confident” that offering premium assistance where Congress has not authorized it “is consistent with the intent of the law and our ability to interpret and implement it.”As the authors point out, the bill‘s supporters shouldn’t be that confident. The text of the law is pretty clear. Furthermore, without Congressional authority, the IRS is impotent in regards to dispensing credits or spending money.But there’s always the question of “Congressional intent,” right?“Law professor Timothy Jost suggests that since ObamaCare requires all exchanges to report information about premium assistance, and it would be silly to impose that requirement on federal exchanges if their enrollees were not eligible, that shows Congress could not have intended anything but to provide assistance in federal exchanges,” the Journal reports. “At least, he argues, there‘s enough ambiguity here about Congress’s intent that federal courts will permit the administration to resolve it.”Contrary to what is stated in the above, Adler and Cannon point out that the Supreme Court has limited such deference to cases where the text of the law, rather than intent, is ambiguous. In the case of the health care bill, the language is quite clear.
Obama Administration Seeks to Circumvent Congressional Authority to Fix ‘Obamacare Glitch’ | TheBlaze.com