Law Prof: Dueling ACA Rulings More About Federal Agencies' Power

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 10:28 PM

By Greg Richter

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley says the conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies handed down Tuesday are less about healthcare than about the role of federal agencies.

"The Fourth Circuit basically said that they would defer to the IRS," Turley said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."

A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court ruled 2-1 that the subsidies paid by the federal government to enrollees at HealthCare.gov violate the Affordable Care Act because the strict wording of the law says that subsidies are to be paid to people who sign up through state exchanges. Thirty-six states opted not to create exchanges, forcing the federal government to create its own exchange for residents of those states.

Hours after the D.C. ruling, the Fourth Circuit court in Virginia ruled the other way in a separate case. That ruling, which was unanimous, said the wording of the law was ambiguous and therefore open to interpretation.

Turley told Fox News he agreed with the D.C. ruling.

"I don't see the ambiguity," he said. "In fact, I find it rather odd that a line that says the tax credits are linked directly to states with state exchanges is viewed as somehow ambiguous."

The reinterpretation came about after those 36 states unexpectedly opted out of the system. The IRS, which is tasked by the law with ensuring compliance, ruled that even people under the federal exchange could receive subsidies.

"These decisions really are not about healthcare; they're about how powerful federal agencies have become," Turley said.

Though he is in agreement with President Barack Obama on most issues, Turley has been a sharp critic of what he has called Obama's overreach of executive power. Turley has testified before Congress that a "constitutional crisis" is at hand if the executive branch is not reined in.

He said the Obamacare reinterpretation is another example of executive overreach.

Turley said that if the Supreme Court upholds the D.C. ruling, he doesn't see how the ACA can continue to exist unless Congress makes major changes in the law. With a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, that isn't likely.

GOP critics have fought the law on various fronts since it was narrowly passed in 2010. Turley said any unclear parts of it should be fixed.

"This is one of the largest federal programs ever attempted," he said. "It should not go forward with questions of legitimacy."

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama Executive Order Gives Pay Raise to Federal Workers

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:36 PM

Federal workers and uniformed military service members are getting a 1 percent pay boost. . . .

Mental Illness History Ruled on Appeal to Not Bar Gun Ownership

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:14 PM

A federal appeals court concluded that a history of mental illness shouldn't bar citizens from owning a weapon in a firs . . .

China Arrests US Aid Worker on North Korean Border

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 21:56 PM

China has arrested an American Christian aid worker based near its border with North Korea, his lawyer said Saturday, as . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved