Dick Morris: Oklahoma Suit May End Obamacare

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Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 11:29 AM

By Lisa Barron

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Political pundit Dick Morris believes that a suit brought by Oklahoma against Obamacare could be what ultimately knocks down the president's healthcare law.

"Why didn't anyone else think of it?" Morris wrote in The Hill.  "Unlike the suit brought by 26 state attorney generals, this suit does not make a constitutional objection to the Affordable Care Act. Instead, it uses the language of the law to challenge the elaborate system of subsidies, tax credits, and individual or employer mandates and fines the act has spawned."

The suit, filed by Oklahoma's Republican Attorney General Scott Pruitt, was published in the Case Western Reserve School of Law Journal. The article contends that the wording of the Affordable Care Act allows a subsidy for health insurance only for those who got their coverage through state exchanges rather than the federal exchange.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

"The IRS has ruled that the language of the statute should be 'interpreted' to extend the subsidies to those enrolled in state or federal exchanges, but that's not what the law says," Morris explained, adding, "Section 1041 of the act, according to their article, 'authorizes premium-assistance tax credits and makes them available only through state-run exchanges.'"

It also says tax credits can be given only if the taxpayer has a plan that was enrolled in through an exchange established by the state under section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act.
Jonathan H. Adler and Michael F. Cannon, who did the research, "argue that 'by its express terms, this provision only applies to exchanges 'established by a state' and 'established…under Section 1311,'" Morris pointed out.

Morris argued that the IRS and supporters of Obamacare try to "stretch the language to imply a mandate to cover those in federal exchanges."

He quoted IRS director Douglas Shulmann's reply to a letter from GOP Congressmen about the issue, in which Shulmann said, "The statute includes language that indicates that individuals are eligible for tax credits whether they are enrolled through a state-based exchange or a federally-facilitated exchange."

"Unfortunately for President Obama, the statue implies no such thing," said Morris. "It is not only silent on any subsidies for federal exchange, it is clear that the subsidies were intended to encourage states to set up exchanges."

A federal judge seemed to agree when he allowed Pruitt's lawsuit to proceed in August, ruling against the Obama administration.

"The Oklahoma suit has survived a motion to dismiss and its standing to bring the suit has been affirmed by the District Court," Morris stated. "Attorney General Pruitt hopes for a judgment later this year and feels the case might reach the Supreme Court by late next year.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

"Godspeed!" he added.

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