Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | writer | Obamacare | Supreme Court | Affordable Care Act

Liberal Writer Now Worries About Obamacare

By    |   Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:08 AM

A week ago, liberal writer Brian Beutler urged Obamcare supporters to stop panicking over the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a new case against President Obama’s legacy legislation. Now, he is alarmed.

Beutler admits he is worried over the growing scandal created by Jonathan Gruber, an economics professor widely credited with crafting the Affordable Care Act and bragging that Democrats lied to get it passed.

"'Grubergate' Is Giving the Supreme Court Cover to Destroy Obamacare," read the headline this week over his latest article on the healthcare debate in the leading leftist magazine, The New Republic.

Over at the conservative National Review, however, analysts appeared so confident that the high court will gut a key part of Obamacare that they are promoting replacements for the law supported only by Democrats in 2010.

The angst on the left intensified after videos of Gruber began appearing in which he claimed Obamacare supporters deliberately mislead the public about the benefits of the law. He also called the American people too stupid to understand the economics of the healthcare plan.

The Gruber controversy forced Obama to address the issue Sunday at a news conference on an official visit to Australia. He called Gruber "some adviser who never worked on our staff."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who praised Gruber’s work as a healthcare analyst during the 2010 debate over the healthcare bill, last week claimed she did not even know him.

The intensity of the scandal caused Beutler and The New Republic to change their prediction about how Chief Justice John Roberts will rule on King vs. Burwell, a case that could outlaw the massive federal subsidies that make Obamacare affordable for up to 5 million people.

Roberts was the swing vote in the 2012 decision that upheld the first major challenge to Obamacare, and Beutler had expected him to display the same "flexibility" he showed when he sided with liberal members of the court to uphold the individual mandate, which requires Americans to buy a government-approved health insurance policy or pay a tax.

Beutler was sure that Roberts would be reluctant to be the fifth vote to cripple the health-care law. He predicted that the chief justice would save the law, even if he sides with the challengers, who claim the clear language of the bill prohibits the federal government from providing subsidies to residents of states that refused to establish a healthcare insurance-market exchanges. Obamacare supporters argue that the language is the law is a simple drafting mistake and that Congress meant to provide federal subsidies to all Americans who need the assistance.

Slate.com shared the New Republic’s confidence, telling "progressives" that "it’s far from a sure thing that the Supreme Court will destroy the Affordable Care Act."

However, Beutler and others fear Roberts will use the Gruber affair to achieve a different outcome.

"That goal is for the Supreme Court’s five conservatives to hobble the law without fear that their decision will be interpreted — correctly — as a spite-driven judicial logrolling of a statute conservatives hate," Beutler wrote.

He blames Republicans for "reducing the public’s faith" in the law, even though public opinion polls have consistently shown Obamacare to be widely unpopular. A Gallup poll
this week found a record 56 percent of Americans oppose the law.

"Whatever the law’s supporters and authors claim about the intent and meaning of the statute, the right no longer needs a fact-based response," Beutler wrote.

"They can instead deny the existence of a basic truth about the law because, as Gruber suggests, the law was designed to hide the truth about itself. The scheme to compel states to set up their own exchanges was just another crude mechanism hidden within the text — and when it failed, the Obama administration pretended it never existed."

Conservatives, meanwhile, seem to be enjoying the panic on the left.

The National Review’s Sean Parnell wrote this week that King vs. Burwell "could fundamentally undermine Obamacare by, ironically, upholding the law as written, passed and signed by the president."

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A week ago, liberal writer Brian Beutler urged Obamcare supporters to stop panicking over the Supreme Court's decision to hear a new case against President Obama's legacy legislation. Now, he is alarmed.
writer, Obamacare, Supreme Court, Affordable Care Act
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:08 AM
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