Patterico's Pontifications

2/5/2015

Linda Greenhouse: Still a Partisan Hack

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:25 am



Linda Greenhouse has a typically hackish piece about Halbig and King v. Burwell titled The Supreme Court at Stake with the ever-so-alarming deck headline: “Overturning Obamacare Would Change the Nature of the Supreme Court.” It’s the typical self-important finger-wagging lecture you have come to expect from people who are at, or once were at, the New York Times: Justices, you don’t dare rule this way, because if you do, we will say Very Bad Things about you . . . and you won’t survive that, let me tell you!

When the Supreme Court reverses King — which I believe it will, by a 5-4 vote — that act will not signify that the Court is “overturning ObamaCare” . . . and Greenhouse knows it. What’s more, remember how, before the Halbig decision even came down, I told you that the panel was going to rule against Obama, and it would be a very big deal? (You do remember that, right?) Well, I also told you in that very same post that there would thereafter be tremendous political pressure on Republicans for a fix — not just in the House, but in the states as well (something Greenhouse doesn’t address):

The most important point I heard Griffith make during the whole argument was this: the states can still set up exchanges after this ruling. The states will have to explain to their citizens that the subsidies they thought they were going to get, they actually won’t get — only because the state declined to establish an exchange. That will put tremendous pressure, not just on Congress to amend the statute (which likely won’t happen), but also on individual states to establish their own exchanges (which probably will happen in several of the 34 states that have to date failed to establish an exchange).

(Emphasis in original.)

The Brian Beutlers and Greg Sargents of the world eventually woke up to that fact — and after the decision in June, I predict that a number of pundits (including Greenhouse) will repeat it endlessly, as if it were some sort of revelation that they just came up with. But I have said it all along. And in June, I’ll be reminding you of that fact once again.

Anyway. Just a reminder that Linda Greenhouse is still a hack. Nothing much to see here; move along.

15 Responses to “Linda Greenhouse: Still a Partisan Hack”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. i think the nature of the supreme whore court could do with a lil changing really

    it’s not like it’s some kind of gold standard at present

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  3. Depends.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. The VERY first thing that will happen is a stopgap law, passing almost unanimously, that ratifies the tax credits for past years. No party wants to piss off millions of households for no good reason.

    The ideas of contract and equity, after forcing people into this system, mandates they not be made to suffer as a result of complying with government orders.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  5. What would really bring the Court into disrepute is to side with “Rule of Men” instead of “Rule of Law.” They do that and they might as well go home.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  6. Justices, you don’t dare rule this way, because if you do, we will say Very Bad Things about you . . . and you won’t survive that, let me tell you!

    Don’t blame her: it worked on David Souter, didn’t it?

    JVW (c7473b)

  7. Depends.

    nk – Enough about Ginsburg.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. I’ve always felt so bad for Linda that her parents didn’t help her out with orthodontia when she was young.

    elissa (a34092)

  9. I also told you in that very same post that there would thereafter be tremendous political pressure on Republicans for a fix — not just in the House, but in the states as well (something Greenhouse doesn’t address):

    But without the carrot of tax credits and the stick of tax penalties (which kick in for employers if one of their eligible employees qualifies for a tax credit) the states would be free to offer non-Obamacare compliant health insurance policies.

    In other words, if you’re over 30 and all you need or want is a cheap catastrophic plan you could get one and not get hit with the Obamacare tax.

    There’s your fix. It’s baked into the cake.

    Steve57 (f0ee0c)

  10. The simple legislative fix would be for Congress to pass a law that prohibits the IRS from penalizing any individual in a state where tax credits aren’t available for buying a non-Obamacare compliant policy. Because of course the penalty kicks in not only if you have no insurance at all, but if you have insufficient wealth-transfer health insurance during the tax year.

    I’m not sure if they can as the law is written anyway. But Congress should take a belt-and-suspenders approach.

    The whole edifice would collapse.

    Steve57 (f0ee0c)

  11. If the ACA was supposed to lower the cost of my health insurance by making the young pay into the system, how come my health insurance costs more with a deductible that went from $300 a year to $5,500 a year?

    I wish the supreme court had done their job and said that the ACA was unconstitutional. Why didn’t Linda Greenhouse get wound up about that?

    Tanny O'Haley (c674c7)

  12. Kevin M,

    It is not necessary for Comgress to do anything to protect people from having their tax credits clawed back. The secretary of the Treasury has complete discretion to decide whether to apply a change the tax code due to court decision retroactively.

    Ken Kelly (c2c08d)

  13. The tax code would not have changed. The court would simply be ordering it enforced as written. To say that the Treasury would then have complete discretion NOT to do so would probably make some of the justices frown.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  14. The GOP has at least one repeal and replace plan on offer. Given this kind of mortal wound to Obama’s Perfect Plan, the idea the president could just veto doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    And as long as we’re telling Justices what to do:

    “Here’s your chance to redeem yourself, Chief. Don’t double down on stupid.”

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  15. Kevin M,

    It is the Internal Revenue Code itself that gives the Treasury Secretary complete discretion over whether to apply court decisions retroactively. See 26 U.S. Code s7805 (b)(8)

    “The Secretary may prescribe the extent, if any, to which any ruling (including any judicial decision or any administrative determination other than by regulation) relating to the internal revenue laws shall be applied without retroactive effect.”

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7805

    Ken Kelly (c2c08d)


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