Writing for “The Week,” my favorite punching bag Scott Lemieux claims “The Supreme Court challenge against ObamaCare is rapidly falling apart.”
Is it now.
Here is his evidence:
First of all, when read properly, the legislation is pretty clear. The statute’s definition of “an Exchange established by the State” clearly encompasses the exchanges established by the federal government on the state’s behalf.
Subsidies are available only for plans bought on exchanges “established by the state.” “The state” has a definition, and it does not include the federal government. Yet Lemieux concedes, without seeming to realize it, that in states that declined to establish exchanges, the exchanges were not “established by the state.” What were they established by? I refer you to the bolded language in the previous paragraph: they were “established by the federal government.”
Down comes the gavel. That’s the whole case, pal.
But he goes on, detailing the supposed evidence against the notion that Congress intended to write what they actually wrote. Big Piece of Evidence #1: the partisan Democrats who voted for the law now say that, never mind what they wrote, they never meant to block subsidies for federally established exchanges. “The congressional leadership that passed the ACA has rejected the idea.” Seriously, he actually thinks that is significant. I don’t know what to say except: no. No, it isn’t. Self-serving after-the-fact interpretations of a law don’t count for anything, nor should they. You’d have to be a fool to think they do.
It gets better. He actually claims, unaware that he is arguing in a circle, that you have to believe that Congress gave subsidies to the states because it’s unconstitutional to take away those subsidies without notice. No, really. That’s what he says:
Republican members of Congress also assumed the same, even after it was clear that not all states would establish their own exchanges. Numerous Republican state officials have said that they expected subsidies to be made available. (Indeed, the Cannon-Adler interpretation may be unconstitutional, since states have to be given fair notice before a federal benefit is taken away.)
That’s like me saying that, in this dispute between you and me concerning who owns the book sitting on this table, I win because if you say it’s yours, you’re taking it without permission, and it’s illegal to take books from people without permission. Some people call this “begging the question.” I call it rank stupidity.
And as the government’s brief observes, the conservative dissenters in NFIB v. Sebelius — the landmark Supreme Court case that upheld ObamaCare in 2012 — were also on board with this interpretation.
This is totally false, and his link to his own blog to support this assertion is — pardon me, but there’s really no other way to say this — bullshit. His argument relies on his mushing together two utterly unrelated statements that appear 36 paragraphs apart, and pretending that they are intimately connected. I decimated the argument definitively in this post, and Lemieux should be embarrassed to raise this argument again after the spanking I gave him last time around. But he has already proven he is incapable of shame upon having his rank intellectual dishonesty revealed.
Against this mountain of evidence, Cannon first tried to use Jonathan Gruber, the consultant who in some stray comments found on YouTube seemed to suggest that the subsidies would not be made available on the federally established state exchanges. But given that Gruber himself repudiated these views both before and after the fact, this doesn’t even rise to the level of cherry-picking.
False. We know how to click links, Scott. The link cited for Gruber repudiating these views “both before and after the fact” shows Gruber repudiating the views after, but not before, the fact. Meaning it’s “compelling” evidence of a liberal giving convenient, self-serving, and implausible denials of his repeatedly expressed past statements about how the law works. Wow, I’m overwhelmed!
It just goes on and on like that. Lemieux seems to think that if he simply keeps calling Adler and Cannon “troofers” and joining with the likes of Brian Beutler to mock them, that people won’t notice that he is peddling horseshit.
But we do, Scott. We do.
I don’t really know what “The Week” is, but if they’re giving space to clowns like this guy, the site is obviously not worth the pixels used to form the nonsensical words that appear on it.