The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on the most serious legal challenge to Obamacare so far. At issue in King v. Burwell is whether the language in the Affordable Care Act that provides for federal subsidies for health insurance policies purchased in exchanges “established by the state” applies also to the policies purchased in the 34 states that refused to establish exchanges.
The clumsily written and largely unvetted law and the way it is being applied poses other questions for the court: Does a law mean what it says, or what it surely must mean? Do the words in a law mean what was originally intended (there is evidence that the writers of the law actually intended the provision to apply to state exchanges only in order to coerce states to establish them) or what the bureaucracy wants it to mean? [Read more…]