Just some quick thoughts on the Supreme Court 6-3 decision affirming the government’s position.
- 6-3 decision is what I thought the best case scenario would have been
- Unified majority
- I was expecting a split majority, 4 liberals go WTF, and Roberts/Kennedy going for the NFIB Federal non-coercion logic and finding. I got that wrong
- Big government win — subsidies availability is inherent to the law. This means President Cruz can’t order his IRS to rework the rule allowing subsidies to go to Healthcare.gov states on January 21, 2017.
This is a bigger win that I thought possible, basically the ACA is entrenched and besides nibbling on the edges like Hobby Lobby, the only threat to the law is a Republican trifecta. So time to expand the Senate majority in 2016 to build a blocking coalition through 2022.
We have held that Congress “does not alter the fundamental details of a regulatory scheme in vague terms orancillary provisions.” Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., Inc., 531 U. S. 457, 468 (2001). But in petitioners’view, Congress made the viability of the entire AffordableCare Act turn on the ultimate ancillary provision: a sub-sub-sub section of the Tax Code. We doubt that is what Congress meant to do. Had Congress meant to limit tax credits to State Exchanges, it likely would have done so inthe definition of “applicable taxpayer” or in some other prominent manner. It would not have used such a winding path of connect-the-dots provisions about the amountof the credit.5