The petitioners in King v. Burwell today filed their closing brief in the case, which the Supreme Court will hear on March 4. The brief responds to the government’s brief on the merits, which was filed in late January.
At issue in the case is an IRS regulation that provides subsidies to all health insurance exchanges, rather than just the state-established exchanges that Congress specified in the Obamacare statute.
Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is coordinating and funding both the King case and Halbig v. Burwell, said:
“Our reply brief effectively rebuts the government’s attempt to distort the law in order to rescue an unauthorized IRS giveaway of billions of taxpayer dollars. Individuals such as our plaintiffs are harmed by this regulation because it makes them subject to Obamacare’s individual mandate, which requires people to enroll in comprehensive healthcare coverage or pay a tax penalty.
“As the brief demonstrates, the government is manipulating language, purely, simply, and without justification. Congress limited subsidies to ‘exchanges established by the state’, but the government claims this means exchanges established by anyone. Congress used words with ordinary meaning, but the government claims these are specialized ‘terms of art’ whose meaning requires graduate-level semantics. Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber confirmed our position in a recently-unearthed video, but the government, which had previously relied extensively on his work, now tries to unconvincingly dismiss him. We look forward to our day in court.”