Oral Argument at Supreme Court Challenges Illegal IRS Move to Rewrite the Affordable Care Act

Oral argument took place today at the U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, the crucial case challenging the IRS’ illegal attempt to rewrite language in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) coordinated and funded the lawsuit brought by four Virginia residents against the federal government over the IRS regulation that forces states, even those that chose to opt out of the law, to take taxpayer dollars to provide Obamacare subsidies.

“In creating its subsidy rule, the IRS wasn’t implementing the law; the IRS rewrote the law, plain and simple,” said Sam Kazman, CEI general counsel. “If the IRS is allowed to get away with this now, that will open the door for other agenda-driven agencies to act in a similarly lawless fashion in the future.”

The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell represent the millions of Americans harmed by Obamacare, including those who lost their health plans, doctors or jobs, and those whom the law forces to pay higher insurance premiums and taxes. If the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell lose, the IRS and other federal agencies will get the power to rewrite laws enacted by Congress. If the King plaintiffs win, Americans will gain a fresh opportunity for Congress and the states to work together to address Obamacare’s specific problems and hidden costs, while still protecting our most vulnerable Americans.

Representing all four plaintiffs in the case, Doug Hurst’s wife, Pam, offered these comments following the oral argument:

“Decisions made here in Washington directly affect middle-class families like ours, and we believe it’s time for those who have been hurt by Washington to take a stand—that’s why Doug joined the case. We never imagined we would end up at the Supreme Court, but that just shows how important this case is, not just for us, but for so many others around the country who are hurt by Obamacare.

“There are millions of Americans who have lost their plans or their doctors.  Or who, like Doug and I, are forced by the Internal Revenue Service to either buy insurance we don’t want or face a tax penalty. We want Americans to have options. We believe there is a better way to take care of the people who need help. But there is no reason to force millions of us to pay tax penalties if we don’t join a government program.

“We elect our state and national leaders to write laws; we don't elect the IRS. We believe preventing the IRS from rewriting our healthcare laws is the right thing to do for our family and our country. That is why we are here today. What the Internal Revenue Service has done isn’t fair, isn’t right, and it isn't legal. We look forward to the Supreme Court’s decision and hope the court rules to protect our voice, our choice, and the laws that govern our nation.”

A decision from the Supreme Court is expected this summer. For more information on King v. Burwell, visit the FAQ page here.