Update on CEI’s Healthcare Cases, Halbig and King

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 – Although the Supreme Court did not announce any decision today on whether to take up King v. Burwell, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) remains hopeful that it will grant review. Here is a quick update on CEI’s court cases – King and Halbig – regarding the Obamacare insurance exchange subsidies issue.

CEI general counsel Sam Kazman noted: “The need for a quick and final resolution of the subsidy question is undeniable as it affects nearly every person and company across the country, and that resolution can only come from the Supreme Court.”

Also, today was the filing deadline for the government’s brief in the en banc review of CEI’s other Obamacare case, Halbig v. Burwell. A hearing is scheduled for December 17.

“The government’s filing with the Supreme Court in King omitted any mention of Jonathan Gruber, probably out of embarrassment over his 2012 video. But in its new Halbig brief, the government does something more dramatic—it dismisses both Gruber and his video stating, ‘post-enactment statements by a non-legislator are entitled to no weight.’ In doing so, the government has effectively tossed Judge Edwards’ Halbig dissent under the bus, even though that dissent is precisely what the government hopes to see adopted by the en banc court," said Kazman. "Judge Edwards relied heavily on Gruber's three-legged stool metaphor, but now that metaphor is nowhere mentioned in the government’s brief. Instead, the government substituted a bland reference to 'three interdependent measures.' Apparently, post-enactment metaphors by a non-legislator also get no weight, and the three-legged stool reference is now in the ash bin of legislative history.”

Below is the latest on these cases and the question of whether Obamacare makes health care insurance more affordable by CEI board member Tom Haynes, who is also an experienced health care insurance broker. Read the full commentary here: ObamaCare Failing to Make Insurance Affordable for Many Americans.

"The bottom line is that the ACA, as written and implemented, did not make insurance more affordable for anyone, aside from older and less healthy consumers and some receiving subsidies. For many others, like the people described above and many millions in the same situation, the ACA made insurance less affordable, in some cases because of arbitrary actions by HHS and the IRS that are inconsistent with the plain language of the ACA. And it has burdened insurers and employers with taxes and administrative complexity that both drive away employer interest in group coverage and increase costs for everyone."