This seems… unwise of the administration: “President Barack Obama is not sweating about the federal exchange subsidies. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) says that at a roundtable discussion with congressional leaders he asked Obama why the administration hasn’t informed the public that subsidies are an endangered species. The president replied that he doesn’t anticipate the need for a contingency plan.” I mean, it’s not like the Obama administration has a great track record here when it comes to predicting what the Supreme Court will do with Obamacare. Continue reading White House remarkably blase about upcoming #obamacare subsidy case. Stupidly so, in my opinion.
Today’s ruling was in Pruitt v. Burwell, a case brought by Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt.
These cases saw two appellate-court rulings on the same day, July 22. In Halbig v. Burwell, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ordered the administration to stop. (The full D.C. Circuit has agreed to review the case en banc on December 17, a move that automatically vacates the panel ruling. In King v. Burwell, the Fourth Circuit implausibly gave the IRS the thumbs-up. (The plaintiffs have appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.) A fourth case, Indiana v. IRS, brought by Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller, goes to oral arguments in federal district court on October 9.
Today, federal judge Ronald A. White issued a ruling in Pruitt that sided with Halbig against King, and eviscerated the arguments made by the (more senior) judges who sided with the government in those cases.
Hot Air has the details: short version is, tomorrow the DC Circuit Court will rule whether or not the Obama administration actually has the authority to offer subsidies to people who signed up for Obamacare on the federal exchanges. The answer to that is… maybe it did, and maybe it didn’t, and the courts will let us know any day now. Needless to say, the following will happen if it turns out that all those people who thought that they were getting subsidies do not:
Allahpundit’s in Classic Allahpundit Worry Mode over the situation, and it’s fair to say that it could blow up in the GOP’s face if the subsidies go away and the Republicans refuse to authorize them. Then again, it’s equally fair to say that a President with an 41.6 average approval rating may not be the most reliable purveyor of the message Oh, boy, aren’t those people on the Other Side awful? The Democrats don’t really have an alternate plan if the American voting public disagrees.
*Not least because I can’t imagine that there won’t be an injunction on the ruling until the Supreme Court can take a gander at it.
Here is a handy chart for individuals looking to calculate their Obamacare tax. I’m putting it up because there’s a bit of confusion out there over how much people can expect to be taxed. For example: the $95 or 1% rule is on taxable income, not total income. This means that you have to subtract $10K currently to determine how much the government will tax you for not having health care, which of course removes $100 from your final yearly tax obligation. For some strange reason the administration isn’t too keen in letting people know just how small the tax is going to be for young, unmarried workers.