The Case That Could Send Obamacare Back To The Supreme Court

Conservatives have enjoyed judicial victories over the past couple of weeks. Harris v. Quinn saw the Supreme Court limiting the power for pubic sector unions to collect dues, albeit it was a very narrow ruling; as was the Hobby Lobby decision that granted religious exemptions to “closely-held corporations.”

Yet, another case could put the entire health care law back in the crosshairs. It’s still yet to be decided by the D.C. Court Of Appeals, but Halbig v. Burwell (formerly Sebelius) could place Obamacare’s constitutional fate back in the hands the Supreme Court.

The issue deals with federal subsidies being given to individuals to help them buy insurance on an exchange (via Jonathan Turley):

The Halbig case challenges the massive federal subsidies in the form of tax credits made available to people with financial need who enroll in the program. In crafting the act, Congress created incentives for states to set up health insurance exchanges and disincentives for them to opt out. The law, for example, made the subsidies available only to those enrolled in insurance plans through exchanges “established by the state.”

But despite that carrot — and to the great surprise of the administration — some 34 states opted not to establish their own exchanges, leaving it to the federal government to do so. This left the White House with a dilemma: If only those enrollees in states that created exchanges were eligible for subsidies, a huge pool of people would be unable to afford coverage, and the entire program would be in danger of collapse.