The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision affirmed the right of religious freedom guaranteed to all Americans – even business owners – by the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights.
Now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that the Internal Revenue Service’s usurpative interpretation of a provision in the voluminous verbiage of Obamacare is not constitutional.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) “unambiguously” permits subsidies to persons signing up for insurance on state exchanges, but not to enrollees on federal exchanges.
The great minds who authored the act assumed that this provision would encourage states to establish their own exchanges.
Only 14 states and D.C. did, however, and the subsidies were not available to persons signing up on the federal exchanges in the other 36 states. That is, they weren’t available until the IRS decided to take on the powers and privileges of a legislature and extend the subsidies beyond the limits established by Congress.
“Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on exchanges ‘established by the State,’ we reverse the district court and vacate the IRS’s regulation,” the Court said.
“Within constitutional limits, Congress is supreme in matters of policy, and the consequence of that supremacy is that our duty when interpreting a statute is to ascertain the meaning of the words of the statute duly enacted through the formal legislative process.”
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was one of several state AGs who urged the Appeals Court to review the case and reverse the lower court’s errant decision favoring the Feds.
“Regardless of whether you like a law or not, the president and his administration cannot decide on their own which portions of laws should be adhered to and which should be overlooked,” Morrisey said. “If the law needs to be changed, that is a job for Congress.”
It’s called separation of powers. It’s the bane of despots and power seekers who wrongly think they know what’s best for us.