How 4 Words Could Doom ObamaCare

Supreme Court case deals with exchanges 'established by the State': NYTimes
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2014 3:03 PM CST
How 4 Words Could Doom ObamaCare
President Obama's health care law is facing a new Supreme Court challenge.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

ObamaCare survived a 2012 Supreme Court challenge, but the fight isn't over: Now, justices have agreed to hear an attack on another section of the law. This time, the whole thing hinges on four words, the New York Times editorial board writes. In a subsection, the law says that health care subsidies should come from an exchange "established by the State." But 36 states didn't set up exchanges, prompting the federal government to do so instead. The legal challenge holds that thanks to those four words, people in those 36 states can't receive subsidies.

This is a superficial tactic, the Times notes. The Supreme Court has previously said that it "must not be guided by a single sentence or member of a sentence, but look to the provisions of the whole law, and to its object and policy." The case could come down, once again, to John Roberts, writes Noah Feldman at BloombergView. After fellow conservatives slammed his support for the law's individual mandate in 2012, was he "scarred" enough to follow their lead this time? Or will he reject the challenge and avoid accusations of "wishy-washiness"? It'll be a "long six months of speculation" before we know for sure. Click for the Times' full piece; Feldman's is here. (More President Obama stories.)

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