Monday, February 23, 2015

The hypocrisy of the King v. Burwell plaintiffs

Brian Beutler's incisive writing at TNR gave me the idea to document the hypocrisy of the intellectual leaders of the King v. Burwell case, and I wrote that up for Daily Kos this Sunday. In case you missed it because there was a little thing called the Oscars happening that night, the tl;dr version is:

Before the IRS wrote the rule confirming that subsidies would be available on the federally-facilitated exchange, the conservative lawyers now behind King were building a case that forcing states to develop an exchange in order for their residents to receive subsidies violated the Dole text for constitutional federal compulsion. But now, these same lawyers are arguing that the authors of the Affordable Care Act intended this exact sort of compulsion. Of course, a century of SCOTUS jurisprudence says that courts can't rule in favor of a statutory interpretation that raises constitutional questions--which means that now, the lawyers are taking the exact opposite approach and saying that the compulsion that they initially thought was illegal actually happens all the time.

In short, the conservative ideologues behind King have no actual integrity, and are perfectly willing to flip their argument a full 180 if they feel it's a faster path to destroying the Affordable Care Act.

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