By ACLJ, Special for USDR
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, said today the U.S. Supreme Court has a critical opportunity to reject IRS regulations that illegally authorize tax subsidies for purchasers of health insurance on federal healthcare exchanges.
The high court today heard oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell. The ACLJ has filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that “the IRS regulations are part of the Administration’s ongoing effort to rewrite or suspend portions of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), in violation of the separation of powers.”
“This executive overreach of this president is perhaps the most damaging and dangerous power play yet,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “This Administration’s make-it-up-as-we-go approach to implementing ObamaCare is not only wrong but unconstitutional. The implementation of these badly flawed IRS regulations produces a couple of very disturbing results: it makes it impossible to accomplish ObamaCare’s goal of encouraging state promotion, and secondly, it promotes the federalization of this nation’s healthcare in direct contravention of Congress’s intent. We’re hopeful the high court moves to correct this unconstitutional catastrophe and uphold the separation of powers.”
A key part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) says the subsidies are available only to Americans who enrolled “through an exchange established by the state” – a clear reason that the subsidies shouldn’t be available to those in states without their own exchanges.
The ACLJ rejects the Obama Administration’s contention that the intent of the law was to offer subsidies and expand coverage to Americans in every state, arguing the IRS has been wrongly interpreting the law to mean Americans in every state should be eligible for the cash.
Sekulow added: “The law must be applied as written. That is vital to democracy. And if the law as written doesn’t work, it must be corrected through a democratic process, not regulatory fiat.”
The ACLJ’s amicus brief is clear:
“In extending tax-subsidies to purchasers of health insurance coverage on federally established exchanges, the IRS regulations rewrite a core provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (‘ACA’), without which the law would not have passed, in a direct assault on the separation of powers. Authorizing the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, as well as billions in penalties against employers and individuals, the regulations were promulgated with virtually no concern for Congressional intent or the plain meaning of section 36B.
“The IRS regulations were promulgated notwithstanding the Administration’s own ‘indispensable expert’s’ recognition that the law limited tax subsidies to insurance coverage purchased on state-established exchanges.”
The brief in the case of King v. Burwell is posted here. A decision by the Supreme Court following today’s oral arguments is expected by June.