U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairman of a key congressional health care panel, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell that taxpayer-funded health insurance subsidies can be granted to individuals in the Federal Exchange despite clear legal language to the contrary. “This Supreme Court ought to get an Olympic gold medal for the torturous legal gymnastics it displays shoring up the unconstitutional and unworkable Affordable Care Act.
Apparently words in law simply don’t matter.
Nonetheless, I will continue to fight for full repeal of ObamaCare because of the harm it’s causing to patients, families and my local businesses. And I will continue to stand against this broken law until all Americans are free from the burdens of expensive, government approved health care they don’t want and can’t afford.”
Background: The Affordable Care Act provides subsidies for lower and middle income individuals to purchase health insurance. Each state was encouraged to set up an exchange in which individuals could purchase these health insurance options. In cases where states did not choose to set up an exchange, the Federal government offer health insurance options on their own Federal exchange. Thirty-four states, including Texas, declined to set up their own state-based exchanges. The plain language of the statute makes premium subsidies available to only those individuals who enroll in an “Exchange established by the State.” Last year, in Halbig vs. Burwell, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in a 2-1 decision that the Internal Revenue Service broke the law in promulgating regulations, which authorize the IRS to provide premium subsidies for insurance purchased on the Federal exchange.