...Sargent just helpfully informed us that an earlier version of the ACA -- not a draft, mind you, but one that was actually passed out of committee -- included explicit language granting subsidies to people on federal exchanges, language that was later dropped from the final bill.
If Sargent had been an attorney rather than a layman, this is the point where he would have hit "delete" on his draft post and forgotten all about it.
One of most fundamental rules of statutory interpretation used by courts when they are asked to discern legislative intent from ambiguous statutory language is this: if explicit language was in an earlier version of a bill but dropped from the final version, the court will treat that as proof it was removed on purpose.
For example, if the draft copy of the "Jeff B. Memorial RINO-Hunting Act" states that "no more than six mature RINOs" can be bagged by any one hunter during open season, but the final legislation lacks the word "mature," then every court in the land would apply standard canons of construction and say that the legislature therefore intended to allow people to go after RINOs of all ages -- the earlier language was dropped for a reason, and so long as it doesn't render the statute facially nonsensical it's not the place of the court to wade any deeper into the thicket and find out what that reason was, or whether it's a "good idea."
Similarly, the argument advanced by the Left (and Sargent) that "of course the ACA intended all along for subsidies to cover federal exchanges!" is runs squarely onto the rocks of this earlier language. Thanks to Sargent's crack reporting we have now confirmed that earlier iterations of the ACA specifically granted subsidies to federal exchanges...but that, for whatever reason, this language was later stripped from the bill.
The subsequent blathering about "why" this language fell out of the bill ("drafting errors," you see) is immaterial as far as the Court is concerned, and this is apparently what Sargent doesn't seem to realize; in a case where the wording of the statute is otherwise clear, the Court's inquiry will stop cold right here -- or at least it should....
Again: In Another Briefing in 2012, Jonathan Gruber Committed the Same "Speak-O" and Said that States Which Refuse to Set Up Obamacare Exchanges Would Lose "Hundreds of Millions in Tax Credits" (Federal Subsidies)
...Flashback: Senator Max Baucus: Hey, you know tax credits for Obamacare are only available on state exchanges.
Watch Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Admit in 2012 That Subsidies Were Limited to State-Run Exchanges (Updated With Another Admission)
...What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this....
Oh, by the way: Obama just quietly suspended ObamaCare’s individual mandate until 2016
...The IRS was never going to enforce the mandate strictly this year, but now they don’t have to enforce it at all. Anyone who’s declined to buy insurance by April 1st can simply claim hardship and that’s that. This makes three major rule changes to the core components of ObamaCare in the past month alone: On February 10th, the White House delayed the employer mandate for small businesses until 2016, and then, 10 days ago, it extended for two more years the rule allowing insurers to un-cancel plans for consumers who want their old, cheaper coverage back. Little did we know until now that, on the same day, they also all but suspended the individual mandate until 2016. And like Levin says, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever bring it back. Why would the next president, eager to begin his/her term on a strong note, want to reinstate a harsh financial penalty for noncompliance with O-Care when the guy who signed the law was unwilling to? The mandate is dead. Obama’s repealing ObamaCare himself, piece by piece. And he’s creating a two-tiered, less sustainable health-insurance system in the process....
The U.S. Health Care System: The Global Sugar Daddy
A new pill for hepatitis C is unmasking a huge global inequality in pharmaceutical costs—one that disproportionately burdens the United States. The FT has a must-read report on Solvadi, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences that costs $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment for American patients, but sells for a song in other countries—as low as $11 per pill in Egypt, for example. As a result, an increasingly noisy movement in America is starting to ask why this is:
“The answer is because it can,” says [Chief medical officer of Express Scripts] Dr [Steve] Miller, one of Gilead’s fiercest critics. “Sovaldi has shone a light on the fact America is subsidising healthcare innovation for the rest of the world.”...
Obamacare: The Bait-And-Switch Double Whammy