Juan Williams explains.
The case is a challenge to federal subsidies in the healthcare law — and those four contested words are at its root. The case will be decided in the next few weeks.
The whole case rests on what the four key words — “established by the state” — mean. The plaintiffs, partisans with an open antagonism toward the law, say it means subsidies can only be offered in states that have set up their own ObamaCare exchanges, not in places where the state has declined to do so and the federal government has stepped in instead.
The Obama administration and even Republicans involved in writing the law counter that the phrasing was a minor oversight in a bill of more than 900 pages.
The real intent, backers of the law say, was for subsidies to be offered regardless of which entity was administering the exchanges. They assert that this interpretation is clearly evident in the “text, structure and history” of the law.
The idea that the dispute is worthy of Supreme Court deliberation is puzzling. Doug Elmendorf, who ran the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, was intimately involved in reviewing the law as it was being formulated to gauge its cost. The idea of subsidies being confined to state exchanges “did not arise” he told the New York Times.
Of course it didn't, given that many members flat out admitted they didn't even read the bill. Heck, then House Speaker San Fran Nan even said Obamacare needed to be passed to find out what's in it (Heh. How ironic is it when that isn't even true).
In the end, the Court will likely allow the law to stand or send it back to Congress to get fixed. I don't envision any scenario where Federal subsidies cease being provided to O-care subscribers residing in a state without an exchange.
Yes, it would appear this whole case truly does boil down to this:
RT @AlecMacGillis: Yes, the highest court in the land is hearing case about a typo. | pic.twitter.com/TkJchMe7HA— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) November 7, 2014