RUSH: Yeah, it’s big. It’s very, very big, but what the heck? Obama could just rewrite the law again if he wants to. He’s already done that 71 times. That’s the official count. It’s either 41 or 71. I’m not sure, one of the two, probably 71. All the waivers, all the delays, all the rewrites, 71 executive changes to Obamacare, if you count the IRS and their interpretation of things. Anyway, it’s a big ruling, if it holds, ladies and gentlemen.
How are you? Great to be back with you. Rush Limbaugh here at the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies.
“A federal appeals court –” it’s a DC circuit “– on Tuesday struck down the subsidies available to consumers in states where health coverage is purchased on insurance exchanges established by the federal government.” Here’s the way the law, as written in the LA Times — it’s just a glitch in the wording. Come on, people.
It’s not a glitch in the wording! It is the way law was written. The only way you can get a subsidy for purchasing insurance for Obamacare is through a state exchange. Well, not all the states set up exchanges. Some of the states opted out. They didn’t want anything to do with Obamacare. They were trying to do what they could to stop it, delay it, and so the Feds came in and started their own exchanges, and that’s what HealthCare.gov is. And it is not a state exchange.
So everybody who has purchased Obamacare through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange, essentially, and has gotten a subsidy is now disallowed. That’s it, in a nutshell. And that’s the law. This is a huge day, at least temporarily, for the rule of law. Folks, the law couldn’t be plainer. And this poor writer at the LA Time (imitating writer), “It’s just a glitch in the wording. Come on, people, it’s just a glitch.” Glitch in the wording? The law is the law and Obama hasn’t liked it 71 different times and has changed it, in order to protect Democrats at election time. Everybody that’s paying scant attention knows this.
It’s a huge day for the rule of law here. The DC circuit, 2-1 vote — now, there are a number of different ways this can go. It’s by no means over. The losing side, in this case the Regime, can ask for an en banc ruling or hearing. That means ask for every judge to hear and vote on the case at the DC circuit which would — I don’t know how many judges are on that circuit, usually 12, 13, it could be up to 20, I just don’t know the number. But every case starts with a three-judge panel, and then the losers can ask for en banc, and then after that you go to the Supreme Court, if they take it.
And then if the Supreme Court takes the — if this ruling holds, if they go en banc and it holds will this, and then if the Supreme Court decides to take it then we’re back with Chief Justice Roberts and will he want to bail Obama out a second time. The Supreme Court could also decide, “Nope, we’re not gonna hear it. Lower court ruling, DC circuit ruling stands, we’re outta here.” There’s any number of things that can happen, but right now all of the people that got subsidies at HealthCare.gov are essentially in violation of the law.
“The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, on a 2-1 vote, invalidated an Internal Revenue Service regulation that implemented a key piece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The regulation said subsidies for health insurance were available to qualifying middle- and low-income consumers whether they bought coverage on a state exchange or one run by the federal government.” The ruling could cripple the act.
The Drive-Bys are in panic here, folks. It’s incredible. The Drive-Bys, their only concern is the effect on Obama, not the impact on the American people. They’re not concerned about the impact on the country. No, no, no, no. They’re only concerned about the impact on Obama.
Oh, speaking of that, I’m surprised it took this long. Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post: You know, the presidency, it’s impossible to do it anymore. It’s just impossible for one man to do this job. It is impossible for anyone to have a successful presidency in the modern era.
That same story was written a few years ago by somebody else, I think in 2010. They always trot this story out when a Democrat president hits a wall. It’s just too big, it’s just too unmanageable, no matter how bright, and clearly we haven’t ever had a smarter president than Obama, and if Obama can’t do it, my God, nobody can. Didn’t they try that even with Clinton? Wasn’t there a story way back in the Clinton era, it’s too big for one man. They just recycle this stuff. Whenever certain triggers happen, and the triggers usually are, “Okay, when the point of no return is reached and there’s no way of salvaging public opinion on a particular president, then it’s time to write the story ‘It’s just too big a job for anybody to do. Nobody can succeed at the presidency anymore. If Obama can’t, nobody can.'”
The ruling today, back to that, the IRS, which is the Regime, just decided to interpret the law, the subsidy law, their own way. The law clearly says that there are no subsidies available at HealthCare.gov. But the IRS said that’s not right, that’s not proper, because every state didn’t do an exchange. So some people who live in states with no exchanges don’t get subsidies. That’s not right. We’ll just make the subsidies available at HealthCare.gov. But they were never part of it. It’s not a word glitch. This was put in the law originally so as to enable Obama to say that the law wasn’t costing as much.
This was part of sloughing the whole thing off on the states, transferring Medicare costs to the states, the subsidy costs to the states. The states can’t print money and a lot of governors said, “To hell with this. This is gonna break our budgets. We can’t afford to assume the Medicare costs, Medicaid costs, and now this?” So they opted out, and that’s when the IRS came in and said, “Screw you. You’re trying to sabotage our great leader’s law, well, take this,” and they just rewrote the law. And the DC circuit today said, “Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, you can’t do this.” It’s a huge, huge deal.
Here from CNBC, a noteworthy paragraph. If upheld, “the ruling could lead many, if not most of those subsidized customers to abandon their health plans sold on HealthCare.gov because they no longer would find them affordable without the often-lucrative tax credits,” i.e., the subsidy. You see, the dirty little secret here is that nobody other than the top 5% could afford this out of their pocket. Nobody could afford it. They have to get assistance from the country going into debt, taxpayers borrowing and all that.
Now, “If that coverage then is not affordable for them,” as defined by the Affordable Care Act, “If that coverage,” i.e., insurance under Obamacare, “if it is not affordable for them as defined by the Obamacare law, those people will no longer be bound by the lawÂ’s mandate to have health insurance by this year or pay a fine next year.”
I mean, so much gets thrown out with this ruling. (interruption) You want me to repeat that? (interruption) If the coverage is not affordable because the subsidies are gone with this ruling, because they were never legal, if that coverage is then not affordable for them, as defined by Obamacare, those people who got subsidies that are now declared illegal, those people will no longer be bound by the law’s mandate to have health insurance by this year or pay a fine next year.
See, the whole key to this was that this had to be affordable, called the Affordable Care Act, but the subsidies are what qualified people and made it affordable, and if they can’t afford it, then they’re not bound to have it. And the ruling also threatens, in the same 36 states, to gut the Obamacare rule starting next year that all employers with 50 or more full-time workers offer affordable insurance to them or face fines. And that’s because the rule only kicks in if one of such an employer’s workers buy subsidized coverage on HealthCare.gov, which they now can do. So this ruling guts a significant aspect of the funding of the law. This has always been the little nub of this. If you are able to carve out the funding mechanisms for this, it goes away, and this ruling takes a huge, huge bite out of Obamacare.
It’s David Savage writing at the Los Angeles Times. “In a 2-1 vote, a panel of judges on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected the [Regime]’s argument that the problem was triggered by imprecise language in the complex law and that Congress had always intended to offer the subsidies nationwide to low- and middle-income people who bought insurance through one of the state or federal health exchanges…”
Just a glitch in the wording, “imprecise language,” because” Congress had always intended,” except there’s this “as written,” and what’s written is what is intended. “As written, the law states that subsidies should be paid to those who purchase insurance through an ‘exchange established by the state.'” I should do a quick search of my website.
I remember discussing this in great detail when it became obvious that a large number of states were not going to set up exchanges. This was going to threaten the entire subsidy program, if the law meant anything. This ruling today has shocked the Drive-Bys, because the law is irrelevant. “You know what was intended!
“Obama wanted everybody to have free health care. What do these judges not get? That’s what everybody wanted. Congress, Obama, they wanted people to get free or very cheap/affordable health care, and that’s what they did.” No they didn’t do that. It’s the most expensive way of paying for health care we could have devised. Obama’s law professor…
This is 11 days ago, before the ruling. National Review reported on Laurence Tribe at Harvard. “President Obama’s old Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, said that he ‘wouldn’t bet the family farm’ on Obamacare’s surviving the legal challenges to an IRS rule about who is eligible for subsidies that are currently working their way through the federal courts.
“‘I don’t have a crystal ball,’ Tribe told the Fiscal Times. ‘But I wouldn’t bet the family farm on this coming out in a way that preserves Obamacare,'” because he could read the law. I mean, it’s crystal clear. It’s a glitch? It’s confused wording? It’s totally unambiguous. But in the LA Times, “imprecise language in the complex law.” Imprecise language? It’s a dead horrible law!
It is so bad that in order to save the thing Obama has had to — via executive actions and orders of various kinds — change it, delay it, wave it, what have you a total of 71 times. Let’s get a typical Drive-By Media reaction. Let’s see. This is Joe Johns. He’s at CNN. The anchorette is Carol Costello. They’re all in a purple panic today. She speaks to Joe Johns about this and said, “Joe (panting), explain (panting) this to us!”
JOHNS: Well, Carol, it could be a huge blow to the administration and to Obamacare. In a 2-1 ruling, a divided court just ruled that federal tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act cannot be used by individual consumers who are trying to get health insurance on federally run exchanges, and the subsidies can only be used in state-run exchanges. Before anybody starts hyperventilating, it was always assumed that an adverse ruling would be appealed, and it’s certainly gonna happen in this case.
RUSH: So don’t worry about it. If you want free health care, don’t sweat it! The Regime’s gonna be right in there for it. They’re gonna appeal this, and they will, as I say, go en banc (ask the whole circuit to hear it). Either that or go straight to the Supreme Court. Now, the Supreme Court does not have to hear it.
They can turn it down. They can say, “Lower court stands. Not interested,” or they can take it, in which case we’re back to the original Obamacare ruling. It’s 4-4 with Chief Justice Roberts in the Anthony Kennedy role, and he bailed it out once. So something that’s happened once can happen again.
But there are some who theorize that he wouldn’t do it a second time. It’s gonna be a while before all this sorts out. But at least within its own sandbox here, it is a great, great ruling for the rule of law. Here’s the White House press spokesman Josh Earnest responding to a question by Julie Pace at the AP. “Is there any White House reaction to this decision?”
EARNEST: It’s important for people all across the country to understand that this ruling does not have any practical impact, uh, on their ability to continue to receive tax credits right now. There are millions of Americans all across the country who are receiving tax credits from the federal government as a result of the Affordable Care Act that is making health care more affordable for them. And while this ruling is interesting to legal theorists, it has no practical impact on their tax credits right now. You don’t need a fancy legal gruh — legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits —
RUSH: See? That’s it.
EARNEST: — that lower their health care costs, regardless of whether state officials or federal officials in the marketplace.
RUSH: Right, right. You don’t need to be a legal beagle to understand what Congress intended. See? It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter. None of this matters ’cause we can rewrite it! Don’t worry about it. You want free health care? We’re gonna continue to provided for it ’cause the law doesn’t matter to us.
RUSH: So I just went back to RushLimbaugh.com, July 3rd, 2012. We predicted all of this, and I will share with you the highlights when we get to the next segment. The news update on this is the White House has now said that they will indeed seek a review by the full appellate court. It’s 11 judges. So they’re gonna ask for an en banc hearing. They lost 2-1 on a three-judge panel.
They’re gonna now ask for all 11 judges to vote on the case. Seven of the 11 judges were nominated by Democrat presidents, including four of them nominated by Obama. So the odds are that the full circuit, the full panel will change the ruling in support of Obamacare, and the subsidies will return to become validated, and then the plaintiffs in the case (i.e., the victors today) will take it to the Supreme Court.
Now, the three judges did not… The plaintiffs asked for the suspension of the subsidies as part of the ruling, and that was denied. So if you are in possession of a health care policy that features subsidies and you got it at Healthcare.gov, they are still valid because the appellate court, they know full well that they’re gonna be appealed. So they did not suspend the subsidies or the tax credits. So it’s nowhere near over.
As I say, in its own little sandbox, it’s a good ruling for the rule of law.
But whether it holds up is anybody’s guess.
We have another brief time-out here, and I’ll share with you how we predicted this.
This is what being on the cutting edge means, folks.
RUSH: Hey, ladies and gentlemen, let me ask you a question. So we’ve got seven of the 11 judges at the DC circuit who are nominated by Democrat presidents, four by Obama, and so it’s automatically assumed that the ruling will change in favor of the Regime. Now, what does it say about a judicial system where party loyalty determines the meaning of laws?
I mean, if it’s automatic that because seven of the 11 judges are nominated Democrats, they’re automatically gonna find in favor of the Regime even though it’s in violation of the law, what does that say about the judicial system? Does it not kind of make a mockery of Boehner suing the Regime? When you listen to Josh Earnest, can you imagine…? Look at this.
Imagine Tony Snow is the press secretary or Dana Perino. Imagine Bush is in the White House, and there is a Supreme Court ruling that invalidates a major Bush policy, and Tony Snow or Dana Perino go out there and say, “You know what? It’s just an interesting academic exercise for some legal beagles, but it doesn’t have any practical effect. What is this? The law? Come on!
“This is just for people that like to sit around and theorize about academic things, but, for those of you out there that are benefiting from this law, don’t worry. Nothing’s gonna change.” Can you imagine the media reaction if Dana Perino or Tony Snow had basically said, (Raspberry!) to the law, as Josh Earnest just did? Oh, my God, the media would try to string ’em up! It would be vicious.
It would be vicious. Now, because there are seven Democrat-appointed judges on the DC circuit, it’s automatic that the case is gonna get reversed and Obama’s gonna win, regardless of what the law says, because party loyalty trumps the law. Party loyalty defines the law.
RUSH: Just to close the loop, where we go next is the Regime has said that they’re going to seek a review by the full appellate court, 11 judges. That is called an en banc (b-a-n-c, en banc) hearing. Depending on how that goes, it will then go to the Supreme Court, where they can decide to hear the case and render a decision, oral arguments and all that, and we’re two years down the road.
Or they can reject it and let whatever the lower court ultimately does stand. The Regime’s feeling is that since seven of the 11 judges on the DC circuit were appointed by Democrats, that the ruling today will be overturned by virtue of party loyalty, which trumps the meaning of the law. Well, that’s what it is. I mean, how else do you interpret it? Look, this is not the first time.
Even at the Supreme Court there are four libs, and it’s assumed that no matter what they’re gonna side with the left side, although that’s not true. You know, Obama has lost a bunch of unanimous decisions at this Supreme Court. At last count, I think he’s 0-for-12 or 0-for-13 when it comes to unanimous decisions. But just the assumption here from the administration — and why wouldn’t they assume this?
Four of the 11 judges were appointed by Obama. Seven of the 11 appointed by Democrats. To them they are the law. Look at Obama! Seventy-one different waivers, exceptions, rewrites, executive actions of Obamacare to date. Every one of them has been to limit or delay the impact and the implementation of the law so as to not hurt Democrats at elections. So if the Democrats carry the day on this, you can accurately say that we no longer even have the rule of law.
We have the rule of party; the law doesn’t mean anything.
We’re on the road to that anyway with the way Obama is reacting and acting outside the Constitution. Of course, this assumption… What does it say about Boehner’s plan to file a lawsuit against the president who pays no attention to court rulings? (laughing) So we’re gonna file a lawsuit against a guy who pays no attention to court rulings, even if he loses the court ruling. Big deal! Because that’s not the final rule.
The rule of law has been trumped now by rule of party, and that’s the assumption everybody at the Regime is making in determining the ultimate outcome of this case.
RUSH: Listen to this tweet. This is a typical reaction to the DC court’s ruling on Twitter. We are surrounded by dumb, ignorant people. We’re just surrounded by ’em, stupid people. “If Congress meant to deny subsidies to states using Fed exchanges, it would have said so.”
This is your average, ordinary citizen tweeting who wants a freebie, who wants a handout, no doubt, who thinks this is outrageous. “When the law hurts people, it shouldn’t be this, it’s a bad law, shouldn’t be there. If Congress meant to deny subsidies to state using Fed exchanges, it would have said so.” Well, it did say so, guess what? It did say so. It’s exactly how the law was written. You ever notice sometimes the left is just so literal and other times they find the shadows and they lurk in the suburbs of ambiguity. You know, the rule of law is everything for a free society. If you lose that, you lose everything.