RUSH: Okay. So they had oral arguments, Supreme Court on King v. Burwell, the subsidy case, Obamacare, and it comes down to — I’m not kidding you. The argument, at least as the Drive-Bys, as the Drive-Bys assess the hidden deep meaning in oral arguments yesterday does “state” mean just “state.” It’s all about the state exchanges being the only place you can get a subsidy. You can’t legally get one at a federal exchange. The federal government is not allowed to set up an exchange. They did anyway when the states didn’t. So now the argument before the court: Does “state” just mean “state,” does “state” mean the entire government apparatus or does it mean one of the 57?
Anthony Kennedy once again asked the questions that has the left thinking, “Wow, we might win this.” John Roberts didn’t say a word in oral arguments. That’s usually Justice Thomas. But we’ll get to this in great detail. I just had to share with you the fact, folks, that what appears to be the question of the day after the first day of oral arguments: Does “state” mean “state.” At the Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, does “state” mean “state.” Jon Gruber clearly said that they mandated these subsidies be only available from the states as a means of pressuring the states to sign up.
RUSH: We’re gonna start in Brooklyn. This is Jason. I’m glad you waited, sir. Great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Yes! Conservative prize closet dittos from a conservative sweeper here in Brooklyn.
RUSH: Well, it’s great to have you out there, Jason. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thank you very much! I want to talk about the Supreme Court for a minute and the whole Obamacare thing.
RUSH: Have at it.
CALLER: Okay. Here’s the deal. I don’t trust the Supreme Court. Remember back in 2012? We thought that the Obamacare decision was going to be a slam dunk. A tax is not a tax, but a penalty is not a penalty, and the whole forcing of the buying of the commerce stuff? And then John Roberts said, “You know what? A penalty is a tax.” Come on. You can present the greatest argument in the world and Supreme Court is going to slap this down.
RUSH: Let me jump in here for a minute. Let me remind everybody the reasoning Chief Justice Roberts gave for rewriting the law to make it palatable. Do you remember what he said?
CALLER: I think I do. I think I have it on my iPad. I think I have the quote here.
RUSH: Essentially (I’m paraphrasing) what he said was that he doesn’t think the court should unilaterally reverse the decisions made by the representatives of the people.
CALLER: That’s correct.
RUSH: So whatever Congress did, it’s not his job to say “no” because he’s not elected. That was his out. That was the out that he gave himself.
CALLER: Yep. And —
RUSH: That just kind of… That’s that’s that’s weak. But I understand you not trusting the court. It’s like I said yesterday: What is more reasonable to expect, something that’s happened to happen again, or something that hasn’t happened to happen?
CALLER: Exactly. It’s also the definition of insanity. You combine that with the feckless leadership in the House and the Senate with Boehner and McConnell? This whole thing about not defunding the DHS and all, Obamacare, I knew it from moment one. Even when we had nine seats in the election, you knew McConnell and Boehner were not going to defund anything. They’re not going to do it.
RUSH: How did you know?
CALLER: I’ve been listening to you, number one.
CALLER: Number two, I’ve been observing their behavior. You could have… Look at all the Tea Party challengers with Thad Cochran and Boehner and all that stuff. They were shot down. You have these people who want to — as you said — keep their power and keep Obama because they’re governing from a status of feel. They don’t want to challenge, they don’t want to look bad, when we all know that the disconnect is huge.
RUSH: Well, all of that’s true, but there’s two other things. They’re not ideological, so they don’t really oppose Obama on ideological basis. The second thing is, their donors are all for amnesty. So in the specific case that you mentioned, defunding the Department of Homeland Security, you could tell from the get-go that they really weren’t gonna do it. They were gonna go through the motions to make their voters look like they might defund it, and then at the end of the day say, “We tried! We really tried. We just couldn’t find a way,” and hoped that they get away with it, when they never were gonna do it in the first place. Their donors want amnesty. That’s what they were always gonna do. That’s why they want the chairmanships. The donors put them there; now it’s payback time.
CALLER: Yeah, and honestly speaking, again… You have Scott Walker in the Limbaugh Letter this month. Scott Walker can run a perfect campaign except that he’s running from two different sides. He’s running against Obama, but he’s also running from the people who they put in like McConnell and Boehner. He’s running from two sides. How are you going to defend both sides of the aisle here? It’s gonna be incredibly difficult.
RUSH: That is gonna be fascinating to watch. He is the front-runner right now, and all the guns are trained on him, as they would be any front-runner. It’s not unique to Scott Walker that other Republicans are aiming for him right now. If Christie were the front-runner they would all be aiming at him, as they are anyway. It doesn’t matter who the front-runner is, but there’s a double whammy against Walker because he is ideologically conservative.
That’s something that the Republican establishment is very, very nervous about. Now, as to the court and the media, there are, depending on where you read… USA Today, they have a story saying (paraphrased), “Whoa, man! We’re in Fat City because the way Anthony Kennedy asked questions today, it’s clear that he does not support overturning the law.” A completely different media outlet judged Anthony Kennedy’s questions entirely differently.
Another media outlet suggested that Anthony Kennedy’s questions make it clear he is very nervous with the administration’s case, very nervous with the administration’s position. Well, what are we supposed to do with that? A, it’s oral arguments. It’s not the final vote. Number one. So this is just part of the soap opera, folks, the oral arguments and the people judging what the court’s gonna do based on the oral arguments.
They’re already judging that the four libs are aligned with the Regime, and that’s true. So Kennedy is the swing, and you’ve got two different interpretations of where Kennedy is based on the interpretations of what his questions mean. And then the other big deal that has the media shocked today is that Roberts didn’t open his mouth, and they’re all trying to figure out what that means as to the final outcome.
RUSH: All right. Here’s the dichotomy. The dichotomy is USA Today versus the New York Times. According to USA Today, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s questions “gave proponents hope the statute will be upheld and all four liberal justices hammered the law’s challengers.” The New York Times, however, says, “Kennedy asked questions suggesting that he was uncomfortable with the administrationÂ’s reading of the statute. But he added that the challengersÂ’ reading posed problems, too.
So there’s nothing to learn there. Kennedy gave himself an out no matter which way he ends up voting. The USA Today interpreted Kennedy one way; the New York Times interpret him another way. And Kennedy said, “I got problems with both sides.” So nobody knows anything, other than the four libs are a lock with the Regime, pure and simple. The liberal justices parroted the Democrat and their media’s line word-for-word.
From the New York Times, “‘We donÂ’t look at four words,’ Justice Elena Kagan said. ‘We look at the whole text.’ Justice Stephen G. Breyer echoed the point. ‘If you want to go into the context’ of the law, he told Mr. Carvin, ‘at that point your argument really is weaker.'”
Folks, look, I’m not a lawyer. My dad was, and I know a lot of lawyers. I’m here to tell you that this case, in the real world, where logic and intelligence dominate, the regime doesn’t have a prayer here. This case should be a slam dunk win for the challengers; it should be an automatic loss for the Regime.
It’s really clear what happened here. We have a law, signed into law by President Obama, and it says the only people in the country who can get subsidies are people that sign up to state exchanges. It specifically says that. And the architect of the law further said they did it that way on purpose to force, to put political pressure on the governors to all set up exchanges, because states that didn’t set up an exchange cannot offer their citizens subsidies.
Therefore, they can’t make Obamacare affordable unless they set up a state exchange. And 37 governors didn’t do it, which made the federal government say, “Well, we can’t have that.” So they began to offer subsidies at HealthCare.gov. Well, the law says they can’t do that. And when they did that, the law was challenged, and the petitioners say, the challengers say that the Regime is violating its own statute, which it is. There’s no doubt that they are. It’s in black and white, and even the architect has documented, in speech after speech, and in written commentary after written commentary that they specifically left out the federal government as a legitimate source for subsidies.
Now, the Regime today is arguing, “No, no, no, no, no, none of that matters. A state is not one of the 57 states. A state happens to be the government at large.” Well, it doesn’t mean that, in this context. And that’s why the liberal judges are all talking about context. This case should have been slapped down at every previous court level it appeared, and it ought not have any chance before the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court already has ruled on this unconstitutional law, and did so in a way to make it constitutional.
It’s unrealistic to think that the court is gonna, out of the blue, find it unconstitutional. Now, according to the law, it’s not even a question, it is. The Regime has violated its law. The Regime is behaving unconstitutionally. The law should be struck down, and with it should go the individual mandate. This should kill Obamacare. But Chief Justice Roberts has already said that he doesn’t think that that’s the court’s purview, to reject statutes passed by the legal representatives of the people. That’s not the court’s job. And that’s why he rewrote it, essentially, the first time around when the subject matter was taxes versus penalties versus fines and the Fourth Amendment Commerce Clause.
The Washington establishment is saving this bill. The Washington establishment is circling the wagons to save Obamacare. The opposition is doing yeoman’s work in trying to prove it unconstitutional. And I’ll tell you something else. You’ve seen, and we’ve talked about ’em here on this program, all of the horror stories, what happens if the court does find that Obamacare is unconstitutional. You’ve seen the horror stories, “Oh, my God, oh, my God, what about the people who are getting subsidies from the federal government and they’re gonna be taken away? What about somebody that’s gonna lose his dialysis, oh, no, my God, oh, my God! What about somebody that’s gonna lose surgery, pacemaker, oh, my God.”
All these horror stories, and they’re meant to intimidate the court. They’re meant to shape the court’s thinking. They are meant to politically influence the court. And Bobby Jindal, God bless him, Bobby Jindal is out there saying, “What in the world,” because the Republicans, you know, in dealing with this manufactured crisis, the Republicans have already announced plans to save those subsidies if the court finds them unconstitutional. And Jindal is asking (paraphrasing), “What in the hell are Republicans do running around saying how they’re gonna save subsidies, how they’re gonna save Obamacare? What’s going on here?” And he’s exactly right.
They’re doing it out of fear. They’re doing it maybe because they support Obamacare. Hell, who knows. Or they’re doing it because they do not want to be blamed for taking away freebies from people. They’re afraid they’re gonna get excoriated, they’re gonna be blamed for people losing dialysis treatments, losing surgeries, losing whatever they’re getting now via their subsidies. And once again the Republicans are gonna be portrayed as cold-hearted, mean-spirited, extremists who have no compassion. And so Republicans are out running around saying, “Don’t worry, don’t worry, if the court finds in our favor, we will make sure we’ll have a stopgap plan to make sure you hold onto your subsidy.”
So Elizabeth McCaughey has a great place in the New York Post explaining why none of this need have been, and instead the way it should be looked at, let’s make every effort we can to get this law declared unconstitutional and use that as an opportunity to get health care right in this country, using Republican conservative free market entrepreneurial enterprise. That doesn’t seem to be palatable to a lot of Republicans.
I’m tired of the constant defensive, fearful state that the Republican Party seems to be in issue after issue after issue. At what point does the Constitution matter? This is a clear abdication. This is a clear violation. The entire Obamacare law itself is, and should have been declared so, the first time before the court. The chief justice had to rewrite parts of it to make it appear to be constitutional and to save it. And that’s what you’d have to expect is gonna occur this time. It happened once, it’s likely to happen again. But there are people who are holding out hope, God bless them, eternally optimistic, that the court’s gonna do the right thing.
I know some people who think the court took this case to correct their mistake the first time around. (interruption) You are one of them? (interruption) A-ha. Mr. Snerdley happens to be in the camp of people who think the court took this subsidy case ’cause they knew they blew it the first time around, and this is an opportunity to fix that mistake. That’s what you think? I don’t think the court operates that way. I don’t think these people running around ever admit they make mistakes.
I’d love to be wrong. Don’t misunderstand. I would love to be wrong about this. But… (interruption) Well, no, the Supreme Court didn’t pick it. They chose to hear it, true, because some people brought the case, and it made its way up through the lower courts and the court decided to hear it after it reached the appellate process. But the court didn’t pick it, per se. I mean, they didn’t make a phone call under the cover of darkness, “Hey, lawyer, I want you to go out and challenge this law on this basis. I’ll make sure the rest of my justices vote to take the –” That’s not how it happens.
Now, it doesn’t mean that they’re not actually trying to correct a mistake, but look at the four libs. The four libs on the court don’t think they made a mistake. It would be one guy who thinks he made a mistake, and that would be the chief justice.
The Washington Times, depends on where you look today for the portrayal of this. “Obamacare on Life Support As Supreme Court Splits on LawÂ’s Fate.” The court hasn’t split on anything yet. It’s just oral arguments. But nevertheless the Washington Times, after having witnessed, listened to oral arguments, thinks the law may be on life support. They’ve heard that it may be in trouble.
Now, here is the UK Daily Mail: “Swing vote on Supreme Court says striking down Obamacare subsidies could cause a ‘death spiral’ for health insurance exchanges as justices hear arguments in Affordable Care Act challenge. Justice Anthony Kennedy said state insurance exchanges could collapse without federal subsidies to offset the costs of insurance.”
Now, stop and think of that just for a minute, in terms of where we are in the United States of America. Stop and think of this. We have a justice on the US Supreme Court hearing oral arguments to a case who concludes state insurance exchanges — what the hell is a state insurance exchange anyway? I know what it is, but what the hell do we have ’em for? How did we even get here? Well, we’re here. So here’s Kennedy: “State insurance exchanges could collapse without federal subsidies to offset the costs of insurance.”
Doesn’t that sentence right there alone tell us enough to know this law is an absolute disaster, that it cannot be funded the way it’s set up, that it cannot operate without the federal government underwriting it and the federal government doesn’t have any money. We got an $18 trillion national debt. We don’t have the money for this. Insurance exchanges in the states could collapse without federal subsidies. So are you telling me, Justice Kennedy, that you might vote to uphold the law in order to save the state exchanges because without federal money they can’t survive? If they can’t survive, what business do they have of existing, is my question. What in the world are we talking about?
Here’s the next bullet point: “Supreme Court heard an hour of oral arguments in an Obamacare challenge, will cast votes Friday, and release a decision this summer. Conservatives say law was written to deny subsidies to people in states that decided not to set up their own insurance marketplaces.” That’s absolutely true. “The White House insists Congress meant to treat everyone equally.” No, they didn’t. Congress specifically wrote that law saying that the states had to set up an exchange for people there to get subsidies and that the federal government could not provide subsidies. There was no intention that everybody be covered. There was a political motivation to make sure every governor succumbed to the pressures of Barack Obama.
“As many as eight million people could lose their insurance without the subsidies, which lower the cost of insurance.” They do not lower the cost of insurance, by definition. The cost of insurance is skyrocketing. The subsidies exist because the market’s been so skewed out of proportion nobody can afford it without federal money that we don’t have. “GOP wants to replace subsidies with temporary financial assistance, and then new state-based systems they say would be more competitive.” Note that it doesn’t say Republicans want to scrap it and start over.
RUSH: Ruth “Buzzi” Ginsburg, one of the libs on the Supreme Court, started out in oral arguments challenging the standing of the anti-Obamacare challenger. (imitating Ginsburg) “I don’t even think you people should be here.” She really jumped in their chili. How dare anybody oppose this law. So she is one of the four committed votes to uphold on the Supreme Court.
Greetings, and welcome back. Great to have you, Rush Limbaugh, the EIB Network, great to have you, 800-282-2882, and the e-mail address, ElRushbo@eibnet.com.
If I had to give you just a quick down and dirty judgment right now, I would have to tell you that the media and the leftists all think that the court is gonna uphold Obamacare precisely because of one thing Anthony Kennedy said. He’s the swing vote. They think he’s gonna vote to uphold it because he’s worried that the state insurance exchanges would collapse if the federal subsidies were to be taken away. If the Supreme Court says that people will suffer and this and that, the least damage they can do would be to leave it alone.
Now, others, Jeffrey Toobin, the legal analyst at CNN, he’s very worried about the outcome because John Roberts didn’t say anything during oral arguments. Man, I don’t know, what must it be like to sit there and fret and be worried when somebody doesn’t say something and try to anticipate what the meaning of it is?
The story from Betsy McCaughey in the New York Post is typically excellent for her. “We All Win If Supremes Gut Obamacare.” She starts out by saying: “On Wednesday, the fate of Obamacare will again be argued before the Supreme Court. Supporters of the health-care ‘reforms’ are flooding the media with ghoulish predictions of what will happen if the court rules against the administration: victims supposedly losing their insurance, their medical care, even their lives.” And that has been said.
“DonÂ’t be bamboozled by talk of disaster. Senate Republican leaders indicated on Monday that theyÂ’ll be ready to provide financial assistance to ‘help Americans keep the coverage they picked for a transitional period.’ Republicans also announced a plan to create ‘a bridge away from ObamaCare.’ Losing in court will force the president to finally negotiate changes to his expensive, unworkable health law.” Anybody think that’s gonna happen? (laughing) We still have way too many people who do not understand who Barack Obama is.
So Obama loses at the court and he’s automatically gonna say, “Okay, okay, uncle, I give, I give, let’s sit down and talk.” Isn’t going to happen. But Betsy McCaughey’s optimistic. She says: “Suddenly, the politically impossible — compromise on ObamaCare — will become politically inevitable. Look for big changes in the second half of 2015. King v. Burwell is about the subsidies that make ObamaCare plans ‘affordable.'” But remember, it isn’t affordable. That’s the take-away. It isn’t affordable.
“The letter of the law allows consumers to get subsidies only in the 14 states (including New York) that set up their own exchanges. But the Obama administration is ignoring the law and doling them out everywhere. If the high court reins in the subsidies, hereÂ’s whatÂ’s likely to happen.” This is in contrast to the stories of crisis and doom that are out there if the court reins in the subsidies. The first thing she says that will happen, people with Obamacare subsidies, who would lose them, will still be helped.
“No matter how the justices rule, it will have no impact on the poor. Nine out of every 10 people who are newly insured because of Obamacare are on Medicaid, which will be unaffected. Yes, close to six million middle-class Americans get the questionable subsidies and so pay a fraction of their planÂ’s actual cost, while taxpayers pick up three-quarters of the bill.”
Now, I want to try to explain what that means. So we have a bunch of people who cannot afford Obamacare without the government paying a percentage of it, right? And those people who can’t afford it will be able to afford it because the taxpayers are going to pay for it. The taxpayers can’t afford it. The government is the taxpayers. We can’t afford this. How in the world can you say that taxpayers, who can’t afford this to begin with, are going to provide subsidies to people that can’t afford it? Which is the circumstance now.
This bill is in the red. There’s no way we have the money for this. We just don’t. Not that that matters to anybody, but the money arguments in this are just worthless. “If the court nixes those subsidies, these people will be facing huge premium hikes — and the administration insists it has no contingency plan to help. In an obvious effort to sway the justices, the administration warns of ‘massive damage.’ But chairmen of three key Senate committees just announced that Republican lawmakers will be set to provide help.”
She writes here that the insurance companies will be the biggest losers. The insurance companies “stock prices have soared since the healthcare.gov rollout — Humana up 66 percent; Cigna, 53 percent; Aetna, 52 percent. No wonder: ObamaCare forces the public to buy their policies,” thanks to John Roberts. “ItÂ’s like a law requiring all Americans to buy cars, subsidizing those who canÂ’t pay. That would send automaker stocks skyrocketing, too. Insurers are expected to haul in over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money over the next decade. No wonder theyÂ’re bombarding the Supremes with arguments defending their cozy deal.”
And here we have a great illustration once again of crony socialism. Everybody thinks that business is aligned with Republicans. The insurance companies all saddled up to Obama, they made peace with Obama, and they agreed with this bastardization of the health care process because the government mandates everybody buy their product. So the insurance companies said, “What do we care about the Constitution? What do we care about whether people can afford it or not? We’re sitting in fat city. The government’s gonna make a law that says people have to buy our product. How can we lose?” And when you have everybody thinking only about themselves, this is how things end up becoming disasters.
Betsy McCaughey then writes that Republican governors will also need Congress to provide a remedy. So her point is, don’t worry what the court does because the Republicans have made it clear that nobody’s gonna lose anything, which takes me to Bobby Jindal. Why are Republicans planning to rescue these subsidies? Jindal had a piece in National Review.
He said, “Eliminating the subsidies nationwide would therefore cut AmericansÂ’ tax liability by approximately $48 billion on net. Granted, these sums from CBO apply to all 50 states, while the King ruling would apply only to the 37 states that have not established exchanges. But the trend from the numbers is crystal clear: The tax reduction from eliminating the employer mandate, and weakening the individual mandate, outweighs any tax increase from eliminating the subsidies.
“And hereÂ’s where some on the right want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Conventional wisdom in Washington has assumed that, should the Court strike down the subsidies in 37 states under King, states will immediately act to establish their own state-run exchanges — allowing the subsidies to flow once more. Alternatively, Congress might be tempted to pass language extending the subsidies to the federally-run exchange, allowing Obamacare to comply with the Court ruling. ThatÂ’s a ‘solution’ in search of a problem. If eliminating the subsidies represents a net tax cut, then restoring the subsidies … would re-impose a sizable tax increase.”
Anyway, what Jindal eventually gets to is, what in the world, why even bother winning this if all we’re gonna do is reinstitute the subsidies? If the Republicans are gonna rescue these subsidies after the court outlaws them, then what’s the difference between us and them? And what he’s proposing is, instead of this, an alternative. To actually sit back down and fix this bill and rewrite it or start from scratch or what have you, which nobody wants to do because we’re too far into it.
Anyway, that’s where this is right now, and I don’t think that there’s anybody in the media who can tell you, no matter how firmly they say it, how this is gonna end up. So, once again, intelligence guided by experience. We know there are four votes to uphold the administration on this. The four votes announced it today and yesterday in the oral arguments. The four liberals announced it. So there’s no mystery there. And then you’ve got the four conservatives and Justice Kennedy. And Kennedy left himself outs on whichever way he goes, which he always does in oral argument. He always leaves himself room to go either way.
The chief justice didn’t say anything. Depending on where the chief justice comes down, he will determine who writes the opinion. If he’s in the majority, he will determine who writes the opinion. If he’s in the majority and he writes the opinion, then he can do this time what he did last time, change the law to make it fit. And that’s my point. Using intelligence guided by experience. The last time Obamacare came before the Supreme Court, the court did everything it could to make it fit the Constitution when it didn’t.
So why would anybody expect that the next time the law comes before the court, that the court is gonna rule the law unconstitutional, when the first time the court did everything it could to make it constitutional? What, in our experience here, would tell us the court is going to find against the Regime? Experience tells us the court’s gonna do whatever it has to to find for the Regime. That’s the intelligence guided by experience. The only thought here — well, there are two possibilities. A, that these people hold a theory that the court knows it made a mistake and using this case as a chance to correct, I think that’s a stretch. I don’t think that’s how these people think.
The second possibility is that the court, aside from these four committed liberals, that the other five justices will look at this and judge it strictly on the merits of the law, in which case this law doesn’t have a prayer. The administration’s violating the law. There’s no question about it. The sad thing is that’s even up for debate here. Well, no, that’s understandable. The sad thing here, that there’s even a possibility that this thing is going to be found constitutional. But our experience is that whatever Obama wants, he gets and gets away with.
I’m not trying to be pessimistic here. I’m just trying to be realistic. I’m firmly hoping that at some point, and not just the court, I’m hoping that everybody all of a sudden someday, for whatever unknown reason, starts to respect the Constitution again. And I’m hoping that one day, somewhere, someday, somehow, that people will start standing up for western civilization again and our culture and what Americanism is, all of which is under assault.