Plain lan­guage of re­form law is all the ev­i­dence needed

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing the ar­ti­cle “The flaw in the law: Mil­lions at risk of los­ing cov­er­age in law­suit chal­leng­ing sub­si­dies” (Mod­ern Health­care, June 16, p. 24), with all due re­spect, this is what hap­pens when shoddy leg­is­la­tion is used in a rapid cram-down ap­proach by one po­lit­i­cal group at the ex­pense of dis­senters and qual­ity. As to “there is no ev­i­dence in the leg­isla­tive his­tory that the law’s drafters in­tended for the sub­si­dies to be avail­able only through state-run ex­changes,” there is no ev­i­dence aside from the sim­ple lan­guage of the law. Clearly the drafters were look­ing for ways to co­erce states to play ball with the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. Re­call that the law also had a pro­vi­sion say­ing that states that re­fused to play ball would also have their Med­i­caid dol­lars cut. The Supreme Court tossed that out.

Oba­macare sup­port­ers and apol­o­gists see this law as a big pos­i­tive de­spite all the warts. As such, threats to the law that are in­her­ent in the leg­is­la­tion—be they the sim­ple lan­guage or re­li­gious rights—should all be sac­ri­ficed at the al­tar of Oba­macare. The Supreme Court (and a sim­ple read­ing of the law) may in­di­cate oth­er­wise.

Dr. Ed­ward Fotsch Sausal­ito, Calif.

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