What turns out to be in the bill after you pass it

What Oklahoma discovered in the fine print of Obamacare, but is having to sue to enforce:
The ACA contains an assortment of carrots and sticks, the pertinent ones here being the subsidies available for the purchase of health insurance through state-created exchanges, and the penalties for individuals who do not buy insurance and employers who do not provide it.  The employer taxes are triggered when employees use the tax credit, and in some cases the individual taxes are triggered when the credit is available to them.  The tax credits apply only to those using exchanges created by the states.  The federal government can create its own exchanges within states; however, it has no authority under the law to use them to offer subsidies and inflict the accompanying taxes. 
But there was an unforeseen development:  Some 33 states have refused to create those exchanges, Oklahoma among them.  If a state’s residents are not eligible for exchange subsidies, then its employers are not subject to the associated punitive tax.  Contra the administration’s amen corner in the media, this was not a rookie drafting error in the legislation — it was an intentional feature of the bill.  The law is explicitly written to deny subsidies to states that refuse to create exchanges.  The president and congressional Democrats simply failed to anticipate that the majority of states would refuse to create exchanges.


Grim said...

Perhaps the courts will find a way to rule that -- just as the mandate both is and is not a tax at the same time -- the Federal government both is and is not free to do whatever it wants. The operative principle seems to be that whichever reading is most convenient, from the perspective of the Federales, will hold in any given case.

Eric Blair said...

I'll predict right now that the 'mandate' is going to get delayed until at least 2015. There will be a big freak out in the fall when people start to figure out exactly what the ACA really means.

It might even get repealed. There's a ghost of chance that NJ will end up with 2 Republican Senators by the fall.

douglas said...

The way things are going right now, I'm thinking predictions are tough to see as reliable. The landscape's changing so fast, I can't say where things will go, and reckon most people can't see much more than I.

An aside- when Ymar made the cryptic comment about hitting 'logistics' and Grim asked him to elaborate (which he did not), I think the Left answered for us. The way they went after a real grassroots uprising (the Tea Party) as soon as it started to work the angles they've been playing like a fiddle for decades, they revealed their hand- the community activism and government support of NGO's and 'charities' and such- that's the logistics chain for them. Haven't fleshed the idea out fully, but I think there's some there there.

Texan99 said...

How about the government's record of applying its discretion to pay for the costs of FOIA requests? If you're a liberal activist group, they grant the request to comp your expenses about 75-80% of the time. If you're a hostile conservative group, almost never.

And, of course, schools, government-sponsored research, and nearly all of the media, though I'm encouraged to see the NYT continue to bleed money and the Koch brothers moving to buy the L.A. Times.

Ymar Sakar said...

Good old loopholes. When the law is not justice. Make up your own.

By 2015, Americans freaking out.... right.

Grim asked me a question, once I got it, I was able to answer it.

Douglas seems behind the info curve. Might be useful to get updated on the new intel.

The landscape's always been easy to see. For those who could face forward at least while standing up right at least.

Americans won't have an idea of what the Left's logistics is until there will cease to be an "America" and start to be an "Obamaca". At least people's votes will be counted.

See, Grim, you weren't quite right when you thought everyone was reading other people's questions and answers all the time, eh.

douglas said...

Actually, I did read that string, and you really didn't expand much on your initial statement, so Grim was right about people reading (so far as I know).

I think I worded it a little awkwardly, but really, my main point was that through their reaction, they've admitted what a critical point 501c3's and 4's are to them, and how they can't afford to let that ground slip out of their hands. It's the reaction and admission that's important, and it's becoming a more openly exposed issue to the public which is even more critical. I'd be all for a move to completely exclude any group with political overtones from 501c3 or 4 status- but they won't have that I'm sure. Perhaps now the American people can be persuaded, or even better, persuaded to ditch the current tax system altogether.

Grim said...

That's true, Douglas, although I think the bureaucracy itself is exposed as a crucial factor of left strength. Destroying much of the Federal bureaucracy, both in size and power, needs to be a goal. The proper reaction to the IRS scandal surely is to aim for the elimination of the IRS by a switching of tax systems. Even if Tex is right and we can't entirely eliminate the agency (or "service," as it has the audacity to call itself), even a 90% solution would greatly improve the long-term prospects for liberty.

Texan99 said...

If there's a tax at all, there will be some kind of collection agency. But if it's an extremely simple tax, the agency can be small and have almost no discretion, which will eliminate most of the harm it can do and guarantee that it will spend most of its time fulfilling a legitimate function. Texas has no income tax and relies heavily on sales tax. There's an agency for that, but it's not the octopus that the IRS is, because it's not given much to do.

Texas also relies heavily on ad valorem taxes. Where the ad valorem taxing authorities balloon into monstrosities is in the areas where they have discretion: appraising property, for instance, or fighting over whether entities have qualified for the "charitable functions" exemption. (Guess what I'm working on this week.)

Of course, if we simplify the federal tax code, we'll hear all about the poor IRS workers who thought they were guaranteed a job for life. Reminds me of the early 1980s, when an awful lot of antitrust lawyers suddenly became bankruptcy lawyers.

Grim said...

We'll hear about that, yes. I imagine the scene as one of great mirth.