Thursday, May 28, 2015

GOP suffers "moment of candor" on Obamacare

Steve Benen (MSNBC/Rachel Maddow Show) calls the lawsuit against Obamacare subsidies "insane."

At issue in the case is whether half of a sentence, buried within the law and removed from context, should be used to tear down the American health care system and strip millions of families of their health security. The New York Times set out to determine how that half of a sentence wound up in the law, and reporter Robert Pear talked to "more than two dozen Democrats and Republicans involved in writing the law." Not one of them endorsed the argument put forward by the plaintiffs.

For example, former Sen. Olympia Snowe recalls no intent at all by lawmakers to distinguish between states with and without federal exchanges.

"I don’t ever recall any distinction between federal and state exchanges in terms of the availability of subsidies," said Olympia J. Snowe, a former Republican senator from Maine who helped write the Finance Committee version of the bill.

"It was never part of our conversations at any point," said Ms. Snowe, who voted against the final version of the Senate bill. "Why would we have wanted to deny people subsidies? It was not their fault if their state did not set up an exchange."

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