A federal judge tossed out a lawsuit today that sought to cripple Obamacare.
The suit — a challenge to the law’s insurance subsidies — was a long shot but had the potential to devastate the health care law if it succeeded. It would have blocked the law’s insurance subsidies — the main incentive for people to buy insurance — in 36 states.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the subsidies, which help low-income consumers cover their premiums, should be available in all 50 states. He dismissed a lawsuit, filed by a group of individuals and businesses, that sought to block subsidies in any state that didn’t operate its own insurance exchange,
“The plain text of the statute, the statutory structure, and the statutory purpose make clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally facilitated Exchanges,” Judge Paul Friedman wrote.
Challengers argued that Congress intended for tax subsidies to flow only through state-run exchanges, because it wanted to encourage states to set up their own marketplaces. The Justice Department argued that the overall goal of the Affordable Care Act was to expand coverage in all 50 states, and that federal exchanges were designed to stand in for state-run marketplaces.
Friedman agreed with the Justice Department, saying the challengers’ argument does not “make intuitive sense,” and that “there is no evidence in the legislative record that the House, the Senate, any relevant committee of either House, or any legislator ever entertained this idea.”
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In a release Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama has commuted and/or reduced the sentences of another 111 convicted criminals, mostly convicted of drug possession or trafficking. About 35 were serving life sentences.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday he'd now be willing to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress. While he said he wouldn't push for it, he said if "Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so," he would soften his previous opposition.
We can call this the anti-Sherman-esque statement: If reelected, Marco Rubio ... might serve his whole term. Or he might not. The senator, who initially said he wouldn't run for a second term this year, now tells CNN that if reelected, he wouldn't necessarily serve all six years. “No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future is gonna hold in your life, personally or politically,” he said, before adding that he's prepared to make his Senate seat the last political office he ever holds.
Since Rodrigo Duterte took over as president of the Philippines in June, he has made a serious of controversial statements and launched a war on drugs that has led to nearly 2000 deaths. He called the US ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, "a gay son of a bitch." Next week, President Obama will meet with President Duterte at the East Asia Summit in Laos, where he " will raise concerns about some of the recent statements from the president of the Philippines," according to White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes.
The Convention of States Project, which seeks to force a constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution, will hold a "dry run" in Colonial Williamsburg starting Sept. 21. "Several states have already followed the process in Article V to endorse the convention." Thirty-four are required to call an actual convention. "The dry run in Williamsburg is meant to show how one would work and focus on the changes and potential constitutional amendments that would be proposed."