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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"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."
President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.
In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."
President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.