Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

On a trip to Albert Lea this weekend, GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden called Obamacare “a train that continues to wreck“:

“The biggest lie of all from the president and Sen. Franken is that this would make health care more affordable,” McFadden said.

With this week’s announcement that provider PreferredOne will depart from MNsure, he said costs are only expected to rise even more. He said Preferred One provided 60 percent of the premiums for MNsure. “This is not the Affordable Care Act,” McFadden said. “This is the Unaffordable Care Act.”

The DFL will cite people who now have insurance thanks to Obamacare. The reality is that many of those people were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized coverage but didn’t sign up for it. In 2012, 93% of Minnesotans were insured. Of those that weren’t, over 50% of them were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. That means 96%-96.5% of Minnesotans were insured or eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance.

That’s back in the days before MNsure made it infinitely more difficult to apply for insurance. Let’s remember, too, that PreferredOne didn’t get entirely out of the individual market. They just got out of the individual market that runs through MNsure:

“Our MNsure individual product membership is only a small percentage of the entire PreferredOne enrollment but is taking a significant amount of our resources to support administratively,” a company statement says. “We feel continuing on MNsure was not sustainable and believe this is an important step to best serve all PreferredOne members.”

In other words, MNsure, aka Obamacare in Minnesota, was so totally messed up that PreferredOne said dealing with MNsure wasn’t “administratively and financially sustainable going forward.”

McFadden said he has heard from residents who have seen 50 percent proposed increases in their health insurance premiums for next year and other small business owners who have said they can’t afford the increases.

Unfortunately, these people aren’t alone. Altogether too many of them are getting hit with higher insurance premiums than they got hit with before Obamacare:

This morning, in an exclusive interview with, Plombon went into detail about what’s happening with insurance premiums. What Mr. Plombon said is that some people who get their insurance through the small group market are renewing their policies. Thus far, Advantage 1 has seen these clients’ premiums increase from as ‘little’ as 30% to as much as 106%.

This isn’t a hypothetical situation. It’s a report from a guy who deals with health insurance for a living.

Mike McFadden is right. Obamacare isn’t about affordable care. In Minnesota, it’s easily proven as a significant step backwards.

Thanks for voting for Obamacare, Al.

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If this article is accurate, then the DFL is flirting with another MNsure disaster. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Is your baby married? It’s a ridiculous question. But if you just had a baby and went to MNsure to update your family status, the health exchange website may ask you anyway.

Agents wouldn’t ask this question because they know better. Thanks to the MNsure world of assinine questions and unreliable manual workarounds, parents will get annoyed when they’re asked this question. If only that was MNsure’s only problem. But I digress. Back to MNsure’s failures:

One example: It used to take five minutes to add a baby to a plan under Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s version of Medicaid, but now that Medical Assistance runs through MNsure it takes about 45 minutes and “you have to say whether or not a baby is married,” said Dakota County director of employment and economic assistance Marti Fischbach, who helps clients sign up for plans.

This isn’t gossip. It’s a quote from someone who works with MNsure on a daily basis. Based on this quote, it sounds like the question gets asked of each parent changing their status. This is understatement:

MNsure Chief Operating Officer Katie Burns on Wednesday admitted there are still major problems with entering life event changes. Much of the work is not automated and data must be entered manually, she told the MNsure board. “It’s much more cumbersome right now than ideally it needs to be over the longer term,” she said.

That’s world class spin. In the real world, Ms. Burns would’ve said that the process sucks. Technorati: , , , , , , ,

This morning’s startling news that PreferredOne dropped out of MNsure is the latest in a lengthy litany of problems MNsure has dealt with since its rollout. First, there were the mismanagement issues that State Sen. Michelle Benson highlighted. Then there was Jim Nobles’ announcement that the Office of Legislative Auditor would audit MNsure. After that, WCCO’s Pat Kessler reported that MNsure executives lied to him.

Like I said, it’s a lengthy list of problems. Unfortunately for Minnesotans, that lengthy list isn’t even close to being a comprehensive list. I could double that list and still not have a comprehensive list of MNsure’s problems. It’s that big of a disaster.

This afternoon, the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce held a candidate forum. Zach Dorholt put his foot in his mouth when he said “This is a huge change. You can’t have change without anxiety.”

Rep. Dorholt, these aren’t growing pains. They’re ongoing problems that can’t be fixed in the next couple years. This isn’t a bump in the road. They’re a Humvee-sized pothole. In fact, they’re a Humvee-sized pothole that you voted to create.

Thanks to the misadministration of MNsure, PreferredOne is pulling out of MNsure. Since PreferredOne had the lowest premiums in MNsure, that likely means the price increase in health insurance premiums will likely go up much higher than before PreferredOne’s announcement.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL, Rep. Dorholt included, owns this disaster. Every vote for final passage of the bill creating MNsure came from Democrats. Republicans refused to vote for it because they knew it’d be an unmitigated disaster.

The website still isn’t working. Health insurance premiums are going up. Provider networks are getting smaller. Things that once took minutes now take months to do. That’s what an unmitigated disaster looks like.

Finally, now that one health insurance provider has dropped out of MNsure, it’s more likely that another provider will follow PreferredOne’s path. PreferredOne essentially said that they can’t make money through MNsure. Why wouldn’t others follow PreferredOne’s lead?

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Mark Dayton’s explanation for why PreferredOne is leaving MNsure is stunning:

Gov. Mark Dayton says a key provider’s decision to drop out of the state-run health exchange is competition in action.

Gov. Dayton either doesn’t understand free market capitalism or he’s doing his best to hide the fact that MNsure is a failure. The other possibility is that he’s hiding the fact that MNsure is a failure and he doesn’t understand free market capitalism.

PreferredOne’s decision was based on MNsure’s problems:

“PreferredOne Spokesman Steve Peterson tells Hauser this is “purely a business decision.” He says the company decided continuing to offer insurance through MNsure is “not administratively and financially sustainable going forward.”

“Our MNsure individual product membership is only a small percentage of the entire PreferredOne enrollment but is taking a significant amount of our resources to support administratively,” a company statement says.

Competition didn’t drive PreferredOne from the market. MNsure’s administrative requirements drove PreferredOne’s decision. PreferredOne’s decision was also driven by the fact that government regulations made it virtually impossible for them to make a profit. Why would a company volunteer to do tons of work and not get paid for that work?

Dayton says the company gained market share due to its low rates.

PreferredOne dropped out because it’s impossible to continue to offer those low rates. That means rates will increase this fall.

This article will certainly impact the governor’s race in addition to impacting health insurance prices and health care networks:

Golden Valley-based PreferredOne Health Insurance just notified MNsure and the Minnesota Department of Commerce of their decision through a letter. Sources tell KSTP’s Tom Hauser that MNsure CEO Scott Leitz was notified by phone Tuesday morning.

PreferredOne Spokesman Steve Peterson tells Hauser this is “purely a business decision.” He says the company decided continuing to offer insurance through MNsure is “not administratively and financially sustainable going forward.”

“Our MNsure individual product membership is only a small percentage of the entire PreferredOne enrollment but is taking a significant amount of our resources to support administratively,” a company statement says. “We feel continuing on MNsure was not sustainable and believe this is an important step to best serve all PreferredOne members.”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is damning information, too:

The company also says MNsure was unable to effectively verify information submitted by enrollees, but insurance companies are still required to accept and enroll them. As a result, the company ended up with enrollees who don’t even live in Minnesota in some cases.

That’s damning because it says MNsure still can’t provide health insurance companies verified information. That says MNsure is still winging it.

That’s a damning indictment against Gov. Dayton, the DFL and MNsure. This was supposed to be Gov. Dayton’s signature accomplishment. This morning’s news is turning MNsure into Gov. Dayton’s biggest failure. MNsure’s latest calamity is an indictment against the DFL legislature, too. They bought into Obamacare lock, stock and barrel because their ideology told them this was a great idea.

PreferredOne disagrees with Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL legislature’s decision. Apparently, MNsure is, in PreferredOne’s opinion, a disaster waiting to happen.

As of Aug. 6, Preferred One had 59 percent of the individual market MNsure enrollees. Blue Cross Blue Shield was a distant second at 23 percent, with HealthPartners, Medica and UCare much further back. Preferred One got such a large share because they had the lowest rates of the five insurance companies in the program.

I can’t wait to hear the DFL spinmeisters attempt to spin this as anything other than a disaster. People chose PreferredOne because their rates were the lowest in MNsure.

It’s possible this could signal big rate increases to be unveiled in early October, and that could have a significant impact on the elections.

PreferredOne didn’t get 59% of the MNsure health insurance market by having health insurance policies that were a little cheaper than its competitors. It got 60% of the market by being significantly cheaper than its competitors.

This won’t trigger other health insurance companies to lower their rates, which means the average price for a health insurance policy will go up more than originally expected. If that happens, this news has the potential to dramatically change the dynamics of the gubernatorial election and the legislative races. Jeff Johnson’s statement cuts to the heart of the matter:

“This is yet another example of everyday, middle-class Minnesotans paying the price for Mark Dayton’s incompetence. Six out of 10 people who’ve purchased insurance through MNsure will now have to go through the nightmare process of purchasing another plan all over again-thanks to Mark Dayton.

We now know that Mark Dayton’s claim about MNsure having some of the lowest rates in the country was artificial and based on a house of cards.

Nobody but Mark Dayton is to blame for this whole debacle. As he always does when his actions hurt Minnesotans, Dayton will try to blame everyone but himself. But he created MNsure and hand-picked its board and staff. This is all on him.”

Actually, I have to correct Jeff on one detail. The MNsure calamity isn’t just Gov. Dayton’s fault. It’s the DFL legislature’s fault, too. Otherwise, everything Jeff Johnson said is right. Potentially, this is Gov. Dayton’s worst nightmare. If health insurance prices spike by 10-15%, which is what’s rumored, Gov. Dayton’s biggest accomplishment will turn into a weighty millstone around his neck.

This has the potential to totally shake up legislative races, too. Almost every DFL legislator voted to create MNsure. If health insurance premiums jump, the DFL will have to take all the blame because Republicans refused to vote for this disaster.

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I’ve been privileged to call Lee Lindquist my friend for almost 20 years. I’ve been fortunate to call Lee my primary care physician for 15 of those years. The selfish side of me regrets that today is Lee’s last day. After 41 years of work for CentraCare, Lee is retiring to spend time with his delightful wife Julie. This video, shot by WJON, offers a great insight into Lee’s medical practice:

I have to inject a personal story into this tribute to Lee because it showed how he put being a friend first. On Aug. 6, 1998, I had what I thought was a heart attack while at work. After being taken to the ER, they ran some tests. The ER doctors told me that a) I’d be admitted to the hospital and b) further tests would be run to determine what had happened.

The next day, I was told by a cardiologist that they wanted to do a angiogram, which I immediately consented to. Before I left the hospital room for the procedure, I asked what would happen if they found something alarming. They said that they’d probably do an angioplasty.

The first thing I asked was if we could do this all in one procedure. The nurse told me that’s what they’d prefer. My brother called Lee the night before the procedure. It’s my understanding that Lee told my brother that he should call Lee when he knew more. The next morning, my brother updated Lee, at which point Lee came over to observe the angiogram. When the cardiologist finished the angiogram, Lee updated my brother, telling him that they’d found a major blockage in the main artery and that they would implant 2 stents.

Lee’s first instinct that morning was to be my brother’s friend first, then to be the excellent doctor he’s always been to his other patients. When Lee observed those procedures, I was his friend, not his patient. That wouldn’t happen until a few years later.

In my opinion, Lee’s medical credentials are topnotch. Whenever I’ve had an ailment or condition, Lee’s diagnosis and treatment were spot on. I can honestly say that he never got a diagnosis wrong with me.

Lee Lindquist’s star shined brightly those 41 years. Now it’s time for Lee to move into a different phase of his life. While he isn’t my physician anymore, he’ll forever be my friend.

Lee, I wish you and Julie nothing but the best. Take care and God bless your life together.

Over the weekend, Gov. Dayton’s apologists twisted themselves into virtual pretzels in their attempt to justify Gov. Dayton’s not doing any high profile debates. Chief amongst those apologists was Ember Reichgott-Junge, who virtually twisted herself into a pretzel while attempting to justify Gov. Dayton’s unwillingness to agree to any high profile debates.

The following are the five debates Johnson and Dayton have agreed to participate in:

Coalition of Greater MN Cities/Rochester Post-Bulletin/Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Wednesday, October 1, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Rochester
Forum News Service/WDAY TV Wednesday, October 8, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Moorhead
Duluth News Tribune/Duluth Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, October 14, Duluth, 8:00 a.m., Duluth
KMSP/FOX 9, Hamline University Sunday, October 19, 9:00-10:00 a.m., St. Paul
TPT/Almanac Friday, October 31, 7:00-8:00 p.m., St. Paul

There isn’t a high profile debate in the bunch. Normally, the Duluth debate would grab the biggest audience. It won’t this time because it’s scheduled for 8am on a Tuesday morning.

KSTP, KMSP, KARE11 and WCCO should announce that they’re taping these debates, then replaying them that evening. We The People should demand that candidates that want our vote participate in high profile debates that are a) broadcast statewide and b) held in the evening to attract the biggest audiences possible.

Further, we should demand that journalists who aren’t afraid to ask the candidates tough questions be the panelists. That eliminates DFL apologists like Esme Murphy, Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola. (I’m sure Mitch can think of others that fit that description.) I’d also recommend that thoughtful bloggers like Ed Morrissey, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker be panelists. Throw in traditional journalists like Bill Hanna, Don Davis and Tom Hauser and we’d have some fine debates.

Minnesotans have always prided themselves on the level of civic participation by its citizens. When career politicians refuse to answer tough questions from serious journalists, We The People don’t just have the right to question what that politician is afraid of. We The People have the obligation to question what that politician is afraid of.

I strongly suspect that Gov. Dayton will have a difficult time answering questions about his economic policies, the MNsure disaster and how incompetent his Department of Human Services have been in administering the MinnesotaCare program and manually changing health insurance policies to “life events” like having children, changes of addresses or marital status and others.

Gov. Dayton’s handlers/apologists want to limit Gov. Dayton’s exposure. They want to limit the damage that would come from high profile scrutiny versus an intelligent adversary. It’s easy to picture Jeff Johnson questioning Gov. Dayton’s statements on the health of Minnesota’s economy or what a great thing MNsure is. It’s easy picturing Jeff Johnson’s sharp pictures of how Minnesota’s economy isn’t nearly as good as Gov. Dayton and his apologists claim.

It’s natural for Gov. Dayton’s apologists to do everything to hide his weaknesses. That’s their job. It’s the people’s job, though, to demand a series of high profile debates.

Finally, it’s time to tell Gov. Dayton’s apologists that watching Gov. Dayton give a scripted speech to a group limited to top partisans isn’t the same as seeing 2 candidates go toe-to-toe, challenging each other. A scripted speech requires a speechwriter and a teleprompter. To win a lively debate between adversaries requires a candidate with a strong grasp of the issues and the ability to think on their feet.

Gov. Dayton is missing both of those attributes.

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Each afternoon, I receive a google alert to news involving Gov. Dayton. This afternoon’s alert is filled with articles talking about Gov. Dayton apologizing for MNsure’s failed rollout. The Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star and the Hilton Head Island Packet all ran with the AP article.

Here’s what he told county workers gathered in Alexandria:

“I want to thank you for the tremendous assistance you and your county staffs provided to MNsure, and I want to apologize for the excessive burdens it’s placed on you, your budgets and your people,” Dayton said. Calling MNsure’s rocky start his biggest disappointment so far, Dayton said, “It’s got better, and it will continue to get better, but it still has a ways to go.”

Without question, it’s polite to apologize for that crisis. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help families get health insurance in a timely fashion.

They don’t need apologies. They need the old system back. When I say that, I’m not talking about health insurance companies denying people with pre-existing conditions coverage. I’m talking about the programs Minnesota had in place that worked beautifully.

There’s no polite way of putting it. The Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA or Obamacare, was a major step backwards for Minnesotans. Possibly, it represents multiple steps backward from the pre-ACA standards. What’s taking months in the Dayton/DFL/MNsure regime, it took minutes in the Pawlenty/pre-MNsure regime.

This highlights something important worthy of the voters’ consideration. The number of things that are outright disasters during the Dayton administration dwarfs the number of things that were mismanaged during Gov. Pawlenty’s 2 terms in office.

Whatever you thought of Gov. Pawlenty’s policies, there’s no debating whether the policies that were implemented were executed properly.

Comparatively speaking, on any given day, Gov. Dayton might be seriously uninformed on major issues. For instance, when he signed the budget that ended the government shutdown in 2011, Gov. Dayton said that he didn’t know that Republicans had removed 2 provisions that he objected to. That means he could’ve signed the omnibus budget bills during the regular session and avoided the government shutdown.

Gov. Dayton claimed he didn’t know that the Vikings stadium bill that he personally negotiated contained a provision that allowed the Vikings to make money by selling PSLs, aka Personal Seat Licenses, to season ticket holders. Every stadium that’s been built over the last 15 years has that provision in it.

When Gov. Dayton visited FarmFest, he told farmers that he didn’t know that the Tax Bill that he personally negotiated included a new farm equipment repair sales tax.

Gov. Dayton said that he didn’t know MNsure had so many problems that were hurting Minnesotans. At what point do we say that Minnesota needs a governor who actually knows what’s going on in his own administration? Gov. Dayton’s ineptitude is frightening and it’s unacceptable.

Mothers attempting to get insurance for their newborn children deserve better than what Gov. Dayton’s been delivering.

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Appearing at a convention in Alexandria, Gov. Dayton admitted what Minnesotans knew a year ago. Gov. Dayton admitted that MNsure’s rollout was a disaster. Unfortunately, he didn’t admit that it’s still a mess:

Gov. Mark Dayton called the troubled rollout of the MNsure insurance exchange the low point of his first term in a campaign appearance Wednesday, but embraced the program’s successes in extending insurance coverage to those who historically struggled to get it.

“I want to apologize for the excessive burdens it’s placed on you, your budgets and your people,” Dayton told a gathering of county officials. “The problems that have afflicted the inception of MNsure are my biggest disappointment in my term as governor. It’s got better, and it will continue to get better, but it still has a ways to go.”

Gov. Dayton still hasn’t admitted that MNsure is still a disaster, instead couching that fact in weasel words like “it will continue to get better” and “it still has a ways to go.”

Let’s be clear. MNsure doesn’t “still have a ways to go.” It’s an unmitigated disaster that’s essentially unworkable. To use an old poker phrase, the only right way to throw this hand is away. Gov. Dayton and the DFL legislature spent more than $160,000,000 on MNsure’s website. It didn’t work. What’s worse is that they put manual workarounds in place. This week, we discovered that they aren’t working either:

When a new baby arrives, parents want the infant quickly added to their health insurance. But for 78 new moms in Dakota County this year, the process bogged down for months because of a change to Minnesota’s new MNsure health insurance exchange.

For five months, county workers said they couldn’t use the new system to add babies to their mom’s coverage in Medical Assistance, the state’s primary safety net health insurance program.

It gets more insulting:

Then, when state officials unveiled in June a work-around process for adding babies, county workers found the process usually took an hour or more per baby. Before MNsure, the job usually took about five minutes.

That isn’t the worst of it. This is:

The trouble with babies points to a broader problem with the MNsure system. It remains a slow and difficult process for state, county and health exchange workers to record “life events” for people who have obtained coverage through the new online marketplace for insurance.

Moms need coverage for new babies. Husbands and wives sometimes need to add a spouse to their policy. People move, so they need to provide notice of a new address. Income can change in ways that impact eligibility for government programs.

The MNsure system needs to be able to record all of these life events and others. But the labor-intensive process for doing so has led to a backlog.

The MNsure rollout was a disaster. The continuing difficulties people are experiencing indicate that MNsure is still a bureaucratic mess that’s still tormenting families and county workers.

Nothing says things are getting noticeably better about MNsure. Nothing. It’s time for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to admit that it’s a disaster. It’s time to scrap MNsure and start over on something that works.

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Jeffrey Toobin’s article isn’t factually accurate:

As Congress originally conceived it, the A.C.A. called for each state to set up its own exchange with a Web site, which most of the blue states and a few of the red ones did. But two dozen of them did not, so the Obama Administration established a federal counterpart, centered on the Web site

First, three dozen states didn’t create state-run exchanges, not two. Next, was created in the same legislation that authorized states to build their exchanges. The Obama administration didn’t create after they saw states refuse to create state-run exchanges.

Then there’s this:

According to the D.C. Circuit majority, one line in the text of the A.C.A. makes the federal exchange invalid. The law says that subsidies are to be available through exchanges that are “established by a State,” without an explicit authorization of federal exchanges. Thus, according to the judges in the majority, five million or so people who have used the federal exchange to buy health insurance must now lose it.

That’s another inaccurate statement. It isn’t just that judges said people who bought insurance through weren’t eligible for subsidies. The US House, the US Senate and President Obama said it, too.

If the US House, the US Senate and President Obama wanted everyone to get these subsidies, they could’ve written it into the ACA’s language. What’s really at play here is that the US House, the US Senate and President Obama wanted everyone to be eligible for those subsidies but they also understood that they’d need a hammer to hold over red states to force them into creating state-run exchanges.

The US House, the US Senate and President Obama calculated that they could force red states into creating state-run exchanges by making it politically unpopular to not create state-run exchanges.

The problem with the Democrats’ bluff is that red states called the Democrats’ bluff. They essentially said that they weren’t worried about not creating a state-run exchange in their states.

Next, Toobin constructs a strawman argument:

Katzmann writes that “excluding legislative history is just as likely to expand a judge’s discretion as reduce it…. When a statute is ambiguous, barring legislative history leaves a judge only with words that could be interpreted in a variety of ways without contextual guidance as to what legislators may have thought. Lacking such guidance increases the probability that a judge will construe a law in a manner that the legislators did not intend.”

There’s nothing abiguous about the legislative language in this provision. It’s exceptionally clear. When a statute says that subsidies are only through exchanges “established by a state”, that means that subsidies aren’t available to people who bought their insurance through

The more important point is that this should be a shot across the legislators’ bow to write clearly written statutes. If legislation can be “interpreted in a variety of ways”, then legislators aren’t doing their job. If the legislators who wrote the law can’t write it clearly, then that’s their problem. Period. The citizens who didn’t qualify for subsidies should take it out on the people who wrote the bill and the people who voted for the legislation.

Further, people who don’t qualify for these subsidies should take it out on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They’re the people who brought the bill up for a vote before anyone could read the bill. They’re the people who wrote the final bill in the privacy of their offices rather than marking it up in committees.

Here’s a whopper:

When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, every member of Congress–supporters of the A.C.A. as well as opponents–understood that the federal government would have the right to establish exchanges in states that chose not to create them. As Judge Harry Edwards observed in his dissenting opinion in the A.C.A. case, “The Act empowers HHS to establish exchanges on behalf of the States, because parallel provisions indicate that Congress thought that federal subsidies would be provided on HHS-created exchanges, and, more importantly, because Congress established a careful legislative scheme by which individual subsidies were essential to the basic viability of individual insurance markets.”

Judge Edwards is wrong. The clear language of the bill doesn’t imply that “federal subsidies would be provided on HHS-created exchanges.” It directly says the opposite.

What can be stated is that Congress wanted everyone who made less than 400% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for subsidies and that all 50 states establish state-run health insurance exchanges. Further, we can state that Congress wrote the bill the way they did to force states into creating their own health insurance exchanges.

Congress can’t have it both ways. Either they write the law to make everyone below a certain income level eligible without conditions or they write it so that only people that met specific criteria were eligible.

As the Halbig case demonstrates, textualism is as politically fraught as any other approach to judging. The Halbig case is not an attempt to police unclear drafting but rather the latest effort to destroy a law that is despised by many conservatives.

Without question, Halbig is an attempt to destroy Obamacare. The thing is whether the Supreme Court will have the courage to say that specific language means specific things or whether they’ll say that the executive branch can change a law after it’s been written by Congress, voted on by Congress and signed by the president.

What Toobin is essentially asking for is a mulligan. He’s asking for that because 36 states didn’t do what Congress had hoped they’d do. Mulligans are for golfers, not major legislation that was passed without scrutiny in the dead of night the night before Christmas Eve.

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