In his Jan. 30 op-ed column, “Obamacare’s lethal flaw,” George F. Will praised an Affordable Care Act “suit you probably have not heard about” that would bar tax credits to needy individuals seeking to purchase insurance on state exchanges run by the federal government, and thereby “blow [the ACA] to smithereens.” But Mr. Will omitted an important development in this story.
On Jan. 15, a federal court in the District sweepingly dismissed one such lawsuit. Judge Paul Friedman found “that there is simply no evidence in the statute itself or in the legislative history of any intent by Congress” to support the opponents’ cramped interpretation that Mr. Will endorsed. On the contrary, the court ruled, “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.”
To be sure, other judges will be heard from on appeal and in the remaining three cases. However, in Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s suit, on which Mr. Will lavished attention, the presiding judge skeptically labeled “polemical” the law review article cited by Mr. Will that originated the line of attack on which all of these cases rely.
Simon Lazarus, Washington
The writer is senior counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center.