A Lesson About Reading Legislation

You Expect Us To Read The Laws Before Voting On Them?

Well it would seem at this point that the Democratic legislators in the halls of our Congress would now know the perils of NOT READING massive legislation and NOT KNOWING what is in that myriad of "statutory language" as it applies to the Affordable Care Act, also affectionately known as Obamacare.

I can now tell you without a doubt that the Democratic Party owns Obamacare lock, stock and barrel and will once again in 2014 pay the price for deceiving the American public as they did in 2010. The deception just keeps just running deeper and deeper as we "find out what is in it."

First there was airhead Pelosi's making such a stupid comment about not reading the bill before passing it and that was followed up by Senator Max Baccus making an equal fool of himself concerning who does what, when and where in the legislative process.

So now lets talk FACTS for a few. The statutory language in Obamacare clearly states that any tax subsidies to be administered by the IRS in assisting Americans needing help to pay for health insurance will only apply to subsidies for people who buy their coverage from exchanges "established" by the States. The states in question refer to insurance exchanges established in ACA section 1311. Go read it if you haven't read that plain statutory language.. It says nothing about granting them to exchanges run by HHS. Those are discussed in ACA section 1321. The statutory language is perfectly clear and unambiguous.

Now the Obamacare cheerleaders are contending that it was just a "drafting error" to have used that clear as a bell language after the District Court of Washington DC pointed out that the IRS does not have the statutory authority to grant across the board subsidies to all. So lets listen to what one of the chief drafters of Obamacare said at the time about reading laws before they are passed. What is it that we pay these part time legislators to do if not their jobs? Keep in mind that Max Baccus threw in the towel and is gone now. He reads the handwriting on the wall just not the legislation.

So Along Comes Max Baccus...

They then start wanting us to read the minds of the mindless to determine what their "intent" was in using that very plain language. In this case it was the general will of the Democrats in Congress minus every Republican sitting there. Again the Democrats own Obamacare so remember that in November 2014. They "meant" for the subsidies to apply to everyone. If that is the case why does the law discuss who gets what and from where in two different sections of the ACA? That argument is using typical liberal language of don't look over there because what we meant is over here.

To further the fallacy of their argument is the fact that during the crafting of the bill in secret Republicans repeatedly brought up the very fact that none of them could read the bill. Why? Easy answer really because the legislative text hadn't been written. The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Max Baccus, voted on what's called "conceptual language." There was also a certain degree of anticipation in the process that some states would NOT set up their own exchanges. That's pretty clear too.

So "conceptual language" met the reality of the statutory language and now they don't like it one bit.. May I suggest that the next time they read the actual language "before" voting and not afterward.

Speaking of "experts" former Chairman Baccus, it happens that one of those supposed experts who helped write the statutory language was a Mr. Jonathan Gruber. Gruber is a known MIT health expert who also assisted in writing the Massachusetts' law which is proving to also be very problematic. Gruber, way back in 2012, stated the following," it was actually important that subsidies didn't apply to federally run exchanges."

Well I'll be. The reasoning of Gruber was? That language would be the incentive for states to set up their own exchanges. That is coming from an individual who helped write that very clear statutory language. The New York Times at that time reported that Gruber went to Capitol Hill to assist Congressional staffers in writing the specifics into the bill.

The bottom line is that the crafters (law makers) passed "conceptual language" then hired "experts" without mentioning who they supposedly wanted subsidies to apply to. That's a fact not conjecture. Right from the horse's mouth facts. The "experts" they hired did intend that those subsidies would not to apply to federal exchanges, just state exchanges. They then wrote that very plain language into two different sections of Obamacare as previously mentioned. It says that subsidies will not apply to federal exchanges, only state exchanges. The leadership of the Democratic Party subsequently refused to post the legislation in statutory language so that it could be read before it was passed.

So what was the result? The Democratically controlled Congress, which now owns the fiasco called Obamacare, voted on a piece of trash legislation that was written by people whose intent was that tax subsidies will apply to state-established exchanges and state exchanges only. Obama has taken it upon himself to change the statutory language which isn't within the powers given to him by the US Constitution.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: From Winston Churchill comes this, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

Footnote: Since publishing this here is an update about Gruber. Seems he wants to dig a deeper hole. http://bighealthreport.com/13150/obamacare-architect-caught-in-huge-lie-over-exchange-subsidies/

As Always,

The Frog Prince

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Comments 22 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

And this surprises you Jim? We know now that what they actually voted on was just a book full of blank papers. Obamacare is a work in progress with things being added and deleted almost daily. I wonder if anyone really has a copy of what was supposed to be the original bill that was voted on?

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

That's another good question Mike but Mr. Gruber filled in a few blanks for us that the SCOTUS needs to consider about the writing off the bill and the "why."

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Seems to me even the supreme court didn't read the whole ACA bill in the first challenge or they'd have noticed that subsidies paid by the federal government were illegal. Even if that wasn't the subject of the first suit wouldn't it have been their job to comment on that aspect knowing that the bill can not work with only 16 states able to subsidize premiums and knowing the federal government would have to pay the subsidies for the rest of the states even though the bill does not give them authority to do so. Given their decision on the first challenge and the OBVIOUS unconstitutionalism of the bill it looks to me like the supreme court was just dying to look the other way rather than do their job and declare the bill unconstitutional?

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Stay tuned tsad. The bill is dying on the vine.

profile image

retief2000 2 years ago

"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly."

Abraham Lincoln

Is this why Obama is enacting this law piecemeal? If it was such a great idea, why the delay in its implementation? He/they are certain of its destructive capacity and its revolutionary results. It will FORCE all Americans into dependence, and therefore servitude, to the Federal Government thus ending Liberty, Property and the Rights of States and Individuals.

Once the Federal-no-longer Government can control access to medical care, it can control people. It isn't about health, medicine, insurance, money, or anything else but control. This is not what America is supposed to be.

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

So what if it was just a "drafting error?" It is there in the law and, I believe, binding even so. Don't we pay these legislators enough that they can't be held responsible for getting it right? Possibly we could vote in some folks who are literate and have proof reading skills.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

dahoglund - Evidently we're paying them too much if they can't do their job.

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

their job? the way they see it their only job is to get re-elected and towing the party line gives them some of the money and support to do so even if it is wrong...and the party knows it.

NanaChyna profile image

NanaChyna 2 years ago


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Since I penned this another tidbit about Gruber has surfaced. He started digging his hole like the rest of them seem to.


Ms. Annette profile image

Ms. Annette 2 years ago

LOL - I am totally convinced that "liberalism" is a mental illness. Good article - definitely shows they were all flying by the seat of their pants, and still are, and it sliding downhill faster than a snow ball melts in hell.

Stu 2 years ago

I guess the OblabberCare supporters are at it again. I just can't see why the courts can't vacate the whole stupid thing. There are so many illegalities here it's hard to count them:

(1) The federal government has no enumerated power to make healthcare law. Hence the PPACA is a Tenth Amendment violation.

(2) The Senate violated its own rules by reducing cloture from 60% to 50% when it was unable to break the GOP filibuster against the PPACA. Hence the PPACA never legally passed in the Senate.

(3) The PPACA went into effect without House funding for HHS oversight or partial funding for the State exchanges (the State exchanges didn't even have appropriations). Still, the federal government went ahead with the unauthorized spending.

(4) The system of subsidies and loads varying by income violates the General Welfare Clause (GWC ). The GWC forbids federal laws which benefit one large group (in this case lower income earners) to the detriment of another large group (in this case higher income earners and businesses).

(5) While the PPACA uses the 1040 to manage subsidies and loads, these amounts are not in substance income taxes or income tax credits. They are really excise taxes and excise tax rebates on the purchase of a service (health insurance), and the Constitution requires all federal excise taxes to be a uniform dollar amount or percent of value. Since these loads and rebates vary by income, the Constitution's federal excise tax uniformity rule is being broken.

(6) While it's true the government has a Constitutional right to impose excise taxes on purchases, the optout penalty is a tax for not purchasing something. The federal government is granted no such power in the Constitution. Hence, the optout penalty not only violates the Tenth Amendment, but it also violates the Fourth Amendment as well (the optout penalty is a substantive warrantless seizure).

Can anyone help me here? What am I missing? Why are the courts so divided on the legality of ObamaCare? I'm not even a lawyer, but I know my points above are accurate. I appreciate that some judges do not have a law degree, but I suspect that most do. And it seems that anyone with a law degree would be able to figure out all the points I mentioned.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

Obama has changed the Obamacare so many times that if it ever made sense in the first place (which it didn't) it sure as hell doesn't make sense now. I do not understand why the courts don't see this bill for the loser that it is. Why the difference of opinion? This rogue administration believes they have the right to change any law, ignore others and make new ones without consulting a soul. They have broken the law so many times, I have lost count. Great hub, Frog Prince. Voted up, useful, interesting, not funny and awesome!

FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 2 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

This is another great expose (ex-po-zay) article Frog. This discussion of the way things work in Washington implies our politicians neither have first–hand knowledge of the laws they pass, nor do they care. They leave it to the experts, who have absolutely no reason to be responsive to the will of the people. The experts can and will write laws that they believe are ‘best for America’, which leaves them in the position of writing whatever they want, and telling the lawmakers what want to hear about it. We’ll blame the lawmakers, and vote them out. Meanwhile the federal employees are immune from consequences. No one fires a federal employee.

For Old Poolman: I have a copy of H.R.3962 of October 29, 2009, a.k.a. “Affordable Health Care for America Act”. I call it AHA! for short, since is something of an epiphany to many Americans about how things really work in Washington. You may also want to talk to Ghost, he wrote several really good articles on what was in it, and the concerns he had with it. Most are surfacing publicly now. That make ghost something of a fortuneteller.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

FitnezzJim - It would be very interesting to compare your copy to the copies that have been presented to the courts on a line by line basis. That of course would take years of work and since it changes almost daily, one could really only do one page at a time to be current.

As far as talking to ghost, AKA Fred, he seems to have dropped off the map. I had his phone number at one time but it somehow got deleted from my phone.

NanaChyna profile image

NanaChyna 2 years ago

Thank you Frog Prince for the link. Maybe next time the Congress will not accept another bill written by a progressive think tank.

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Ah...now Nancy thinks Hamas is a humanitarian organization....and it came to her by a good source so we should all believe it! Do we laugh or cry?

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX Author

Trying ignoring that fossilized idiot Jackie girl.

Stu 2 years ago

I thought I'd add a comment to my earlier six point rebuttal against the supposed legality of the PPACA:

(7) This may be almost the most important point of all. Under the Constitution, all laws that raise revenue must originate in the House. Harry Reid took a House bill related to VA housing benefits, kept the same House bill number, erased all the text, and replaced it with a first draft of ObamaCare. While this "markup" process is normal procedure, the markup should at least relate to the same topic as the original bill from the other chamber. Reid nonetheless used this ruse to claim that ObamaCare originated in the House, whereas in substantive reality it originated in the Senate at Obama's request. Since ObamaCare contains optout taxes and tax loads for business and the middle class, ObamaCare clearly raises revenues, and did not originate in the House. Hence ObamaCare clearly violates the US Constitution.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Does anyone really know what Obamacare provides? Since its beginning, it has never really stated its purpose and who it is going to provide adequate coverage. It should just be trashed.

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 2 years ago from Rural Arizona

teaches12345 - The Obamacare bill was apparently mostly blank pages at the time it was brought up for vote. It changes on almost a daily basis so any purpose statement made at the time of the vote would now be obsolete.

Anyone who has been following the VA scandal can now see what Government run healthcare is really like.

FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 2 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

If you look at what is happening, rather than listen to all the hype, you might come to the conclusion that Obamacare is providing yet another venue for making money dissapear from taxpayer pockets. One consequence is, that eventually, the word 'bailout' will become politically incorrect.

Or, you can listen to all the really well-paid folks at IRS who will eventually be providing statistical proof that Obamacare is helping you.

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