Many of you probably heard about the “Halbig” decision, in which a federal court struck a blow against Obamacare by ruling that the IRS was wrong to arbitrarily grant subsidies for health insurance policies purchased through a federal exchange.
And why did the judges rule against the IRS? Well, for the simple reason that the Obamacare legislation specifically says that subsidies are only available for policies purchased through exchanges set up by state governments. My Cato colleague Michael Cannon explains:
The PPACA authorizes the IRS to issue health-insurance tax credits only to taxpayers who purchase coverage “through an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The tax-credit eligibility rules repeat this restriction, without deviation, nine times. The undisputed plain meaning of these rules is that when states decline to establish an Exchange and thereby opt for a federal Exchange — as 34 states accounting for two-thirds of the U.S. population have done — the IRS cannot issue tax credits in those states.
The legal fight isn’t over, of course, and it’s quite likely that the Supreme Court will make the ultimate ruling (which is worrisome since Chief Justice Roberts already has demonstrated that he’s sometimes guided by politics rather than the law).
But that’s an issue for another day.
Our topic today is humor. Or maybe it’s hypocrisy. Or perhaps it’s duplicity. Heck, it’s all of those things and more. Why? Because a leading supporter of Obamacare (who often conveniently forgets to disclose that he got $400,000 of our tax dollars to help draft and promote the law) has been caught with his pants down.
As you can see in this video, Professor Gruber is now pretending the Halbig decision was wrong even though he repeatedly acknowledged in the past that states would have to set up exchanges in order for their citizens to get subsidies.
I’ve never seen a more brutal video. And it’s effective because Gruber is hoisted on his own petard.
Heck, this puts him in the same category as Paul Krugman, who also has been caught changing his views (he used to admit that unemployment benefits increase joblessness, but more recently made the opposite argument to boost Obama’s agenda).
Though I should admit that hypocrisy and duplicity aren’t limited to the left. I’ve criticized Republicans, after all, for occasionally justifying their anti-tax views by citing the Keynesian analysis of the Congressional Budget Office.
But let’s not digress. Instead, let’s simply enjoy the emasculation of a statist.
And because the video is so enjoyable, I guess I’ll put it in the humor category.
And if you like humorous Obamacare-related videos, here are some other examples from the archives.
*Creepy Uncle Sam wants to conduct an OB/GYN exam.
*The head of the National Socialist Workers Party finds out he can’t keep his health plan.
*Young people discover that they’re screwed by Obamacare.
*The wrong circus comes to town.
*Remy of Reason TV sings about the joy of part-time work.
*A cartoon video imagines a world where buying coffee is like buying government-run healthcare.
*One of the biggest statists of the 20th century is angry that the Obamacare exchanges don’t work.
Let’s close with a pair of cartoons, both of which are related to the Halbig decision, at least in that we have an Administration that doesn’t seem to care about the rule of law.
We’ll start with Michael Ramirez.
Here’s Chip Bok’s contribution.
P.S. On a different topic, the battle over the Export-Import Bank is getting more heated. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that President Obama supports this corrupt example of corporate welfare (even though he said he was opposed back in 2008).
This is a rare issue where some honest leftists are on the correct side. That’s because, as illustrated by this Venn diagram (h/t: Charles Murray), some of them are willing to side with libertarians in the fight to makes sure big government and big business don’t get to conspire against taxpayers.
Sadly, too many DC leftists are hypocrites, happy to line the pockets of big companies if such policies also expand the power of government.