Trump scraps key Obamacare subsidies, urges Democrats to fix ‘broken mess’

By: Yasmeen Abutaleb, Jeff Mason   10/13/17
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday urged Democrats to make a healthcare deal after cutting off Obamacare subsidies to health insurance companies for low-income patients in a forceful move that sparked threats of legal action and concern of chaos in insurance markets.
Source – Reuters
“The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which would create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care.”

Thomas Wictor on How Trump Can Save Health Care

In 2012, he was the deciding vote on the constitutionality of ObamaCare. Roberts called the ObamaCare penalty a tax. Congress is the only body that can levy a tax. This is what Roberts said about his ruling: “‘Every reasonable construction’ must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality” [citing an 1895 precedent].”
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

Under the U.S. Supreme Court: What Roberts actually said about healthcare ‘tax’

By Michael Kirkland, UPI Senior Legal Correspondent   July 8, 2012

For most of his 59-page opinion, Roberts said the penalty for violating the mandate, not buying some kind of insurance if you can afford it, can be treated like a tax, without actually saying it is a tax. He said it looks like a tax, walks like a tax and quacks like a tax. But it is only in the latter part of the opinion, after that considerable setup, that he calls the penalty “a tax” — though he seems to prefer the term “shared responsibility payment.”

A typical penalty for someone who can afford health insurance but refuses to buy it could be 2.5 percent of income, collected by the Internal Revenue Service. The administration says the penalty might affect about 1 percent of the adult public.


Thomas Wictor (cont.) Precedent REQUIRES that the Supreme Court twist itself into “every reasonable” contortion in order to save a statute. Presidential executive orders are equivalent to laws, another word for “statute.”
The following are presidential executive orders:
The Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery.
The Manhattan Project that created the atomic bomb.
The internment of Japanese-Americans.
The suspension of habeus corpus. (Meaning, doing away with a reason to hold someone in prison.)
The creation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The New Deal.
Nationalizing the steel industry.
The confiscation of gold coin, bullion, and certificates nationwide.
Restricting access to presidential papers.
Creating the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Banning assassination.
Desegregating the armed forces.
Desegregating public schools.
Creation of the Peace Corps.
Creating equal opportunity in hiring for government jobs.
Requiring that the government do a cost-benefit analysis of each regulation.
Creating the Department of Homeland Security.
Creating the current American flag.
Defining lawful versus unlawful interrogation techniques.
Look the widespread impact of these executive orders. Repealing ObamaCare by EO will be a walk in the park.
ADDENDUM: The Supreme Court struck down Harry Truman’s Executive Order 10340, which put all U.S. steel mills under Federal control. The court ruled that Truman had overstepped by attempting to MAKE law rather than clarify existing legislation. Therefore we see that half the battle is already won.
ObamaCare is existing legislation.
Since the CBO claims that 15m people will leave the individual market if not for the mandate, Trump could declare it void because its “coercive.” No. The government argued that the mandate was a tax. Roberts disagreed. Therefore he said that the PENALTY was a tax. Roberts said he was obliged to do whatever possible to save the statute. He thus saved the government from itself. A mandate consists of two parts: a requirement and a penalty for not meeting the requirement. No matter how many times you take this back to the Supreme Court, they have the ability to rule on the penalty, not the requirement.
You can’t FORCE the court to rule only on the mandate.
Why not?
Because it can’t be a mandate without a penalty. The court can always save ObamaCare by calling the penalty a tax. All the plans to ask the court to rule on legality of taxes, subsidies, etc. are LOSERS.
Roberts has already told you that TWICE.
As long as Trump doesn’t MAKE law in his executive order(s), he can tinker with ObamaCare until it no longer exists.
ADDENDUM TWO: I just realized how Trump will use his executive orders.
ObamaCare hasn’t delivered on a single one of its promises.  Therefore, Trump will use the power of the Executive Branch to “clarify” the law until it’s no longer ObamaCare.  He began the process on his first day in office.

Executive Order Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal

               US President Donald Trump signs Executive Order


– – – – – – –


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148), as amended (the “Act”).  In the meantime, pending such repeal, it is imperative for the executive branch to ensure that the law is being efficiently implemented, take all actions consistent with law to minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

Sec. 2.  To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies (agencies) with authorities and responsibilities under the Act shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

Sec. 3.  To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary and the heads of all other executive departments and agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the Act, shall exercise all authority and discretion available to them to provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.

Sec. 4.  To the maximum extent permitted by law, the head of each department or agency with responsibilities relating to healthcare or health insurance shall encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.

Sec. 5.  To the extent that carrying out the directives in this order would require revision of regulations issued through notice-and-comment rulemaking, the heads of agencies shall comply with the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable statutes in considering or promulgating such regulatory revisions.

Sec. 6.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.



January 20, 2017

Source – The White House


Thomas Wictor (cont.)   Trump will therefore tackle EACH AND EVERY DELIBERATE FAILURE of ObamaCare.  ObamaCare was designed to fail.  It would bankrupt all health-insurance companies and pave the way for single payer.  Trump will point out in his executive order(s) that ObamaCare has failed, and he has the duty and authority to act.  That’s how the executive orders will pass judicial muster.  They won’t be NEW law; they’ll clarify EXISTING FAILED law.

The Supreme Court is obliged by precedent to try and render statutes constitutional.   The Supremes’ DECISION on ObamaCare is actually irrelevant.  What they’ll look at in a Trump EO is WHAT CAME BEFORE. The scope of executive orders is amazing.  Trump “clarifying” ObamaCare is FAR LESS ambitious than so many other executive orders.  As long as Trump words his EO correctly, the Supremes won’t be able to rule that he’s exceeding his authority.  Not in comparison to previous executive orders, which is what the Supremes will look at.

He wouldn’t have made the promise based on what the GOP would do.  Also, Trump isn’t the sort of guy who’s say, “Well, I tried! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Monaco.”  I remember him saying that if anything didn’t get done, it would be his fault and his fault only.  So I’m sure he’s thoroughly studied the feasibility of getting rid of ObamaCare by himself.
Triple ha.

Q – Is it because the tax/penalty is a form of excise tax forbidden from govt use by the constitution?
A – The tax-penalty issue doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Supreme Court must do everything it can to render a statute constitutional.  Since presidential executive orders have had such a massive scope, Trump will have no problem writing one to repeal ObamaCare.
Trump won’t let things get that bad.  He carefully chooses his words, so I’m sure you’re right. We won’t be left to suffer for much longer. If he’s going to use executive orders, he’ll do it without warning, in the middle of some big theatrical dust-up.