Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.
The bottom line is Baucus isn't addressing the credit question in that exchange. He was addressing a point of order about a malpractice amendment, made some rambling comments that Ensign didn't buy at all, and said nothing that to me is directly on point to this discussion. The only comment I heard that relates to tax credits is this (in its entirety):
"An exchange is essentially is tax credits. Taxes are the jurisdiction of this committee."
Maybe a lawyer and an expert in rules of order can conclude that this informal exchange on another topic has far reaching implications about "by the state" versus "by the Feds on behalf of the state" but I don't see it and in any event it is a very oblique way to address what is a HUGE issue. There was more discussion about a malpractice amendment - this exchange less than 2 minutes - than anyone can find anywhere about the central question of credits.
I would say that discerning Congressional intent is not exactly a science so looking for definite proof is probably inappropriate. Even more inappropriate is thinking that a single statement is proof of any specific intent unless that statement is both (a) crystal clear *and* (b) not contradicted by other text in the bill.So, as I have discussed with Greenbeard previously, even taking this changed verbiage of 36B into account that adds the reporting requirement for both 1311 and 1321 exchanges it doesn't prove that the states with federal exchanges were meant to get subsidies.
IOW, I don't think the requirement to report subsidies is, by itself, proof of intent just as I don't think the one phrase the lawsuit depends on (the one the right claims makes subsidies contingent on the purchase of a plan from a "state exchange") proves intent. Instead, I think the entire bill needs to be considered.
The fact that reporting who had purchased a plan through a federally facilitated exchange does not in any way say anything about the intent of Congress regarding subsidies. However, requiring Federally facilitated exchanges to report the amoung of subsidies they gave certainly suggests that Congress though they would be subsidizing individuals. Why ask the FFE's to report subsidies if they intended the FFE's to not give out any subsidies?The reporting to IRS by the exchanges had two functions: 1) To gather information on all taxpayers for purposes of enforcing the mandate and 2) for purposes of documenting subsidies. The inclusion of 1321 in this section does not automatically mean both were intended for 1321 exchanges.
You're assuming that the verbiage in the original legislation (ie PPACA) excluded the FFE's from giving out subsidies. I don't share that assumption.In fact, since the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 changed the verbiage of 36B with regard to reporting, it seems all the less likely that the intent was to include federal exchanges built for the states in the subsidy program since in the correcting legislation they didn't change the key verbiage in the original legislation that excluded 1321 exchanges from subsidies for the states. Moreover, it still doesn't help that the chief advisor and architect has said numerous times on tape that the exclusion was on purpose.
And as far as Gruber's claims goes, he's a man who has admitted to telling serious lies. I do not think it's reasonable to argue that he has any credibility.
Three repubs say they have a plan and we're supposed to believe that "the repubs have a plan" after hearing the rightwingers on DP claim that the republicans never supported an individual mandate even though more than 40 repub senators sponsored a bill that included an individual mandate?
Now think about it...if the Supremes rule against Obamacare, the government is going to be in crisis mode. Everyone's going to be scrambling for a solution. Well, guess what...the GOP have one and after seeing how screwed up the Democrats got it with their crappy law, the people will just want things fixed. The only thing the Democrats are going to be able to come up with is a change in the law to correct their crappy original wording. But that won't take care of all the other crappy stuff that's going to pop up...and you KNOW more will pop up. It's that kind of law...it just keeps on giving crap.
So...okay...the GOP have a solution...the Democrats will push for more crap and the Democrats will refuse to vote for the GOP's solution. The President will vow to veto their solution. Now it comes down to who can win the propaganda war...who can make the other side look like the bad guys. I'm under no illusions the GOP will win that battle. So we just might end up with more of the crappiness from Obamacare...in spite of another Supreme Court ruling against it.
So tell me, sangha...what are you all worried about? Why are you still beating this horse...before it's dead?