An Obamacare glitch

Oops, it seems that the authors of health care nationalization blundered:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act offers “premium assistance”—tax credits and subsidies—to households purchasing coverage through new health-insurance exchanges. This assistance was designed to hide a portion of the law’s cost to individuals by reducing the premium hikes that individuals will face after ObamaCare goes into effect in 2014. (If consumers face the law’s full cost, support for repeal will grow.)

The law encourages states to create health-insurance exchanges, but it permits Washington to create them if states decline. So far, only 17 states have passed legislation to create an exchange.

This is where the glitch comes in: ObamaCare authorizes premium assistance in state-run exchanges (Section 1311) but not federal ones (Section 1321). In other words, states that refuse to create an exchange can block much of ObamaCare’s spending and practically force Congress to reopen the law for revisions.

So what does the Obama administration plan to do? Ignore their own law:

The Obama administration wants to avoid that legislative debacle, so this summer it proposed an IRS rule to offer premium assistance in all exchanges “whether established under section 1311 or 1321.” . . .

Like the rest of the nation, the Obama administration wants a different health-care law than the one we got. But that doesn’t give it the authority to rewrite the law by fiat.

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