Briefs have been trickling into the U.S. Supreme Court in the Obamacare cases. Soon, they’ll come flooding: briefing on the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is starting today. It’s important to recognize that the constitutional arguments in the cases don’t always mesh easily with conservative-libertarian opposition to Obamacare’s policy—or for that matter, with their concerns over the state and trajectory of American federalism. Continue reading to learn more.
The above-captioned case is the lawsuit challenging an IRS rule to the effect that Obamacare’s mandates and subsidies apply in states that have declined to establish a “health care exchange.” An earlier post on the case, with links to the complaint and other good stuff, is here. While the defendants’ response isn’t due until early July, plaintiffs have already filed a motion for summary judgment, which is here. Whence the urgency? Why, the exchanges are supposed to go online by the end of the year, and the plaintiffs—individuals and firms in non-cooperating states—will want to plan their conduct depending on whether or not the IRS rule is good law. Which it isn’t.