More Bad News for Obamacare

This just in: Judge Ronald A. White of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma has just denied the feds’ motion to dismiss, for lack of jurisdiction, Oklahoma’s complaint against federal regulations that would extend Obamacare’s employer mandates to states (like Oklahoma) that decline to establish a state health care “exchange”—now called a “marketplace”—under the not-so-Affordable Care Act. While dismissing some of the state’s counts, the judge let other, crucial claims go forward. The ruling is on a motion to dismiss, so the feds may re-assert their jurisdictional defenses at the summary judgment stage.

They had better, and they will. If they can’t win on jurisdiction, they can’t win at all. Despite the plain language of the statute, the administration has taken the position that (a) the employer mandate won’t take effect until a year after the statutory date, at which point it will (b) apply to everyone, including states and employers that are specifically exempted from the ACA’s applicable provisions.

In other words: anything goes, and you can’t complain. Good luck with that.