Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ObamaCare and the Letter of the Health Care Law

Letter of the law 0 noun according to the letter, an orthodox interpretation, by chapter and verse, conservative interpretation, exact words of the law, exactly as written, literal interpretation, literally interpreted, perfectly as written, precise interpretation, precisely as written, strict construction, strict interpretation.

Definition, Letter of the Law

According to an article in yesterday’s LA Times, “Could A Wording ‘Glitch’ Doom Health Care Law,” ObamaCare may go down in verbal flames.

This headline caused me to look up the meaning of "glitch
, which the dictionary says, is a “minor defect or malfunction in a machine or plan.”

The minor defect or malfunction in the health care law lies its wording that says health care subsidies can only be offered to exchanges “established by the state,” in other words, not by federal health care exchanges. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that ObamaCare must follow the Letter of the Health Care Law.

This ruling, in effect, means that five million people who enrolled in 36 federal health care exchanges and who are not receiving subsidies are not eligible to receive these subsidies. Maybe they would even have to repay their subsidies. That would cause unspeakable political anger, and liberals are outraged by this strict interpretation. They say those who wrote the health care law did not mean what they said. They intended to give subsidies to anyone who enrolled in either state or federal exchanges, and to interpret what they meant to say otherwise, is a figment of the conservatives’ mean-spirited and limited mindset.

The liberal –conservative misunderstanding or misinterpretation has been referred to the Supreme Court. We do not know yet if the Court will accept the case. If the Court does accept the case, given its current 5-4 conservative majority, the Court may rule favor of the conservative interpretation of the Constitution.

This interpretation raises questions. What parts of the Constitution or the Letter of the Law do progressives favor? Or is the Constitution simply a dead document, i.e., not a living. breathing document, that is open to progressives’ current interpretation?

Is the wording in the health law a minor “glitch”? Can the law be changed willy nilly at the whim of the executive branch, which according to the Constitution, must seek Congressional approval before changing, delaying, or re-interpreting a law once in the books?

What’s at stake in the Halbig v. Burwell ruling,

Which side of the Letter of Law is fooling.

Is it those strict Constitutionists?

Is it those loose non-Traditionalists?

Do you mean what you say when you use words?

Or, is what others say strictly for the birds?

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