As I noted earlier, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) this past week decided to take the case of an appeal of a ruling by the 4th Circuit US federal court of appeals (King v. Burwell), in a case where the plaintiffs allege the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is ambiguous or conflicted on whether subsidies can be offered to lower-income persons who obtain coverage through Marketplaces established and run by the federal government.

My earlier post pointed to some fatal flaws in the arguments of the plaintiffs, as identified in the unanimous decision of the 4th Circuit.

Here I want to additionally point out that "legislative intent" can be discerned not just from the words in legislation, but the lawmakers themselves who fought for the legislation--found in contemporary documents written at the time.

In a very persuasive article written by a team of all of the key Legislative leaders from the Congress who were there at the time -- the Chairs of the Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over the ACA (Senate Finance and HELP, House Ways&Means and Commerce), these key Legislators all emphatically dent the plaintiffs claim that the ACA intended to deny subsidies to states that chose not to create Exchanges.

“None of us contemplated that the bill as enacted could be misconstrued to limit financial help only to people in states opting to directly run health insurance marketplaces,” the Senate and House committee chairs said. Also adding: “the final bill embodied our universal understanding that financial assistance would be available in every state.”


This seems a slam dunk -- to destroy the Plaintiffs' case, because if the actual authors of the legislation knew the subsidies would be available in Exchanges established by the federal government, then how, pray tell, does the later interpretation of a short phrase by a researcher at the Cato Institute trump the actual legislative intent?