Divided United States Supreme Court Upholds Tax Credits Under Affordable Care Act


Divided United States Supreme Court Upholds Tax Credits Under Affordable Care Act

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the United States Supreme Court issued a divided decision in King et al. v. Burwell, et.al., upholding section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows tax credits for insurance purchased on any exchange under the Act.

“From day one South Dakota challenged the federal takeover of healthcare as infringing upon our individual and state rights. While today’s opinion allows this federal takeover to continue, it highlights the obvious concern with both the U.S. Department of Health and the IRS’ implementation of federal healthcare,” said Jackley.

The Court held the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permissibly promulgated regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through federal exchanges. The Court found the credits are “necessary for the Federal Exchange to function like their State Exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”

A strongly worded dissent criticized the majority opinion, noting that a strict interpretation of the Act would prevent the Act from working as well as hoped, so the Court “rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere”. The Oklahoma District Court held that the ACA does not allow subsidies for insurance purchased on federal exchanges. There are 34 states, including South Dakota, who declined to establish Exchanges and two states who failed to timely establish Exchanges for 2014.

Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, which was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and ACA, authorizes federal tax credit subsidies for health insurance coverage that is purchased through an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311” of the ACA. IRS promulgated regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through Exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the ACA.

The last estimate to run a state based exchange was done back in 2011 through the Health Insurance Exchange Task Force. Navigant estimated it would cost South Dakota taxpayers $45,233,699 to implement a hosted exchange and an additional 6 to 8 million in state revenues to sustain the State run Exchange.


Thune on Iran: “We had our foot on the throat, and we let them up.”

If you missed it the other day in the Argus, Senator Thune had some pointed comments about what the administration is doing regarding the Iranian nuclear deal:

Thune criticized details of the plan following an announcement by the Obama administration that a framework between Iran and six other countries had been developed to regulate Iran’s nuclear program. The deal, if it comes to pass, would change America’s policy of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons to containing a nuclear Iran, Thune said.

In exchange for concessions on its nuclear program, including international inspections and a reduction in its capacity to enrich uranium, western countries would ease sanctions on Iran. Thune said that’s a mistake.

“These sanctions were working,” he said. “We had our foot on the throat, and we let them up.”


Thune says the deal doesn’t force Iran to undo its nuclear infrastructure and it doesn’t allow snap inspections of Iranian facilities. He also said that he doubts the so-called “breakout period,” the time in which Iran could develop highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, is a year, saying he thinks experts will conclude it’s much less.

The issue came up when Thune was asked about signing a letter that went to Iranian leaders warning them about making a deal with the Obama administration. Thune and Sen. Mike Rounds were among 47 Republican senators to sign the letter. Democrats have accused them of committing treason.

Read it all here.

Anyone think the world is going to be a safer place once President Obama is done negotiating?  Or is this appeasement along the lines of Neville Chamberlain?

Yeah, you’re going to have to pay that back….

From the Washinton Examiner:

H&R Block is estimating that as many as half of the 6.8 million people who received insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act benefited from subsidies that were too large, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“The ACA is going to result in more confusion for existing clients, and many taxpayers may well be very disappointed by getting less money and possibly even owing money,” the president of a tax preparation and education school told the Journal.


But the subsidies are based on past tax returns, so many people may be receiving too much, according to Vanderbilt University assistant professor John Graves, who projects the average subsidy is $208 too high, the Journal reports.

Read it here.