Michael Cannon's latest has a lot of truth to it...with one glaring omission...
A couple of days ago, I noted that the latest development in House v. Burwell (the lawsuit brought by former Republican House Speaker John Boehner on behalf of the GOP caucus in the House of Representatives) could, in a worst-case scenario, end up resulting in millions of exchange-based policies being terminated with little notice. Basically, the HHS Dept. has included an "escape hatch" for exchange carriers in the event that the Supreme Court eventually rules in favor of the GOP House when it comes to Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) financial assistance, although a final ruling wouldn't be likely to happen for at least another year or so.
Today, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute has posted his own entry about the HvB "escape hatch" development, and while it obviously has an extremely anti-ACA spin, his conclusion is pretty much the same as mine (he assumes all 11 million enrollees would be kicked off their plans, while various state/federal laws could mean a much smaller percentage...but it would be pretty devastating no matter what).
In 2014, taxpayer lawsuits were challenging many of the taxes and subsidies the Obama administration was implementing in the 36 states that refused to establish health-insurance Exchanges. In Halbig v. Burwell and Pruitt v. Burwell, two lower courts agreed with the plaintiffs and declared the challenged taxes and subsidies to be illegal. The lawsuits spooked insurance companies participating in ObamaCare’s Exchanges.
Did you see it yet? Here's another hint:
In King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts blessed the disputed taxes and subsidies by overriding and rewriting what he acknowledged was the plain meaning of the operative language of the Affordable Care Act.
Give up? Here it is: At no point in his entire screed does Cannon mention the fact that he's the one who orchestrated the King v. Burwell court case in the first place...otherwise known as the only variant of the various "federal exchange enrollees shouldn't be allowed to receive federal tax credits!" cases which actually made it to the Supreme Court. Heck, he even brags about his role in King v. Burwell on his CATO bio.
Michael F. Cannon (@mfcannon) is director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. He has been described as “the intellectual father” of King v. Burwell and is co-author (with Jonathan H. Adler) of Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits Under the PPACA, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine 23, No. 1 (2013): 119-195.
In other words, a couple of years ago, Cannon was crying crocodile tears and wringing his hands over the plight of the millions of people threatened by the potential outcome of a lawsuit which he was behind in the first place.
Now, Cannon, to the best of my knowledge, has not tried to take credit for the current lawsuit; that falls completely on Congressional Republicans. And it's true that if the Supreme Court ultimately does rule that the CSR payments are illegal (and Congress fails to change the wording of the law to resolve this issue), millions of people would be at risk of losing their coverage.
However, for Cannon to completely ignore his own role in bringing the earlier case strikes me as being rather disingenuous.
That is all.