There is a lawsuit bouncing around in the Federal Courts to stop ACA subsidies. The contention is the Affordable Care Act only allows premium subsidies in States that set up their own Insurance Exchanges. With Thirty-Four States refusing to set up exchanges (guess who’s in charge in those States) the Federal Government stepped in to create and run those exchanges. The suits claim the IRS overstepped its authority to give tax credits and impose penalties in those 34 States.

The Attorneys General of Oklahoma and Indiana (no surprises there) filed suits in Federal Court to stop the practice. They were joined by assorted individuals and companies. The Courts so far have allowed the suits to go forward. If successful, these suits would cripple, gut and basically destroy the attempt to provide affordable health care for anyone not living in a sane state. It would do far more damage than the ongoing political theater in the US House of Representatives ever could.

Ohio’s Republican-owned government refused to set up an exchange of their own, opting for some mutant hybrid run by the Feds but controlled by the State. I am actually surprised AG DeWine, who has never seen a convoluted, losing suit he didn’t love, declined to join the fray.

It was left to Senator Rob Portman to carry the quixotic banner for Ohio. So much for wearing the cloak of moderation.

Portman has joined a so called “Gang of Eight” and filed an amicus brief with the Court. In this gang are the shining lights of Senate Republican moderation and good sense. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee(R-UT), Orrin Hatch(R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Minority Whip John Cornyn. Along for the ride are Reps Dave Camp (R-MI) and of course Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Citing their unique view as members of Congress (who did not vote for the ACA) the brief states that to allow the subsidies would change the law into something Congress could never have passed. It would be denying the intent of Congress.

Having climbed into bed with these leaders of the Tea Party wing of the GOP, Portman has finally come out of the closet as a Radical Republican. One is often judged by the company one keeps. His fa├žade as a reasonable Senator is shattered by this crass move to placate the base in rabid red areas of Ohio. After all what is a higher calling than crushing the hopes of us who want and need affordable healthcare. Anyone palling around with this bunch can never again present themselves as a sane, moderate voice on any issue.

It is too bad Senator Portman does not stand for reelection until 2016. Americans have extremely poor memories at times.

 

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