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Yet another Obamacare lawsuit fails

The last-gasp, dead-end lawsuit trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act is going well.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

The last-gasp, dead-end lawsuit trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act is going well.

There are some lawsuits pending against the Affordable Care Act – most notably involving the provisions related to contraception access – but they tend to deal with peripheral issues. The core question about the law’s constitutionality was resolved two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.
But there’s one lawsuit still pending, which argues that there’s one out-of-context phrase in the law that’s so problematic, it should derail the entire federal health care system. It gets a little complicated, but the ultimate point of the suit is to say consumers in state exchanges aren’t eligible for subsidies, which in turn would make coverage unaffordable for most of the country.
So far, this odd approach hasn’t gone especially well for ACA opponents. Brian Beutler reports that a federal court “has looked at this argument, and concluded that it’s total nonsense,” and though it’s just one court, the outcome is “actually pretty embarrassing for the challengers.”

In a case like this, courts use a two-step test to determine whether a federal agency is faithfully administering a statute. First, they examine the text of the statute to determine whether there’s any ambiguity. If there’s no ambiguity, then the government must do what the law clearly states. If the text  Obamacare opponents would have won if the judge in question – a Clinton appointee – had vouched for their interpretation of the statue,  But neither of those things happened. Instead, the judge didn’t just rule that all exchanges qualify for subsidies, but that in full context there’s no statutory ambiguity to begin with. The challenge is based on a bogus, opportunistic characterization of the law.

The ruling is online here (pdf).
Even congressional Republicans had high hopes for this lawsuit, but really, they should’ve known better.
For background, Alec MacGillis had a good piece recently summarizing the dispute.

The skinny: 

Or as Adam Serwer put it, the lawsuit “is like arguing a typo in your passport invalidates your citizenship.”