Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kansas AG sides with anti-Obamacare ruling

By The Herald Staff | 7/23/2014

TOPEKA — A legal dispute over Obamacare is one step closer to a final resolution, Derek Schmidt said Tuesday.

Two federal appeals courts ruled on the same Internal Revenue Service rules, but came to opposite conclusions, Schmidt, Kansas attorney general, explained Tuesday. In Halbig v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, IRS rules implementing the federal subsidies and employer mandate in states that opted not to set up a state-based exchange for the health care service. But in King v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the same IRS rules.

TOPEKA — A legal dispute over Obamacare is one step closer to a final resolution, Derek Schmidt said Tuesday.

Two federal appeals courts ruled on the same Internal Revenue Service rules, but came to opposite conclusions, Schmidt, Kansas attorney general, explained Tuesday. In Halbig v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, IRS rules implementing the federal subsidies and employer mandate in states that opted not to set up a state-based exchange for the health care service. But in King v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the same IRS rules.

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office is siding with the first ruling and plans to ensure the IRS follows the law and the Sunflower State “obtains the benefit it anticipated” when state lawmakers chose not to establish a state-run health insurance exchange, Schmidt said.

“Congress might not have expected so many states to decline to establish an exchange under the Affordable Care Act, but that misjudgment cannot justify allowing the IRS to effectively rewrite the statute to satisfy policy and political objectives,” Schmidt said. “We will continue to represent the state’s interest as this litigation proceeds to its next stage, perhaps ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

With the dual rulings, the cases most likely will find their ways to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the Washington Post. The ruling does not have an immediate impact, because the judges of D.C. panel gave the government time to appeal the decision.

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