Thursday, April 9, 2015

Another red state caught lying to the Supreme Court about health insurance exchanges

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley
Evidence continues to mount that the Republican states which filed amicus briefs for the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell Supreme Court Obamacare challenge lied to the court. Over the past few months, Huffington Post has been examining various states' documentation of policy meetings, legislative hearings, local news reports, speeches, etc. to find any evidence at all that state lawmakers talked about pre-King what they now say they all knew—that the law was written to exclude subsidies to people buying health insurance on the federal exchange.

A very strong case in point: Alabama. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley had actually campaigned on setting up a state-based exchange, and initially pushed hard to make it happen. That included setting up the Alabama Health Insurance Exchange Study Commission, which was tasked with determining costs, processes, working with stakeholders, etc. Did the possibility that the state's residents couldn't receive the subsidies if the state didn't create an exchange ever come up?

"No. No. No. That was never, never brought up," [state Sen. Jim McClendon (R)] McClendon said in an interview with The Huffington Post last month. "I was unaware of that stipulation in the Affordable Care Act, and I would almost have to guess that anybody involved in this process was not aware of it. I was a little surprised when it came up eventually. Nope. I was the chairman of the commission and I was totally unaware of that." READ MORE

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