As court watchers wait for the Supreme Court to issue its ruling on King vs. Burwell, the Obamacare subsidies case, former Sen. Olympia Snowe has done us all a big favor by honestly and directly stating an obvious reality about the development of the law.
The plaintiffs in the case claim that Congress didn’t want subsidies to buy private insurance to go to people in states with an insurance exchange run by the federal government.
Showe directly says that’s bunk.
I don’t ever recall any distinction between federal and state exchanges in terms of the availability of subsidies,” said Olympia J. Snowe, a former Republican senator from Maine who helped write the Finance Committee version of the bill.
“It was never part of our conversations at any point,” said Ms. Snowe, who voted against the final version of the Senate bill. “Why would we have wanted to deny people subsidies? It was not their fault if their state did not set up an exchange.” [source]
That the plaintiff’s argument is nonsense is also seen by the fact that neither Republicans or Democrats ever asked the Congressional Budget Office to prepare an estimate of costs based on the assumption that there would not be subsidies available to people who purchased insurance through the federal exchange.
Senator Snowe was greatly esteemed by Maine citizens for her directness and independence. By clearly separating herself from a bogus argument, she again shows her political character.