The story of whether Congress ever intended to limit Obamacare subsidies to state-based exchanges begins and ends with the Congressional Budget Office. And what it reveals about the latest legal threat to Obamacare dramatically undercuts the arguments against the law.
Over the last couple days, TPM's Dylan Scott has been taking a deep look at the emerging Obamacare Subsidy Truth Movement and the history of the legislation that gave rise to it. I wanted to make sure you didn't miss them because they're exceptionally good pieces and examples of the longer, reported pieces we'll be doing more of. The first piece looks at the chaotic, late phase of the passage of the ACA, with House Democrats wanting a single federal exchange and the Senate wanting a state based approach. The battle over which side would win was short-circuited by the surprise election of Sen. Scott Brown, which robbed Senate Democrats of their filibuster proof majority and essentially forced the House to accept the Senate's bill more or less intact.
Before House Republicans jet for August Recess, they want to get that vote on the child migrant crisis. As Sahil Kapur explains here, the vote is pretty much a show since Obama has promised to veto a weaker version of the bill and the Democratic-controlled Senate won't touch it. But Republicans, who have estimated votes to start at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. and finish around 11:00 p.m. ET, are showing the world that they're working hard on this problem. The question is if enough people who believe it are watching.
You can all rest assured since the team of Michele Bachmann and Steve King led the charge in getting the GOP's own immigration bill torpedoed and are now cheering the new phony bill as one of history's great pieces of legislation. So all good.
It's amazing that anyone has actually convinced themselves that Obamacare was intended to deny subsidies in states that didn't set up their own exchanges. But if you did, here's the proof that you're wrong.
On Tuesday I explained that after eight years using Skype as TPM's digital nervous system, we signed off the service for good. I've been surprised about the number of people, publicly and privately, who've asked me and other staffers what system we switched to. I didn't expect it. But it seems like there's a lot of interest. So here goes.