Jon Stewart mocked cable news doomsayers on Wednesday’s “The Daily Show” for branding a court decision that banned people from receiving Obamacare subsidies on the federal exchange as a huge blow to the health care law.
Cable news personalities were quick to call the Halbig v. Burwell ruling a “bloody mess” that created “chaos and confusion,” leading Stewart to exclaim “It’s the end of the world, you blew it up! Obamacare is made of people!”
The comedian also knocked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for taking the clause “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State” quite literally in interpreting the law. Its ruling determined that residents of 36 states that did not opt to build their own Obamacare exchanges — “the redder ones,” Stewart whispered — were not eligible for subsidies.
“A normal person might say, do you really think the law intended subsidies only for lower-income citizens of states who weren’t being dicks about the exchanges?” he quipped.
“I’m just happy both judges got to work that morning, assuming that once they hit stop signs, their days ends,” Stewart added. “Until the law expressly provides a go sign, we can in no way ascertain the intent of the framers of the sign.”
Yet a different federal appeals court reached a conflicting opinion on the Obamacare subsidies on the same day.
“How did the Republican judges not uphold Obamacare, yet the Democratic judges did?” Stewart wondered before the answer came to him: the courts are just an extension of a broken government.
Watch below, courtesy of Comedy Central:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.