Alec MacGillis has a post at The New Republic that’s about, well, me. MacGillis or his editor or somebody over at TNR decided to dub me “Obamacare’s Single Most Relentless Antagonist.” I would have preferred Freedom’s Single Most Relentless Protagonist, but I’ll take it.
MacGillis reports on my efforts to convince states not to establish health insurance “exchanges,” how those efforts contributed to the ongoing train wreck of ObamaCare’s rollout, my role in bringing about four lawsuits that could reveal even bigger problems with the law, and how “[my] crusade may have done damage regardless of whether those long-shot lawsuits prevail.” MacGillis describes me as “engaging and sharp-witted” yet he is the one who managed to sneak a totally wonky health policy joke into his post! (The first commenter to identify it wins my admiration, plus a laurel, and hearty handshake.)
I’ll just share a few comments.
don’t know if those lawsuits are the long-shots that MacGillis claims they are. The lawsuits concern whether the IRS is attempting to tax and spend billions of dollars without congressional authorization. When defenders of the IRS say that Jonathan Adler and I have identified a “semantic oversight” in the law, what they mean is that the statute is clear and does not support their position. I’m currently working on an amicus brief with Adler (and a series of posts for this blog) that will add to the evidence we presented in our Health Matrix article showing that — despite the solemn assurances of ObamaCare supporters, many of whom never actually read the bill — yes, Congress really did intend to do exactly what the law says. Then again, judges have been known to make some pretty wacky decisions. So we’ll see. Since MacGillis linked to Jonathan Cohn’s criticism of our article, I’ll go ahead and link to my response to Cohn, which I enjoyed writing.
MacGillis reports that “Tim Jost, a Washington and Lee University professor and one of the leading authorities on the law’s implementation, warned against overstating Cannon’s role in limiting the number of state exchanges.” It’s nice to agree with Jost, as opposed to…well, our usual interactions. As I told MacGillis, and as Jost corroborated, when I got to the state houses, there were lots of officials who wanted to stop ObamaCare but they didn’t know how. And they were afraid of ceding even more control over health care to the feds. Thus many were leaning toward establishing Exchanges and implementing the Medicaid expansion. All I did was explain to them, “Look, you’ve already lost control over your health care and insurance markets. The only question now is whether you’re going to volunteer to take a bullet for the Obama administration when things go bad.”