Yet another newly unearthed video shows a leading Obamacare architect suggesting that the health insurance subsidies were meant only for customer in state-run exchanges.
This time its former Democratic Senator Max Baucus, who introduced the Affordable Care Act and whose staff primarily authored the original bill. PJ Media’s Instapundit found a video of Sen. Baucus discussing the Senate Finance Committeee’s jurisdiction over state health care policy back in 2009 (watch the video here).
When former Republican Sen. John Ensign pressed Baucus on a proposed amendment that would insert medical malpractice reforms into the Affordable Care Act, Baucus seems to have suggested that the Senate’s foray into state health care policy was allowable because the bill would allow states to opt into building their own exchanges.
“How do we have jurisdiction over changing state laws on coverage?” Ensign asked when Baucus protested that medical malpractice was outside the jurisdiction of the Senate. “Outside of Medicare, or Medicaid?”
“There are conditions to participate in the exchange. We’re setting up an exchange,” Baucus replied. “And states, exchanges, essentially it’s tax credits.”
While Ensign’s medical malpractice amendment didn’t make it into the law, Baucus’s comments provide even more evidence that years ago, Obamacare’s authors believed that providing premium subsidies only to state exchanges would be the incentive they needed to get red states to create their own health care exchanges.
While one appeals court found subsidies in federal exchanges to be against the text of the health care law earlier this week, a second appeals court found federal subsidies lawful, partially due to their interpretation of Congressional intent. The video of Baucus publicly stating that subsidies were the carrot for states to build exchanges may influence the next court decision on the case.
The evidence against federal exchange subsidies is quickly piling up. A chief architect of the health care law, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, made similar arguments in two recordings unearthed by bloggers Friday. (RELATED: Obamacare Architect Argued Years Ago That States Without Exchanges Can’t Get Subsidies; Obamacare Architect Says AGAIN That Subsidies Were Only Supposed To Go To State Exchanges)