Charles Krauthammer believes that the language in the Affordable Care Act saying that subsidies are to be provided through state exchanges is unambiguous.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the way the law was written does not allow subsidies to be provided by the federal government.
The language is “not ambiguous at all,” Krauthammer said on Tuesday’s Special Report. But the claim of the government, he explained, is that “it was a drafting error, and what we really intended was it should be for everyone.”
He referred to a point made earlier today on NRO by Andrew McCarthy, who argued that even if you accept the government’s defense that it was indeed a drafting error, Congress is the only instrument in the constitutional system that can change the error.
“It is not in the power of the executive to fix what’s written in the legislation,” Krauthammer said. “It has to be Congress — otherwise it overturns our checks and balances.”
He added that the other issue at hand is the consequence of the decision. “If the D.C. Court is upheld, Obamacare is over,” he said. “It won’t survive.”