by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute shares with National Review Onine readers his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He discusses potential implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in the King v. Burwell case on Obamacare subsidies.
If the Court sides with the challengers, its ruling will free more than 57 million employers and individuals in those federal-Exchange states from the ACA’s employer and individual mandates. Those 57 million Americans include Kevin Pace, a jazz musician and Virginia resident whose income fell by $8,000 when his employer cut his hours to avoid the IRS’s illegal taxes. They include small-business owners who would expand and hire more workers, but are prohibited from doing so by threat of illegal taxes. A ruling for the challengers would protect small businesses and their employees from an out-of-control IRS. Such a ruling would cause a smaller number of Americans — an estimated 6.7 million — to lose access to subsidies that no Congress ever authorized.
A ruling for the government, on the other hand, would for the first time allow the IRS to usurp Congress’s exclusive powers to tax and spend. Few things could be more destructive to small businesses, liberty, or our constitutional order.
Even if the Court makes the right decision and frees 57 million Americans from the IRS’s illegal taxes, the ACA would continue to harm tens if not hundreds of millions of employers and individuals, and an additional 6.7 million Americas would see their health-insurance bills soar as the loss of those illegal subsidies brings them face-to-face with the full cost of the ACA’s very expensive coverage.
By far, the most important way this Committee and other congressional committees can prepare for a King ruling, and ensure Congress provides appropriate assistance to those affected by the ruling, is to investigate how the IRS came to tax, borrow, and spend tens of billions of dollars in violation of the clear limits the ACA places on the IRS’s authority.