King v. Burwell Appealed to the Supreme Court

Attorney in the King v. Burwell case have now appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, asking the court to render a decision as quickly as possible.

Last Tuesday the 4th Circuit ruled that the IRS did not exceed its authority when it issued a rule saying Obamacare subsidies applied to the federal health exchange. That decision came just hours after a different court ruled the opposite way in a related case, Halbig v. Burwell. Now attorneys are asking the Supreme Court to hear their appeal and resolve the current disagreement among the lower courts.

The appeal mentions a statement by health expert Jonathan Gruber which came to light a few days after the decision were reached. From the appeal:

The robust incentives provided by the ACA–in particular, the conditioning of tax credits on state-run Exchanges–were thought sufficient to do so. As one of the Act’s architects, Prof. Jonathan Gruber, later explained, “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an Exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits. … I hope that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these Exchanges, and that they’ll do it.”

The appeal also stresses the importance of haste in reaching a final ruling:

The monumental significance of this legal issue requires this Court’s immediate, urgent attention. The two conflicting Circuit decisions have created intolerable uncertainty over a major component of the ACA’s implementation. If this Court ultimately agrees with the D.C. Circuit that the IRS Rule is contrary to law, as is highly likely, the consequences for individuals, employers, insurers, states, and federal spending will be vast–and the longer that the lawless IRS Rule is in effect, the greater the upheaval when it is ultimately vacated. As both Courts of Appeals recognized by expediting their own proceedings, it is in everyone’s interest to obtain final resolution as soon as possible. Only this Court can provide that resolution, and this petition is the only vehicle by which it could do so this Term.

The final part of the document is a detailed legal argument that the 4th Circuit reached the wrong conclusion in their decision.