This Note examines the text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to determine whether Congress intended for premium tax credits to be available on only state Exchanges, or on both state and federal Exchanges. This Note argues that strict textualism reveals that Congress clearly intended to limit premium tax credits to what the text defines as "an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," which does not include federal Exchanges. However, this interpretation of the text nearly eliminates an essential function of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because all qualified individuals governed under the authority of federal Exchanges would lose access to premium tax credits. This drastic consequence of millions of Americans losing access to affordable healthcare has made this strict interpretation highly unpopular and a major political question within the federal courts. This Note argues why these courts should emphasize the use of strict textualism when faced with highly political interpretation questions, as the interpretation device prevents biased judges from unlawfully rewriting otherwise unambiguous legislation.
Peterson, Erin M.
"Dangers in Justifying A Means for an End: U.S. Supreme Court Faces Risky Interpretation Question with PPACA, Exchanges, and Premium Tax Credits,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 49:
4, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol49/iss4/7