SCOTUS Rewrites Obamacare. Again.

July 3rd, 2014

Or this is what Justice Sotomayor alleges:

It is unclear why the Court goes to the lengths it does to rewrite HHS’s regulations. Presumably the Court intends to leave to the agency the task of forwarding whatever notification it receives to the respective insurer or third- party administrator. But the Court does not even require the religious nonprofit to identify its third-party adminis- trator, and it neglects to explain how HHS is to identify that entity. Of course, HHS is aware of Wheaton’s third- party administrator in this case. But what about other cases? Does the Court intend for HHS to rely on the filing of lawsuits by every entity claiming an exemption, such that the identity of the third-party administrator will emerge in the pleadings or in discovery? Is HHS to under- take the daunting—if not impossible—task of creating a database that tracks every employer’s insurer or third- party administrator nationwide? And, putting that aside, why wouldn’t Wheaton’s claim be exactly the same under the Court’s newly-fashioned system? Either way, the end result will be that a third-party administrator will provide contraceptive coverage. Surely the Court and Wheaton are not just objecting to the use of one stamp instead of two in order to avail itself of the accommodation. The Court’s actions in this case create unnecessary costs and layers of bureaucracy, and they ignore a simple truth: The Government must be allowed to handle the basic tasks of public administration in a manner that comports with common sense. It is not the business of this Court to ensnare itself in the Government’s ministerial handling of its affairs in the manner it does here.