The D-G’s Charlie Frago tweets that the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon will testify before the Senate Insurance and Commerce committee on March 19. Remember him? We told you keep that name in mind several months ago — local Republicans have a keen interest in the libertarian policy wonk who believes that there is still a possibility of a lawsuit (yes, another one) to derail the Affordable Care Act. Check out our Reporter on Cannon’s crusade and what it means for Arkansas lawmakers.
To preview a little bit, Cannon is likely to advise Arkansas lawmakers not to do their own state-run exchange. Without getting too into the weeds of his legal argument, he believes that both the subsidies and the employer mandate would be illegal under a federal exchange and thus lead to the collapse of the whole thing. So if you want to keep fighting Obamacare, let the feds control the exchange. Unclear what he thinks about the new “private option.” My guess is that he thinks it’s still bad policy but doesn’t have a legal argument against it (even though it looks awfully fishy!).
Cannon is an extremely sharp guy who spends every waking moment thinking of possible ways to destroy Obamacare. Not a diss — I think he’d welcome that description. He once compared accepting the ACA as law to French surrender and collaboration with the Nazis.
The strangest part of the modern conservative movement is the cultural disconnect between nerdy libertarians and the biggest audience for their ideas. So Tuesday should be fun!