Smoke billows from a building hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City. 

What Mattered This Week?

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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I'll say the ongoing situation in Gaza mattered.

What didn't matter? The revelation that, in 2012, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber said that subsidies wouldn't be available through the federal exchanges. It won't matter legally for a variety of reasons. It won't matter to public opinion because, well, it's a blip.

To the extent that well-informed, open-minded people who care about the issue (if any such folks exist) are concerned, the revelation is valid bit of evidence of Congressional intent, but it's totally swamped by other evidence.

Seriously: It just isn't plausible, as several people have said, that Congress thought this was how the law was supposed to work and no one reported it at the time, and no one reported it during the law's implementation. If so, this would have been especially relevant during the round of decisions by the states about whether to set up their own exchanges. If supporters of the Affordable Care Act believed that the subsidies were at stake, they certainly would have said something at the time!

Now, again, I'm not talking about the legal case. As I said earlier, I'm not an expert in statutory construction. But whatever Gruber said, or even believed, in 2012, it's going to take a lot more evidence to overturn what appear to be the obvious facts of Congressional intent.

Well, back to the topic at hand, that's what I have. What about you? What do you think mattered this week?

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net