The Administration, however, had a ready fix: the IRS just wrote a rule that allows the subsidies to flow anyway, arguing that that must be what the law really meant.
It reminds me of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta Iolanthe. There was a most inconvenient law on the books: “The fairy that marries a mortal dies!” It was terrible enough that the beloved Iolanthe had broken the law. But ultimately when all the fairies marry members of the House of Peers, what is the Fairy Queen to do? “I can’t slaughter the whole company!”
The Lord Chancellor comes to the rescue. “The subtleties of the legal mind are equal to the emergency. The thing is really quite simple—the insertion of a single word will do it. Let it stand that every fairy shall die who doesn’t marry a mortal.”
The Obama Administration is assuming that the Court will act as Lord Chancellor, or else the Republican Congress will do so, and therefore has not bothered to warn anyone of the possible loss of subsidy.