Friday Lightning Round: Rulings on ObamaCare subsidies

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 25, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JONATHAN GRUBER: When the voters in states see that by not setting up an exchange the politicians in states are costing residents hundreds and millions and billions of dollars that they will eventually throw the guys out, but I don't know that for sure. And that is really the ultimate threat is will people understand that, gee, if you're governor doesn't set up an exchange, you're losing hundreds in millions in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. So that's the other threat, is will states do what they need to, to set it up.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: That is the voice of Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of ObamaCare and also of RomneyCare. He came out and said that this court case that said that the letter of the law, the federal exchanges can't offer these tax subsidies is wrong and that clearly it's the intent of the law for all of these states to receive subsidies even if they're run by the federal government. This is audio back in January. There's another sound bite in another speech in which he says the same thing. And we're back with the panel. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: It totally undermines the government's case in these court cases. This is absolute proof that the denial of subsidy to the federal exchanges was not a drafting error. It was a deliberate political strategy by the Democrats in drafting the law. It didn't succeed but it is not the role of any court, any court to overturn an obvious provision in a law simply because the strategy of those who drafted it didn't succeed. This is truly devastating.

BAIER: The fourth circuit said it was the intent of Congress for all of these places to have subsidies.

LANE: As did a dissenting judge on the D.C. circuit. I think Charles is right that this is a big embarrassment for supporters of the law. How devastating and the practical effect in the actual court case is another story. The judges technically aren't even allowed to consider this kind of information, I mean they are ruling on the case, although they do watch TV and they will notice. But Jonathan Gruber you know is a very intelligent guy. I know him. I regard his highly. I think what we have here, though, is somebody who is so smart and so well-qualified he couldn't possibly really have said that by accident.

BAIER: Twice. Not once, but twice. He said it was a mistake the first time, but there's another piece of audio we just played.

DRUCKER: Yes, he calls it a speako, kind of like a typo. Part of the problem with law like this when you actually keep legislating after it's passed and during implementation is you end up in a situation where nobody actually knows what the rules are and they're very open to challenge. Don't forget the law survived the Supreme Court challenge simply because John Robert decided the mandate was actually a tax even though the people who passed it said that their intent was it's a mandate, not a tax, because they didn't want to make middle class Americans they were raising their taxes.

BAIER: The Middle East, the situation in Israel, Hamas, continuing. Ceasefire efforts have fallen apart. There will be a 12-hour pause, however. We're back. Second topic. Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, whenever the world has stopped Israel from completing its missions in Gaza or south Lebanon, the wars have recurred. The only exception was when George Bush allowed Ariel Sharon to win and defeat the Palestinian terrorists in the second Intifada. Let us allow Israel to end the terror, to destroy the tunnels, and to degrade all the rockets, and there will be a change in the future. Otherwise this will recur year after year.

BAIER: Chuck?

LANE: It's not only Israel that has a very strong interest in, quote, unquote, "finishing the job this time." It's Hamas that has in its own way an interest in fighting simply because they have their backs to the wall. They've lost their political support in the rest of the Arab world. And so it is kind of an unusual conjunction here where neither side really has an interest in seeing this end quickly. And so I don't think these ceasefire efforts are going anywhere.

DRUCKER: From a public relations standpoint, I don't think we've seen Israel under the gun, if you will, in this way as we have in a while. And I think it's telling how tough it can be for them when the U.S. secretary of state delivers them a ceasefire offer that they actually have to refuse because it won't let them stop the threat that they're out there trying to stop. And when they have to turn down a U.S. brokered offer before Hamas turns it down, it shows you they're in a tight spot politically.

BAIER: We're in a tight spot, too. Quickly, winners and losers.

DRUCKER: Winners are Hamas simply because they're winning the PR war, despite the fact that they target civilians. And the losers are the media who seem to have decided it's OK for Hamas to target civilians with missiles, as long as they miss, because there's very little context given to why Israel is doing what it's doing and how they ended up in the war in the first place.

LANE: My winners this week go back to that Halbig case in the D.C. circuit on health care. Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute and Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western, two lonely guys who thought this was a winning case and were laughed at for a long time are at least for now enjoying the last laugh. They're my winners. My loser is Senator John Walsh in Montana who got caught cribbing other people's work on his thesis.  He was already running behind in his race for a full term in Montana and I don't think it looks very right now good for him.

BAIER: Charles?

KRAUTHAMMER: Winner Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, who flew in on a commercial airliner into Tel Aviv as a way to defy the U.S. government ban on flying in. Ask yourself -- planes fall out of the sky in Malaysia, Ukraine, and West Africa, and Taiwan, and which airport in the world does the U.S. shut down on the basis of safety? Tel Aviv. Loser of the week, Hillary Clinton for saying the reset with Russia was a success.  Try saying that in Ukrainian.

BAIER: Also, the Congress for tying the --

KRAUTHAMMER: The Congress is tying – the administration apparently wants to tie the money to replenish Iron Dome -- Israel is running low -- to the settlement of the immigration issue, which is a huge mistake and which opposes a bipartisan support that Israel has for this – on Iron Dome.

BAIER: I gave you a double loser this week. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned to see how one governor could give Robert De Niro a run for his money. 

Content and Programming Copyright 2014 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.