In other words, Congress did mean to use the subsidies to overcome state resistance and pressure them to set up their own exchanges. That is precisely what the plaintiffs in Halbig asserted. Of course, Obamacare's supporters didn't anticipate that the backlash against the law would be so intense that 34 states would actually decline the subsidies, almost as an act of civil disobedience.IIRC from the Halbig arguments, the defendants were unable to produce a single contemporaneous piece of evidence from the original drafting of Obamacare that, sure, subsidies would be available on the Federal exchange. To the contrary, as Jonathan Gruber explained at the time, they were meant to be a cudgel to force states into setting up their own exchanges. Now the Administration wants to pretend differently.
On Friday morning, an embarrassed Gruber insisted to The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn, "I honestly don't remember why I said that… I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake."
Extra - From Althouse.