A project of the Galen Institute
The Wall Street Journal
President Barack Obama expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would uphold subsidies millions of consumers use to buy health insurance, and at the same time warned of possible dire consequences if that doesn’t happen.
Speaking Monday at a news conference in Germany, at the Group of Seven summit, Mr. Obama said the case, which the Supreme Court is expected to decide near the end of the month “should be an easy case. Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.”
Plaintiffs in the case, King v. Burwell, argue that four words in the health law mean subsidies under the 2010 Affordable Care Act can go only to residents of the dozen states that established their own health-insurance exchanges, rather than the rest of the country, which relies on the federal government HealthCare.gov website
President Barack Obama had barely finished proposing an idea to deal with a far-reaching Supreme Court decision on Obamacare before Republicans fired back with a categorical response: Not gonna happen.
At the G7 conference in Germany on Monday, the president said if the justices strip subsidies from millions of Americans, "Congress could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision" making clear that Healthcare.gov subsidies are available in all 50 states. Republicans quickly fired off a rebuttal.
"Let's be clear: if the Supreme Court rules against the Administration, Congress will not pass a so called ‘one-sentence’ fake fix," Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, who is leading Republican efforts to craft a contingency plan, said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday declined to discuss the details of a Republican backup plan for ObamaCare, saying that the party will be ready if the Supreme Court rules against the healthcare law.
"We'll have a plan that makes sense for the American people," the Republican leader said during an interview with The Joe Elliott Show. "If the plaintiff is successful it will require some addressing of the issue, and if that were to happen we'll be ready to announce our proposal."
The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision this month in the King v. Burwell case, which could cancel subsidies for millions of Americans who are enrolled through the federal website HealthCare.gov.
The Daily Signal
Every day there seems to be another article focused on how many individuals might lose their subsidies if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case.
Yet, an even bigger group of individuals harmed by Obamacare has an equally good claim for relief that hasn’t gotten as much attention—the people who, thanks to Obamacare, must pay more for health insurance but who never got subsidies.
Millions of Americans could lose Obamacare subsidies under a Supreme Court ruling this month, but many in the GOP don't need their votes anyway.
That's a major political calculus for Tea Party Republicans, who are likely to resist any efforts to extend the subsidies, even temporarily. They're much more worried about angering their base by appearing to concede to Obamacare than whether a handful of constituents lose their subsidies.
The Wall Street Journal
The Republican Study Committee unveiled its blueprint for overhauling U.S. health-care if the Supreme Court cripples the federal health law in a decision expected later this month.
The official plan from the group of 170 House conservatives would repeal the entire 2010 Affordable Care Act starting Jan. 1, 2016. It would then replace the ACA’s centerpiece tax credits to help low and modest income people pay premiums and its requirements that insurers sell coverage to everyone regardless of their medical history with tax deductions and new insurance plans for people with pre-existing conditions.
Some Republicans, including 2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, have long favored the idea, arguing it’s good tax policy, gives everyone the same choices, and doesn’t give people incentives to buy more expensive insurance.
Several high-profile Republican governors are building pressure on Congress to come up with a plan if the Supreme Court decides to void subsidies for millions of people in their states.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker both said Tuesday they are opposed to any kind of state-level fix to restore ObamaCare subsidies in case the administration loses in court.
“I think it has to be a federal fix,” Scott told reporters at the event he hosted Tuesday for GOP presidential candidates, according to The Washington Post.
House conservatives are hinting at support for a temporary extension of Obama-Care subsidies if the Supreme Court cripples the law, even as they set up a working group to develop their own plan.
The high court is set to rule later this month in the case of King v. Burwell, which could invalidate subsidies for millions of people in at least 34 states using the federally run marketplace. Republicans say they need to be ready to address people losing their coverage, but have yet to coalesce around a plan.
Now another proposal is in the works. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus told The Hill they are setting up a group of four or five lawmakers, led by Rep. John Fleming (R-La.). The lawmakers will develop a plan meant to influence the main House working group led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and two other panel chairmen, which Fleming complained is meeting in “secret.”
Kaiser Family Foundation
The Affordable Care Act is once again before the Supreme Court. This time it’s not about whether the government can force you to have health insurance or pay a penalty. It can. That is so “2012.”
Now, in the case of King v. Burwell, the meaning of six words in a thousand-page law is under scrutiny. Those words could determine whether millions of Americans can afford to buy health insurance.
New York Times
Just a few years ago, lawmakers in this left-leaning state viewed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as little more than a pit stop on the road to a far more ambitious goal: single-payer, universal health care for all residents.
Then things unraveled. The online insurance marketplace that Vermont built to enroll people in private coverage under the law had extensive technical failures.