Dan Gilmore / May 4, 2015

Incremental Gains if SCOTUS Rules Against ObamaCare

Soon, the Supreme Court will rule on King v. Burwell, the case that will decide the legality of the federal health care exchange. At stake are the citizens in 30 states who received subsidies through the health care website. If the Supreme Court agrees with the plaintiffs, then those subsidies going to 7.5 million Americans will be stripped away and health care costs will skyrocket (even more) for those citizens. That’s why congressional Republicans are planning legislation to fix that potential fallout by continuing the subsidies until 2017, when a new administration — hopefully a conservative one — can fix ObamaCare.

But there’s a question of how much Republicans can fix now. No doubt, the Obama administration would like Congress to pass a bill authorizing federal subsidies for health care into perpetuity. But some Republicans see the SCOTUS ruling as an opportunity to leverage more concessions from Barack Obama by authorizing subsidies in exchange for getting rid of the employer and individual mandates.

Sen. John Barrasso told National Journal, “I think we all know President Obama is not going to sign a law that repeals his signature proposal in his law. So the only way, I think, to actually repeal the health care law is with a Republican president after the 2016 election. But what I want to do is put something on the president’s desk that hopefully he would sign, which would be to continue helping the people that have been harmed by his actions, and at the same time, giving them freedom from the significant mandates and the expense of his law.” While the Right dreams of a sudden, sweeping eradication of ObamaCare, it’s best remember that all gains in politics are incremental. Plus, we’re dealing with subsidies: Once you start, it’s hard to stop. More…

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