Questions Grow About GOP, Administration Plans Should Supreme Court Reject Subsidies
Health and Human Services Secretary Secretary Sylvia Burwell has refused to say what, if any, contingency plans are being made and most Republican governors and lawmakers have offered little encouragement to those getting federal tax credits to buy a health plan. Also, The Washington Post finds that several Republican members of Congress have flip-flopped on the issue at the heart of the case.
If Administration Loses Looming Supreme Court Case On Obamacare, What's Next?
A looming Supreme Court case reviewing a key component of the Affordable Care Act is raising questions about what would happen if the Obama administration loses. ... Earlier this month, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told a Senate committee that a decision from the Court striking down the current subsidy structure would be "devastating," but refused to say if the administration has a back-up plan. ... [Republicans] have so far taken a wait-and-see approach, instead of trying to immediately repeal the law or dismantle it in parts. Some ACA critics fear the Supreme Court may hesitate to block the current subsidies because of a lack of confidence in the legislative branch in general.(Bream, 2/18)
The Washington Post's Fact Checker:
Have Some GOP Lawmakers Flip-Flopped On Obamacare And Subsidies?
The Supreme Court on March 4 will hear the case of King v. Burwell, which threatens to unravel the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, because the plaintiffs argue that the health-care law does not authorize subsidies through federally run insurance marketplaces .... In recent weeks, advocates of the law have pointed to statements made by leading Republican lawmakers that have suggested that at one point they too assumed the subsidies would be made available to all Americans. ... An upside-Pinocchio is awarded for an unacknowledged flip-flop on an issue. [Rep. Paul] Ryan, [Sen. John] Barrasso and [Sen. John] Cornyn appear to qualify. They should simply acknowledge that their understanding of the law has changed, rather than pretend that they knew all along that people living in states on the federal exchange would not qualify for premium subsidies. (Kessler, 2/18)