Congress Healthcare

Congressional GOP Rule Out Easy Obamacare Fix, Demand Complicated “Fix”

Written by SK Ashby

The Supreme Court case challenging the validity of Obamacare subsidies, King v. Burwell, is quite literally a debate over the meaning of one single sentence; a determination of whether or not referring to "the state" is a reference to individual states in the union or a generic term referring to the governing body of the nation and each state.

If the Supreme Court decides that this one single sentence of the Affordable Care Act is a bad sentence, it could be fixed with a new sentence. However, Republicans have made it clear that they aren't interested in easy fixes. They like complicated fixes.

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 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.

What Republicans have proposed is not actually a fix. They want to use an unfavorable ruling in King v. Burwell as a vehicle to tear down as much of Obamacare as they possibly can. They may not have a comprehensive replacement plan, but they do have goals they hope to achieve such as a repeal of the individual mandate.

To make a long story short -- if it would increase costs and reduce coverage, Republicans are for it.

The good news is some states are developing their own plans to avert catastrophe, but not every state that could be affected is inclined to do so.

If the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare, it's possible congressional Republicans could drag out the process of patching the law for so long that even those states that are controlled by anti-Obamacare Republicans will adopt their own solutions as the chaos in their backyards piles up.

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.