While we await the Supreme Court decision regarding federal vs. state subsidies, Republicans can’t decide if they want the subsidies upheld or struck down. Indeed, some believe that upholding them will be best for Republicans (note, not best for America or Americans). Sharyl Attkisson reports:
It would theoretically be a victory for Republicans who oppose Obamacare: Americans would likely find the health care law less palatable if tax money isn’t helping pay for their mandatory policies. They would suddenly be exposed to the reality faced by those who aren’t getting subsidies: insurance may cost more, come with higher deductibles, and provide less coverage.
But some Congressional Republicans are more worried about winning the Supreme Court case than losing it.
“There are Republicans right now scared to death that we’re going to win,” says one Republican leader who did not want to be quoted by name. “They’re in meetings right now planning ways to revive the subsidies if the [Supreme] Court strikes them down.”
They are “scared to death” because they are worried the Democratic and media narratives would place the blame on Republicans for the loss of subsidies by those who’ve purchased ObamaCare through the federal exchanges. Attkisson explains:
According to a dozen Congressional Republicans who discussed the topic but did not wish to be named, they worry the public wouldn’t view a strike-down of the subsidies as a weakness in Obamacare, but would instead blame Republicans for taking money away from them.
These Republicans also worry that the news media will coalesce behind that view, making it difficult to overcome from a public relations standpoint.
Politico reports that 31 senators are backing a bill by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, that would restore subsidies for the affected Obamacare customers through September 2017.
Large percentages of those polled say they would support a fix if the subsidies are found to be unlawful. Significant numbers of those polled don’t understand how the federal and state exchanges work.
I understand that optics matter, but it seems a bit much for Republicans to be the ones to save ObamaCare when not doing so would do no harm to America’s poorest who need health care—they’ve been covered by Medicaid since long before ObamaCare, after all.
As Attkisson notes, “the irony is that Republicans would, in effect, be providing a crucial fix to a law they’ve opposed since its inception. In other words, when Obamacare would be at greatest risk of crumbling, Republicans would be ensuring its survival.”
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