What will the repeal ObamaCare gang say about this? Republicans are readying a bill to keep subsidies flowing through 2017 into those states which don't currently have their own exchange, should the Supreme Court rule to strip subsidies in those states.
If they really wanted to fix it, they could simply add one line to the existing Act deeming federal exchanges to be the same as state-based exchanges. But they don't. They just want to duck accountability for the clusterf*ck that would ensue long enough to elect their candidate President, so they can repeal the whole damn thing. Never forget that.
The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the most politically vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2016, would maintain the federal HealthCare.gov tax credits at stake in King v. Burwell through the end of August 2017.
The bill was unveiled this week with 29 other cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his four top deputies, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Another cosponsor is Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the chairman of the conference's electoral arm.
Such a move would seek to protect the GOP from political peril in the 2016 elections when Democrats would try to blame the party for stripping subsidies — and maybe insurance coverage — from millions of Americans in three dozen states. A defeat for the Obama administration in a King ruling would likely create havoc across insurance markets and pose a huge problem for Republicans, many of whom have been pushing the Supreme Court to nix the subsidies.
"This bill is a first step toward reversing the damage that Obamacare has inflicted on the American health care system," Johnson said.
He recently explained the rationale for the legislation, warning that Democrats would swarm the GOP with attacks and horror stories about "individuals that have benefited from Obamacare" and lost their coverage.
That quote from Ron Johnson is GOP counterspeak. What he really means is that it's a first step toward preserving a system where millions are benefiting, alongside hospitals and other providers.
They know they're hosed, but they're not quite willing to admit it yet. This is the next best thing.