There's a lot of public posturing and preening right now by different constituencies waiting for Supreme Court rulings. Conservatives are going shrill on same sex marriage, and playing the Lucy-football game on the Affordable Care Act.
Unfortunately, our Beltway press buddies keep falling for the act. Every time a Republican Congressman smiles slyly and says "We might consider an extension of the tax subsidies if we get our backdoor repeal of ACA" and the likes of The Hill or Politico reports that, I want to slap them silly and tell them to get real.
So, The Hill, consider this your slap upside the head. Will you get out of DC long enough to get some real oxygen in your pretty little heads, please?
House conservatives are hinting at support for a temporary extension of Obama-Care subsidies if the Supreme Court cripples the law, even as they set up a working group to develop their own plan.
The high court is set to rule later this month in the case of King v. Burwell, which could invalidate subsidies for millions of people in at least 34 states using the federally run marketplace. Republicans say they need to be ready to address people losing their coverage, but have yet to coalesce around a plan.
Please. Have you not received the memo that says Republicans made a promise to kill the ACA, to repeal it "root and branch?"
Stop giving these jerks cover to play it up for the Roberts court in the media, when you and I and everyone else on the planet knows they're never going to extend subsidies, they still want to repeal it, and even their so-called replacement plan has no plan for what to do with all those folks with pre-existing conditions.
As Jonathan Cohn pointed out earlier this week:
Republicans' history of promising and then not delivering comprehensive health care legislation -- a history, after all, that goes back decades -- hints at a deep, fundamental disagreement with the entire idea. Republicans will talk up the importance of helping people with pre-existing conditions or providing financial assistance to people for whom insurance is too expensive. But creating a truly universal coverage system -- in which everybody has access, regardless of income or health -- requires taking steps that many conservatives simply can’t abide.
There you go. One paragraph that shows exactly why no Republican is seriously considering any "fix" for the subsidies nor will they ever.
Now, reporters, watch one person explain why the entire King v. Burwell challenge is bullshit, and why the Supreme Court should reject it outright and unanimously. It will only take 42 seconds.
Got that? Good. So now you can either ask them serious questions about their sly little hints and get them on the record so we can prove them to be liars later, or you should just stop reporting that any Republican is seriously considering any alternatives.
They're not, they won't, and nothing is going to change that.