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In the mistaken belief that a court ruling against Obamacare subsidies would damage Republicans, Senate Republican leaders have written a bill that would nullify the court ruling and save Obamacare.
With several Senate Republicans facing tough reelections, and control of the chamber up for grabs, 31 senators have signed on to a bill written by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that would restore the subsidies for current Obamacare enrollees through September 2017. But the administration would have to pay a heavy price — the bill would also repeal Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates and insurance coverage requirements. …
But even if Johnson could somehow persuade Obama and Senate Democrats to accept his plan — a herculean task — the bigger problem will be his Republican colleagues in the House. The growing divide between the two chambers leaves the GOP in an awkward spot. The court could gut Obamacare in June, handing Republicans a long-sought victory they couldn’t achieve legislatively. But without a backup plan that the whole party supports, the GOP has no way to blunt the political damage if millions of Americans lose the ability to pay for their health insurance.
The madness here is in somehow assigning any blame to the Republicans. They didn’t write this law. They aren’t at fault if it goes down. The only political damage that will occur if the Supreme Court rules against subsidies will be against the Democrats. To think the Republicans will be hurt by this is plain stupidity, which isn’t surprising coming from a Senate leadership run by Mitch McConnell with the help of John McCain.
The Republicans should be arguing that, following a court ruling against Obamacare, the best solution would be to repeal the law outright and start over. Period. That is what the public wants, and has wanted, in poll after poll now for seven years, beginning two years before the law was even passed and continuing even as the law has increasingly gone into effect.
If the Democrats refuse to agree to a repeal than they will be the ones once again causing the problem. The Republicans shouldn’t be afraid to make this clear.