One of the favorite hobbies of liberals is warning Republicans about the supposed political dangers of repealing Obamacare. The latest iteration of this particular liberal fantasy comes via the communist agitprop rag Salon, which warns ominously that if the Supreme Court eliminates subsidies in the states that do not have their own exchanges, that “SCOTUS could roil the GOP: How the new threat to Obamacare could backfire on the right.”
The author of the piece, Simon Maloy, is clearly not a lawyer, because like all the other partisan hacks on the left who don’t have an inkling of legal training but suddenly find themselves to be authoritative experts on canons of statutory interpretation, he treats the plaintiffs’ arguments in King v. Burwell as non-serious legal challenges which may yet appeal to the political leanings of the Supreme Court’s five conservative justices. As we have covered here extensively before, the exact opposite is in fact true: legally speaking this is practically an open and shut case for the King v. Burwell plaintiffs (those who want the Federal subsidies struck down), and only the fact that striking down the federal subsidies would create a political controversy might save them. But I digress.
The substance of the warning given to us by our helpful friends at Salon shows just how much ignorance the average pundit who is pooh poohing this challenge even has about the law that he is purportedly defending:
But it’s not at all that simple. The biggest political challenge facing the GOP is the fact that “repealing” or otherwise damaging the Affordable Care Act, while ideologically satisfying, carries with it some very real consequences. The states that opted not to create their own health exchanges – the states that would lose their health insurance subsidies if SCOTUS rules against the government – are mostly Republican-governed states. The sudden unavailability of those tax credits would mean that a lot of newly insured people in those states would no longer be able to afford their health coverage. They will expect their elected officials to do something to mitigate the damage, which would be catastrophic. Close to 5 million people across the country would see their health insurance costs spike.
That would pose an awkward situation for Republicans in the statehouses and Congress: Do they stick to their ideologically acceptable rigid opposition to Obamacare, or do they work to fix the law? Congress …read more