Rik Schneider Online

Thursday, June 25, 2015

AEI: Ideas: James Pethokoukis: Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare Subsidies: Where Do Republicans Go From Here?

AEI: Ideas: James Pethokoukis: Supreme Court Upholds ObamaCare Subsidies: Where Do Republicans Go From Here?

With the U.S. Supreme Court making the right decision in ruling in favor of the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges, (at least in my view), the Republican Party, at least in Congress will now have an opportunity to do something positive when it comes to health care reform in America. They know now that repealing the law either through Congress, or through the Supreme Court, is not happening at least in this Congress and while Barack Obama is still President. At least their leadership in the House and Senate knows that. Whether their Tea Party members in and outside of Congress understand that, or not, probably not likely. But their leaders know this.

Now, Congressional Republicans will have the opportunity, even though they’ve had it all along, to work with Congressional Democrats in both chambers, to improve a law that they know is here to stay. At least until there’s another Republican President and Congress. Waiting for that as more Americans benefit from the ACA and get health insurance and can now afford it, will make repeal even more difficult. Without costing them seats in Congress. But even Democrats have problems with the law, which gives Republicans an opportunity to work with them when it comes to the medical device tax and small business’s covering their employees. As well as add things to the law the Republicans at least use to like. Like expanding health savings accounts for moderate and low-income workers. And giving low-income workers a private option when it comes to Medicaid.

The fact is, Republicans both in the House and Senate, haven’t offered a plan, other than John Boehner’s substitute to the ACA, when he was still House Minority Leader back in 2009, which only covered seven-million people according to the Congressional Budget Office, because they don’t have a plan. They prefer the old system, but perhaps don’t want to admit it. They don’t have a problem with health insurers dropping patients simply because they need health insurance, get sick, or have a pre-existing condition. They simply call that capitalism and the free market. They don’t believe taxpayers should help cover the health insurance of people who make too much money for Medicaid, but can’t afford private health insurance. Which is what the ACA subsidies are about. Which is why I at least believe they still don’t have an alternative to the ACA and probably won’t offer one anytime soon.