Speaking in Germany during the Group of Seven summit (G-7), President Barack Obama rejected the basis of a challenge to his signature healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, that is currently before the Supreme Court. Speaking on June 8, Obama said “This should be an easy case, frankly it shouldn't have even been taken up,” in reference to a decision the high court is expected to hand down this month in King v. Burwell. The case could eliminate subsidies for those who receive health insurance from federal healthcare exchanges. The president said that it is “well documented” that the ACA (Obamacare) “never intended” to block Americans currently on federal exchanges from obtaining the subsidies.
“There is no reason why the existing exchanges should be overturned through a court case,”said Obama. The president would not answer media question about any plans to respond to a finding by the Supreme Court. He said that the American people should “assume” that the exchanges will be upheld. “I'm not going into a long speculation anticipating disaster,” Obama said. “I think it’s important for us to go ahead and assume that the Supreme Court is going to do what most legal scholars who've looked at this would expect them to do.”
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) denounced Obama’s contention, saying that his party will not pass a "a so-called 'one-sentence' fake fix." Barrasso is leading the group in the Senate on a contingency plan for the outcome of the King v. Burwell decision. “Instead of bullying the Supreme Court, the president should spend his time preparing for the reality that the court may soon rule against his decision to illegally issue tax penalties and subsidies on Americans in two-thirds of the country."
So far, the administration has declined to say what it plans to do for American in 34 states who may lose healthcare subsidies. Even while at least 6.3 million citizens may lose their subsidies, Obama has stressed that he will not be able to soften the blow.
At the news conference, Obama appeared hesitant when asked why there is no back-up plan. He said, “I want to make sure that everybody understands that you have a model, where all the pieces connect, and there are a whole bunch of scenarios — not just related to healthcare — but all kinds of stuff that I do where, if somebody does something that doesn't make any sense, it's hard to fix.” He claimed that Congress can resolve the issue “with a one-sentence provision.”
Republicans are backing a plan to repeal the individual and employee healthcare mandates while allowing the Obamacare subsidies to continue. However, Republicans appear to be resigned to the prospect to a veto by Obama.
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