Wednesday, March 11, 2015


There are those who believe that Scott Walker's hard line on Obamacare could come back to haunt him in his presidential run if the Supreme Court rules against subsidies for recipients in states using the federal exchange (Wisconsin being one of those states). But I think Greg Sargent is right -- governors will just pass the buck to D.C.:
A spokesperson for Walker has now confirmed that should the Court rule that way, he will not view it as the state’s responsibility to fix the problem that results -- and instead says that responsibility will fall to the federal government.

... This answer is very similar to the one offered recently by Florida Governor Rick Scott: “This is a federal program, it’s a federal problem.”
And maybe senators running for president, such as Florida's Marco Rubio, will just say that refusing to create a state exchange in order to preserve the subsidies is a state-level decision -- it's not Washington's fault! So all Republicans will declare themselves blameless, one way or another.

Or every Republican will just take advantage of the confusion and blame Obama. As Scott Lemieux writes:
The combination of separation of powers and federalism will allow Republican public officials to evade responsibility for the consequences of Republican Supreme Court accepting the premise of a libertarian lawsuit to achieve Republican policy goals. And, sadly, it has a good chance of working: the assumption that voters will know that Obama isn’t to blame for failures related to “Obamacare” is probably wrong.
(Remember, of course, that the premise of the lawsuit is that Obama and the Democrats deliberately limited subsidies to states running their own exchanges -- it's not clear why they'd set out to do that intentionally, but for some reason, according to Republicans, Democrats wanted to expend all their political capital promising universal access to health coverage but not delivering it in multiple states.)

And you know what's going to compound the problem, of course: The mainstream press, while not accepting the premise that the GOP is blameless exactly, will nevertheless say that Obama could get a deal to preserve the subsidies if he'd just LEAD HARDER -- in other words, it'll be deemed his fault that he can't get a compromise from Republicans on a law that they hate with the fury of ten thousand suns, and that many of them have voted to repeal more than fifty times.

So, yeah, people will lose coverage. And Republicans will probably not suffer serious consequences, because they will deliberately confuse the public about who's to blame, and the press will compound the confusion.

1 comment:

Victor said...

As I write this, Republican politicians all around the country are practicing their finger-pointing.

You'd think that by this time, they'd have that down pat.

But, this time, it'll be extra special finger-pointing!!!

The only place their fingers never point, is at themselves.