A White House aide later told The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein that Obama “would oppose involving the Affordable Care Act in the negotiations taking place to stave off the so-called fiscal cliff.” But Stein also added, “Another Senate Democratic aide did concede that some changes to the Affordable Care Act could be made as part of a grand-bargain deal that would replace the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and the $1 trillion in spending cuts included in the sequester. But those changes would not alter the purpose and reach of the law ‘in any meaningful way.’”
This mirrors what The Washington Examiner has heard from House Republican sources as well. Republicans acknowledge that Obama would never alter the fundamental architecture of Obamacare, but they do believe he would agree to lower health insurance subsidy spending in exchange for higher revenues. Remember, the original Senate version of Obamacare passed out of the Finance committee included less generous health insurance exchange subsidies. Republicans think they can get Obama to go back to those levels of Obamacare spending.