Should the justices rule this way, Barrasso expects that Obama and his allies in the media would focus on those who would be stripped of insurance subsidies – people who he argued were thrown into turmoil by Obama’s misapplication of the law. Obama would likely push Republicans to pass a simple technical “fix” that would change the language of the statute to allow for subsidies to be used toward purchasing coverage on the federal exchange.
But such a bill is likely to receive a cool reception from Republicans. For one thing, the bill would restore hundreds of billions of dollars of spending that would have been effectively wiped out once the subsidies were declared illegal. Also, restoring the subsidies would further entrench Obamacare, before a Republican president even has a chance to advance an alternative were Republicans to take over the White House in 2017.
Instead, Barrasso said Republicans are likely to demand that Obama agree to make changes to Obamacare that would eliminate objectionable features of the law, such as the individual mandate, in exchange for a temporary restoration of the subsidies…
“I think he’s also going to try to either influence or intimidate and browbeat governors, and bully governors, in those 37 states, to set up state exchanges,” Barrasso said. “But he may try to go around the law again another way by redefining state exchanges to say these all qualify, when in fact they don’t qualify. A reading of the law is very clear. Subsidies through state exchanges were supposed to be there for people. But if a state chose not to set up a state exchange, people from those states were not supposed to get subsidies.”