Obamacare Barely Mentioned During GOP Debate

“What a difference four years — and millions of people with health insurance — can make in the Republican presidential campaign,” the Huffington Post reports.

“On Wednesday night, for this year’s debate at the Reagan Library, the health care law got almost no attention at all.”

Wonk Wire: Census report shows uninsured rate drops sharply

Walker Rips Republican Senators

Gov. Scott Walker (R) “took aim at the four senators who are competing against him for the GOP nomination, berating them for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Said Walker: “You see, they told us during the last election that if we just elected a Republican Senate, the leadership out there would put a bill to repeal Obamacare on the desk of the president. It’s August, we’re still waiting for that measure. We need to have some leadership in Washington.”

Lee Backs Down from Obamacare Repeal Plan

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) “backed down on Monday from a controversial plan to appeal to allow a simple-majority vote to repeal Obamacare, following a meeting in which he apologized to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the actions of a Lee staffer,” the Washington Post reports.

“Lee abandoned his plan after first offering to give up in exchange for a later repeal vote as part of budget reconciliation and failing to find support from leadership. The Utah Republican clashed with McConnell and other party leaders over his plan to try and overturn Senate rules and force a simple-majority vote, known as the “nuclear option,” on an amendment to the must-pass highway funding bill.”

Lee Hopes to Use Nuclear Option to Repeal Obamacare

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) announced that “he plans to use a complicated procedural maneuver known as the nuclear option to repeal the Affordable Care Act with just 51 votes,” the Washington Post reports.

“Democrats famously used the strategy in 2013 to break a Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominees to fill judicial openings. Now Lee wants to use the partisan procedure get rid of Obamacare.”

“It’s unclear whether Lee’s gambit will work — but if it does, there are likely 51 senators who would vote to repeal Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The issue is whether such language can get a vote on the Senate floor to begin with.”

Trump Blames Jeb Bush for Roberts Appointment

Donald Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt that Jeb Bush is responsible for influencing his brother’s appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Supreme Court and with it, last week’s decision justifying Obamacare.

Said Trump: “If you think about it, Jeb Bush gave us Justice Roberts. He’s the one who pushed Justice Roberts.”

GOP Won’t End Filibuster to Scrap Obamacare

“Senate Republicans appear to be closing the door on gutting the filibuster, brushing aside calls from presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Scott Walker to consider lowering the 60-vote threshold for repealing Obamacare,” The Hill reports.

“Sources close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) say there’s virtually no chance he will go along with abolishing the filibuster, something he has strongly criticized in the past.”

Wonk Wire: Republicans need to accept Obamacare is here to stay.

Supreme Court Allows Obamacare Subsidies Nationwide

The Supreme Court ruled that President Obama’s health care law “may provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance,” the New York Times reports.

“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion in the 6-to-3 decision. The court’s three most conservative members — Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — dissented.”

Wonk Wire: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

Obama Legacy Hinges on Health Care Ruling

President Obama’s “prospects for a legacy of expanding health care coverage in the United States for generations have never seemed as uncertain as they do today. The Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of the month on a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act — insurance subsidies for millions of Americans — and even Mr. Obama’s closest allies say that a decision to invalidate the subsidies would mean years of logistical and political chaos,” the New York Times reports.

“In the Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, conservatives have challenged the federal government’s right to subsidize premiums for people who signed up for insurance through a federally run health marketplace. If the government loses, more than 6.4 million of those policy holders could see their premiums triple, or worse. Insurance companies could abandon marketplaces across the country. Mr. Obama’s attempt to engineer a private-sector solution to the country’s health insurance crisis could all but collapse.”

Waiting for the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling

The Hill: “The wait is almost over for what could be the last big legal threat to ObamaCare. Court-watchers are working themselves into a frenzy awaiting a decision on King v. Burwell, one of the most-anticipated cases of the year.”

“On opinion days, dozens of reporters are packing into the court or swarming the steps outside, while nearly 10,000 people tune into SCOTUSblog for live updates. False reports attempting to predict the timing of the decision have only further fueled the hype.”

Obamacare Repeal Would Cost $137 Billion

A new CBO report finds that repealing the Affordable Care Act would cost the U.S. government $137 billion over the next decade.

“The new report is the first federal assessment since the main provisions of the law took effect in 2014. It found that repealing the health-care law would increase deficits by $353 billion over 10 years. But after taking into account economic factors, including slightly larger workforce participation that would result from repealing the law, that amount would fall to $137 billion.”

“The analysis also concluded that repealing the health-care law would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 19 million in 2016.”

Obama Says Court Will Uphold Obamacare Subsidies

President Obama “expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would uphold subsidies millions of consumers use to buy health insurance, and at the same time warned of possible dire consequences if that doesn’t happen,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Meanwhile, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) warned that Congress would not implement a quick fix: “Let’s be clear: if the Supreme Court rules against the administration, Congress will not pass a so called ‘one-sentence’ fake fix.”

Wonk Wire: States look for alternative Obamacare rescue plans

Republicans Find a Way to Embrace Obamacare

“In nearly a dozen Republican-dominated states, either the governor or conservative legislators are seeking to add work requirements to Obamacare Medicaid expansion, much like an earlier generation pushed for welfare to work,” Politico reports.

“The move presents a politically acceptable way for conservative states to accept the billions of federal dollars available under Obamacare, bringing health care coverage to millions of low-income people. But to the Obama administration, a work requirement is a non-starter, an unacceptable ideological shift in the 50-year-old Medicaid program and a break with the Affordable Care Act’s mission of expanding health care coverage to all Americans.”

Greg Sargent: A crack in red state resistance to Obamacare?

GOP Debates Keeping Obamacare Subsidies Thru 2016

“Congressional Republicans are locked in a debate about whether to temporarily keep in place the Obamacare subsidies that are at risk of being struck down at the Supreme Court,” The Hill reports.

“The stakes are high, as a ruling against the healthcare law could strip federal aid from an estimated 7.5 million people ahead of the 2016 elections, with red states hit particularly hard.”

Wonk Wire: A big jump in Obamacare satisfaction