We all win if Supremes gut ObamaCare
On Wednesday, the fate of ObamaCare will again be argued before the Supreme Court.
Supporters of the health-care “reforms” are flooding the media with ghoulish predictions of what will happen if the court rules against the administration: victims supposedly losing their insurance, their medical care, even their lives.
Don’t be bamboozled by talk of disaster. Senate Republican leaders indicated on Monday that they’ll be ready to provide financial assistance to “help Americans keep the coverage they picked for a transitional period.”
Republicans also announced a plan to create “a bridge away from ObamaCare.”
Losing in court will force the president to finally negotiate changes to his expensive, unworkable health law.
Suddenly, the politically impossible — compromise on ObamaCare — will become politically inevitable. Look for big changes in the second half of 2015.
King v. Burwell is about the subsidies that make ObamaCare plans “affordable.” The letter of the law allows consumers to get subsidies only in the 14 states (including New York) that set up their own exchanges.
But the Obama administration is ignoring the law and doling them out everywhere.
If the high court reins in the subsidies, here’s what’s likely to happen:
People with ObamaCare subsidies will still be helped
No matter how the justices rule, it will have no impact on the poor. Nine out of every 10 people who are newly insured because of ObamaCare are on Medicaid, which will be unaffected.
Yes, close to 6 million middle-class Americans get the questionable subsidies and so pay a fraction of their plan’s actual cost, while taxpayers pick up three-quarters of the bill.
If the court nixes those subsidies, these people will be facing huge premium hikes — and the administration insists it has no contingency plan to help.
In an obvious effort to sway the justices, the administration warns of “massive damage.” But chairmen of three key Senate committees just announced that Republican lawmakers will be set to provide help.
Insurance companies will be the biggest losers
Their stock prices have soared since the healthcare.gov rollout — Humana up 66 percent; Cigna, 53 percent; Aetna, 52 percent. No wonder: ObamaCare forces the public to buy their policies.
It’s like a law requiring all Americans to buy cars, subsidizing those who can’t pay. That would send automaker stocks skyrocketing, too.
Insurers are expected to haul in over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money over the next decade. No wonder they’re bombarding the Supremes with arguments defending their cozy deal.
GOP governors will need Congress to provide a remedy
Gov. Chris Christie twice vetoed bills to set up a state exchange.
But some 180,000 New Jerseyans are signed up for subsidies on healthcare.gov. He and other Republican governors are in a tight spot unless Congress acts.
Penalties for being uninsured go away
The law slaps the uninsured with a penalty — 2 percent of adjusted gross income in 2015.
But in states where subsidies are eliminated, penalties are virtually gone. Only accountants lose. (The absurdly complex requirements to avoid the penalty are an H&R Block Full Employment Bill.)
The employer mandate goes, too
Employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide coverage or face a penalty — but that only kicks in if a worker signs up for a subsidy. No subsidies mean no employer mandate in those states.
That’s relief for about 250,000 businesses. Job seekers and part-timers hoping for full-time work will also benefit when employers no longer feel pressure to keep workforces under 50.
Swing-state Democrats will want to compromise
ObamaCare is a political albatross; New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer blames it for the party’s staggering losses last November.
The crisis will allow Democrats with constituents unhappy over ObamaCare — including unions now furious over the law’s “Cadillac tax” on their generous health plans — to get behind a compromise.
The justices may well reach a decision soon after this Wednesday’s oral argument, but it won’t be announced until June.
Contrary to what the Obama team is arguing, a loss for the president here will be a win for average Americans.
Republican lawmakers are getting set to drive a stake into the law’s worst features, the job-killing employer mandate and the expensive “Washington knows best” coverage mandate.
In ObamaCare’s place, we’d have a system that lets people buy the health plans they want and work the hours they want.