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5/26/15

Healtcare USA on the ropes: Senate GOP prepared to replace Obamacare subsidies - Jennifer Haberkorn and Rachael Bade

Preparing for a Supreme Court decision that could strike down Obamacare’s subsidies for nearly 7.5 million people this summer, Senate Republicans are coalescing around a plan to resurrect them — at a steep price for the White House.

With several Senate Republicans facing tough reelections, and control of the chamber up for grabs, 31 senators have signed on to a bill written by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that would restore the subsidies for current Obamacare enrollees through September 2017. But the administration would have to pay a heavy price — the bill would also repeal Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates and insurance coverage requirements.

“In that moment of what could be political chaos, we’re offering such a reasonable proposal that solves a mess,” Johnson said. “It fixes a mess caused by a sloppily written law, unlawfully implemented. All we’re asking for is a little bit of freedom back, which would be, I think, pretty popular,” Johnson said. Even Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is backing Johnson’s measure, along with the rest of the chamber’s GOP leaders.

Johnson, who’s got a tight race in 2016, says the legislation would be a bridge to ensure that consumers can keep the insurance they have — a promise that President Barack Obama was widely criticized for breaking in 2014.

But even if Johnson could somehow persuade Obama and Senate Democrats to accept his plan — a herculean task — the bigger problem will be his Republican colleagues in the House.

The growing divide between the two chambers leaves the GOP in an awkward spot. The court could gut Obamacare in June, handing Republicans a long-sought victory they couldn’t achieve legislatively. But without a backup plan that the whole party supports, the GOP has no way to blunt the political damage if millions of Americans lose the ability to pay for their health insurance.

Note EU-Digest; It seems like the Republican's opposition against just about everything the present Administration proposes or has proposed has reached a level now which can be earmarked as purely destructive.

Read more: Senate GOP prepared to replace Obamacare subsidies - Jennifer Haberkorn and Rachael Bade - POLITICO

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