Republicans unleashed on the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in favor of Obamacare subsidies, with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) calling it “a loss for the Constitution and … an egregious expansion of executive power.”
“The language of the Affordable Care Act could not have been more clear or limiting in its scope, applying only to exchanges established by the states. The Supreme Court has now taken the incredibly illogical leap of deciding that the words ‘exchanges established by the states’ should also mean ‘exchanges not established by the states,'” Issa said. “This decision weakens Congress’ ability to constrain the executive branch and amounts to handing President Obama a $4 trillion check to spend as he sees fit, contrary to Congress’ and the states’ clearly expressed wishes.”
While not committing to what the next steps from a GOP-majority Congress might be, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the floor today that “today’s ruling won’t change Obamacare’s multitude of broken promises, including the one that resulted in millions of Americans losing the coverage they had and wanted to keep.”
“The politicians who forced Obamacare on the American people now have a choice: crow about Obamacare’s latest wobble towards the edge, or work with us to address the ongoing negative impact of a 2,000-page law that continues to make life miserable for too many of the same people it purported to help,” McConnell said.
House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) said the ruling “has not and it should not dissuade policymakers from continuing to pursue a repeal of Obamacare.”
“We’ll take every action possible in Congress, in the courts, and in statehouses across our country to stop this unworkable and unaffordable law from hurting more Americans,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said. “We’ll continue to look for opportunities to deliver real reform that lowers costs, improves access and helps all Americans live healthier lives.”
Even with a GOP majority in both Houses of Congress, though, an Obamacare repeal or significant reform is unlikely to make it past a 60-vote cloture threshold in the Senate — and less likely to hit a veto-proof majority.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus noted that Obamacare will now take center stage on the campaign trail.
“Hillary Clinton supports big government mandates and expanding the government’s reach into our healthcare system, maneuvers that have made our healthcare system worse off,” Priebus said. “What you will not hear from Democrats today is any information on how to make healthcare more affordable at a time when premiums are getting more expensive.”
Clinton, meanwhile, panned GOP attempts to repeal Obamacare, adding “it’s time to move on.”
“The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, but the evidence is clear: it’s working,” she said in a statement after the ruling. “Republicans should stop trying to tear down the law and start working across party lines to build on these successes. I’ve fought for the promise of quality, affordable health care for every American for decades. And I’m not going to stop now. Anyone seeking to lead our country should stand up and support this decision.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) went further, saying “what the United States should do is join every other major nation and recognize that health care is a right of citizenship.”
“A Medicare-for-all, single-payer system would provide better care at less cost for more Americans,” the presidential hopeful said.