Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters on Tuesday that if the Supreme Court were to invalidate Obamacare subsidies on the federal exchange, it would lead to a “comprehensive revisitation” of health care reform in Congress.
At his Capitol press conference, McConnell sidestepped a question from TPM on whether he would be open to a legislative fix that explicitly authorizes Obamacare subsidies on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange, the part of the law being challenged at the Court.
If the Supreme Court axes federal exchange subsidies (which serve some 7 million Americans in 36 states), McConnell said “for sure Congress is back in the business of taking a look at health care in a comprehensive way.”
“It’s hard to predict what the appropriate response would be before we see what they rule. … If the Court were to rule the way they might, we could be in for a very large comprehensive revisitation of the whole issue.”
Earlier, McConnell told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Tuesday that that the prospects of repealing Obamacare are “pretty limited” but “[w]ho may ultimately take it down is the Supreme Court of the United States.”
“If that were to be the case, I would assume that you could have a mulligan here, a major do-over of the whole thing — that opportunity presented to us by the Supreme Court, as opposed to actually getting the president to sign a full repeal, which is not likely to happen,” McConnell told the Journal.
Nearly five years after Obamacare was enacted, Republicans remain staunchly opposed to the law but they have yet to coalesce around a health care plan of their own.
The Supreme Court case is King v. Burwell. Oral arguments are expected early next year, with a decision by the end of June.