WASHINGTON — Don’t expect Congress to tweak Obamacare in order to protect subsidies for millions of Americans which could be invalidated this year by the Supreme Court.
When asked on Friday at a meeting with reporters, House Ways & Means Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI), a key figure overseeing U.S. health policy, said there was no desire among Republicans to tweak the law to defuse the case.
“No,” Ryan said.
The Republican chairman said his party feels “obligated” to come up with a contingency plan for the King v. Burwell case. He said a ruling against the government, which he and other Republicans are calling for, would “affect real peoples’ lives.”
“The idea is not to make Obamacare work better,” he said, adding that the goal would be to give states more freedom “to get out of Obamacare.”
As TPM reported recently, Republicans are far from any kind of consensus on what to do if the justices rule that federal exchange subsidies are impermissible under the Affordable Care Act.
Ryan also said he’s working with other Republicans on a “full replacement” for Obamacare, something his party continues to struggle with nearly five years after the law was enacted. He wouldn’t offer any details or hints on what that might look like or guarantee that Republicans would rally around an alternative.
“We all have our own opinions about these things,” he said. “Everybody’s got their own ideas.”