NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND — With the Supreme Court poised to hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell next week, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) reiterated Thursday that Republicans aren’t interested in fixing the subsidies language at the heart of the case.
“You can imagine if the Supreme Court rules against the president and said he’s acted illegally, he’s going to completely attack,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) said at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) during a panel on conservative alternatives to Obamacare. “He’s going to call them a partisan court and then he’s going to say ‘I’ve got this one-page solution. Just make everything I’ve done, make it legal.’ And we’re not prepared to do that.”
Proponents of Obamacare are hoping to convince Chief Justice John Roberts, considered a key vote in the case, that there will be no viable political solution from the current Congress if the Court invalidates the federal tax subsidies. Likewise, many Republicans have been pushing for the GOP to offer viable Obamacare alternatives before the Court decides the case to make it easier for Roberts to decide in their favor. A Republican alternative seems unlikely to be forthcoming before the Court votes privately on the case next Friday.
If the Supreme Court invalidated the law, it would effectively gut a key part of the law that helps finance expanded coverage. Barrasso’s statement underscores Republican opposition to a simple fix to law’s subsidies provision, seven words that gave rise to the lawsuit challenging whether subsides were available in the more than 30 states that use the federal exchange.