The SCOTUS Obamacare Case: Who Will Blink First?

Jeffrey Toobin: “Sometime next month, the Supreme Court will decide King v. Burwell, and the conventional wisdom about the stakes in the case appears to have shifted.”

“It has come to seem that Obamacare’s Republican opponents are most at risk if the decision goes their way. They have the most to lose by winning … So that’s the theory: millions will suddenly be uninsured, and will blame Republicans.”

“No, it’s not. If the Obama Administration loses in the Supreme Court, the political pain will fall almost exclusively on the President and his Party … President Obama will have broken health care, so he owns it. To the vast mass of Americans who follow politics casually or not at all, Obamacare and the American system of health care have become virtually synonymous. This may not be exactly right or fair, but it’s a reasonable perception on the part of most people. The scope of the Affordable Care Act is so vast, and its effects so pervasive, that there is scarcely a corner of health care, especially with regard to insurance, that is unaffected by it. So if millions lose insurance, they will hold it against Obamacare, and against Obama. Blaming the President in these circumstances may be unfair, but it’s the way American politics works.”

“Playing chicken with the Justices only works if it works. If the Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies, the Administration will also have to answer for why it didn’t prepare for this possibility.”

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