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Supreme Court ruling on healthcare law could bring trouble for Republicans
The Hill ^ | 6/13/12 | Sam Baker

Posted on 06/13/2012 6:13:50 PM PDT by Libloather

Supreme Court ruling on healthcare law could bring trouble for Republicans
By Sam Baker - 06/13/12 05:00 AM ET

The Supreme Court’s landmark healthcare ruling will pose a big test for Republicans, even if the court strikes down all or part of President Obama’s healthcare law.

So far, the party has not come together around a set of policies to replace the healthcare law if it’s struck down entirely. Republicans also haven’t said how they would handle policies that are already in place, including discounts on prescription drugs for many seniors.

“House Republicans will proceed with a rational, positive transition so that any disruption that’s created by the court decision is mitigated,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who chairs the Republican Policy Committee.

The court is expected to decide this month whether the law’s mandate that individuals buy insurance is constitutional — and, if not, whether to throw out the entire law, or only part of it.

A ruling against the health law would certainly be a blow to Obama, and Republicans would claim that it validates their entrenched opposition to the president’s signature legislative achievement. But it would also present political and policy questions the GOP is not necessarily ready to answer.

Planning for the GOP got a little easier this week when three large insurers said they would voluntarily leave in place certain parts of the healthcare law even if the statute is struck down. UnitedHealth, Humana and Aetna said they would continue to let young people stay on their parents’ plans through age 26 — a popular piece of the health law that Republicans had said they planned to replace.

The rest of the “transition” won’t be as easy. Drug companies might not be able to voluntarily continue providing discounts on prescription drugs, and some items just can’t be done by the private sector. Part of the law simply reauthorized existing programs, some of which had been in place for decades before the healthcare law was signed.

When asked whether the GOP would move first to replace the law’s reauthorizations and other small-bore, generally agreed-upon items, Price said such speculation was “premature.”

Perhaps the most difficult challenge for Republicans would come from a decision striking down only the mandate, leaving the rest of the law intact. The immediate political response is clear: House Republicans will pass a bill to repeal what remains, which will go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

As a practical matter, though, a decision striking only the mandate would lead to a policy scenario that all sides — Republicans, Democrats, the insurance industry and independent policy experts — see as dangerous and unsustainable.

Republicans could then face mounting pressure to walk away from their hard line against “fixing” the Affordable Care Act.

“It puts them with a very difficult choice,” one healthcare lobbyist said.

The mandate was included in healthcare reform to offset the costs of two popular provisions: requiring insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and barring them from charging higher prices to those consumers. Most experts agree that implementing those two provisions without the mandate would cause premiums to soar.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Tuesday that insurers should not be able to drop existing customers because of a pre-existing condition. That policy is already federal law, separate from the healthcare law. It would apply only to people who are already insured, whereas the healthcare law provides guaranteed coverage to people who have lost their insurance.

Unless Republicans pick up the White House and enough Senate seats to fully repeal the healthcare law, they could come back to Washington in 2013 facing a difficult choice: break their pledge not to fix the healthcare law, or try to repeal only the law’s most popular provisions.

“Clearly in 2013 there’s going to have to be something done,” another healthcare lobbyist said. “At a certain point, they’ll have to have that discussion.”

Pressure to fix the healthcare law would come not only from Democrats, but also from the insurance industry.

The industry’s leading trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), lobbied hard for the mandate. AHIP didn’t take a position on whether the mandate is constitutional, but filed a brief with the Supreme Court stressing the link between the coverage requirement and other provisions.

In the run-up to the decision, AHIP has focused its efforts on educating lawmakers and the public about the link between the mandate and other reforms, including the requirement to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

AHIP recently released white papers describing the failure of state-level efforts to ban pre-existing condition exclusions without a mandate. Kentucky and Washington state tried to pass standalone insurance reforms, only to see premiums spike. Both states eventually abandoned the regulations.

AHIP would not comment on its lobbying plans under various Supreme Court scenarios. But other stakeholders said it’s not hard to see insurers lobbying to replace the mandate, if the policies on pre-existing conditions can’t be repealed.

“Trying to strike those important provisions will be an uphill battle even for the insurance industry,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of the pro-reform advocacy group Families USA.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; commiecare; court; deathpanels; healthcare; obamacare; republicans; zerocare
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To: Castigar
Why is the default position that the Repubs are supposed to clean up the crap after it hits the fan? Did I miss something?
21 posted on 06/13/2012 7:08:29 PM PDT by Awgie (truth is always stranger than fiction)
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To: Hostage

I want the mandate struck down but not the entire law. If the Court strikes down the entire law, there will be less conservative wildfire for the GOP (up and down the ballot) in November.

Politically, the best outcome for the GOP is to strike down the mandate (and perhaps other provisions) but not the entire statute.

22 posted on 06/13/2012 7:09:15 PM PDT by mwl8787
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To: Libloather

TROUBLE?????? HAHAHA.....that’s because this is ONLY one of the FIRST steps in kicking government out of our lives, so we can have a more economically and free country! Everything government has touched it screwed up....time for the RESET back to our Constitution!

23 posted on 06/13/2012 7:10:01 PM PDT by goodnesswins (What has happened to America?)
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To: Libloather
Media pundits forget that before obamacare, fully 80% of Americans were satisfied with their healthcare. The best course before the election is to just make it back to what it was before this abortion was perpetrated on the people. After the election, some judicious and limited reforms would be good, mainly to correct distortions put in place over the years by 'rat lobbyists.
24 posted on 06/13/2012 7:19:00 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Libloather

The Constitutional Scholar going by the name of Barack Obama will be shot down having tried to force unconstitutional legislation against the will of the people. Therefore the self-proclaimed 4th best president ever will be summarily voted out of office after a single term for attempting to fundamentally transform the US of A.

25 posted on 06/13/2012 7:23:29 PM PDT by Hotlanta Mike (Resurrect the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)...before there is no America!)
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To: mwl8787

Then you want what the democrats want.

If left standing the Title IX tax provisions will grow and consume everyone. It is what the democrats wanted from the beginning, a massive tax on healthcare.

26 posted on 06/13/2012 7:25:58 PM PDT by Hostage (Be Breitbart!)
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To: C210N
If 'R's are smart, which I know they ain't, they would come together around the capitalism policy.

27 posted on 06/13/2012 7:31:44 PM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: Libloather

It’s not just not healthcare for anyone; it’s the other stuff in the bill that the one world government wants.

28 posted on 06/13/2012 7:37:06 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Libloather

The assumption is that republicans must have another complex government program in readiness to replace ObamaKare.

But the real solution is to return to free enterprise and get government and government money out of healthcare to the largest degree possible.

29 posted on 06/13/2012 7:50:58 PM PDT by Iron Munro (John Adams: 'Two ways to enslave a country. One is by the sword, the other is by debt')
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To: Libloather
Supreme Court ruling on healthcare law could bring trouble for Republicans

Because the celebration would last so long we might forget to vote?

30 posted on 06/13/2012 8:07:25 PM PDT by Caipirabob (I say we take off and Newt the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure...)
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To: boomop1

“The Hill a bunch of lefty’s having a cow.”


It wasn’t the Republicans who foisted this albatross around the neck of the nation! It will have zero effect on the Republicans, other than rallying the electorate to throw out even more of the bums that voted for this turd!

31 posted on 06/13/2012 8:10:15 PM PDT by Bshaw (A nefarious deceit is upon us all!)
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To: All
Government doesn't work.
32 posted on 06/13/2012 9:03:22 PM PDT by Art in Idaho (Conservatism is the only hope for Western Civilization.)
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To: Libloather

Let me get this straight. 0bama and the Dems pass an unconstitutional law. It gets struck down and it is trouble for Republicans? Don’t you love lib logic?

33 posted on 06/13/2012 9:09:38 PM PDT by Truth is a Weapon (Truth, it hurts so good.)
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To: Hotlanta Mike
I hope they throw the whole thing out.

If they throw out parts of it, even if Romney follows through on his promise to repeal the law, there may be a problem with the Senate. The Republicans' chances of getting to 60 seats are probably slim, and short of that the Democrats can filibuster.

34 posted on 06/13/2012 9:23:00 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
The spin in this article really is amazing.

Isn't it? everything is a problem for the Republicans,

and especially problematic if they win!

Absolutely ZANY!!!

35 posted on 06/13/2012 11:11:32 PM PDT by ThirstyMan
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To: Truth is a Weapon
Let me get this straight. 0bama and the Dems pass an unconstitutional law. It gets struck down and it is trouble for Republicans? Don’t you love lib logic?

you got it! With "Lib Logic" they never lose.

36 posted on 06/13/2012 11:15:14 PM PDT by ThirstyMan
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To: Third Person
Get rid of it and remove the government from the markets. People in government can’t comprehend the idea of less government. Self preservation, expansion and control is what government is all about.

Can you comprehends a health "system" where the USSC says US Government participation in it is unconstitutional.

Personally, I think the US Government should have NO ROLE....None, None at all!!! Let individuals and market do it all. It would self-organize quickly and still be a model for the world to follow.

37 posted on 06/14/2012 2:41:06 AM PDT by Rapscallion (Obama's favorite tactic is scapegoating successful Americans.)
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To: Libloather

The only “trouble” could be that some people might fear Obama a little bit less. Wouldn’t matter to me, but it might to the “middles”.

38 posted on 06/14/2012 1:53:20 PM PDT by Da Bilge Troll (Defeatism is not a winning strategy!)
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