More on Whose Ox Is Gored in King v. Burrell

Earlier today I mentioned in passing that the relatively low number of 69,000 Iowans are expected (by figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation) to lose their Obamacare subsidies if King v. Burrell knocks them down. I rhetorically wondered on Twitter how many of them would be Likely Republican Caucus-goers, and to my surprise got this very precise answer from Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics:

I bet if you calculated likely Ames Straw Poll attendees, you could get the number of directly affected GOP decision-makers in Iowa down into the double digits.

But the numbers nationally strongly suggest any Republicans who assume it’s those people benefiting from Obamacare subsidies that could be killed by this decision are in for a rude shock, according to Stateline‘s Michael Ollove:

If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down tax credits for people buying health insurance on the federal exchange, about 8.2 million Americans in 34 states could lose their coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Most of the people likely to be affected are white, employed, and low- to middle-class. They also are concentrated in a single region of the country: the South.

Health insurance rates in those states are expected to rise by as much as 35 percent, which may make coverage unaffordable even for those who don’t qualify for tax credits.

Estimates of insurance rates are highly speculative given the many moving parts of the system that affect costs and premiums. But still: that’s a lot of impact, with a lot of it clearly concentrated in the white working class voters of red states. Maybe Republicans can convince these folk to blame it all on Obama, but they’d better lie convincingly. Meanwhile, it appears they can demagogue away in Iowa.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.