Is Administration Playing Rope-a-Dope With SCOTUS?

It was probably a matter of time until Republicans projected some of their bad faith about the impact of a disruptive SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell onto the Obama administration. So conservative health wonk Avik Roy’s picked up on rumors there’s actually a Plan B in the works at HHS:

Two sources who have spoken to HHS about the matter have informed me that the agency does in fact have a “Plan B” to deal with an adverse ruling. It involves encouraging states to declare that they are subcontracting the management of an insurance exchange to HHS, thereby “establishing” an exchange as per the law.

Roy kinda damages his own case of a secret HHS plan to “fix” Obamacare by acknowledging that nobody knows if SCOTUS would leave open this kind of arrangement if it did side with the plaintiffs. And just as importantly, nobody knows how many Republican-governed states would take advantage of it with the right-wing rank-and-file and media horde shrieking at them to let the monster die, die, die! So if the idea here is that the administration’s warnings of chaos should SCOTUS uphold the Obamacare challenge is disingenuous–well, that’s disingenuous.

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.