No EZ Fix for Obamacare

This is the least surprising development of the year so far, but for the record, the President has suggested a “one-sentence” fix if the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, and congressional Republicans are rejecting the idea out of hand, per this report from Bloomberg Politics‘ Sahil Kapur:

President Barack Obama had barely finished proposing an idea to deal with a far-reaching Supreme Court decision on Obamacare before Republicans fired back with a categorical response: Not gonna happen.

At the G7 conference in Germany on Monday, the president said if the justices strip subsidies from millions of Americans, “Congress could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision” making clear that Healthcare.gov subsidies are available in all 50 states. Republicans quickly fired off a rebuttal.

“Let’s be clear: if the Supreme Court rules against the Administration, Congress will not pass a so called ‘one-sentence’ fake fix,” Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, who is leading Republican efforts to craft a contingency plan, said in a statement.

The way Republicans are going to play this, of course, if SCOTUS wreaks havoc, is to describe Obamacare as “flawed” and requiring a “replacement.” Since they cannot really agree on one at present, they’ll offer some “temporary” provision like Ron Johnson’s legislation that contains multiple poison pills that guarantee a presidential veto. But the message will be that Obama screwed this up from the get-go and now won’t help fix it. Meanwhile no Republican will be compelled to case a vote that can later be described as “saving” Obamacare.

The whole approach, of course, depends on ignorance and lies. But that’s nothing new for the GOP on this topic.

UPDATE: Case in point (h/t Josh Marshall):

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.