One of the more interesting reactions to the SCOTUS decision in King v. Burwell was this one from Josh Barro:

He’s right. Had the Court upheld Obamacare subsidies on the grounds of the Chevron doctrine as a deferral to agency interpretations of an ambiguous statute, then presumably that interpretation could be reversed by a future administration. So before you could say “Ted Cruz” you’ve got a litmus test wherein the entire GOP field would have to swear to do just that on January 20, 2017, approximately ten seconds after taking the Oath of Office. This posture would also carry the implied obligation to have a fully thought-out Obamacare “replacement” lest six million people or so lose their health insurance, and a feasible strategy for enacting it real fast after the subsidies are yanked.

Now those subsidies are safe until such time as Congress and the president have acted to change or kill or replace them. For that very reason, though, Republican rhetoric on Obamacare is likely to go far off the rails, and won’t become sober again until action to do something about it becomes proximate. That’s just the way it will work.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.