Millions of Americans could lose Obamacare subsidies under a Supreme Court ruling this month, but many in the GOP don’t need their votes anyway.
That’s a major political calculus for Tea Party Republicans, who are likely to resist any efforts to extend the subsidies, even temporarily. They’re much more worried about angering their base by appearing to concede to Obamacare than whether a handful of constituents lose their subsidies.
“Ninety-seven percent of Americans aren’t receiving those subsidies,” Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., told reporters Thursday. “I will tell you I’m a ‘no’ on voting to extend those subsidies unless the president is willing to sit down and work with us and fix the problems for that 97 percent.”
At stake are federal subsidies that about 7 million low and moderate-income Americans are using to buy health coverage.
They could lose the assistance if the justices rule the Obama administration is awarding it illegally in the 37 states relying on healthcare.gov instead of running their own insurance marketplaces. The dispute, known as King v. Burwell, is over the interpretation of a few sentences in the Affordable Care Act.