The Supreme Court is set to rule any day on “King v. Burwell,” the case that will determine whether millions of people will lose their subsidies for health insurance coverage. In recent days all eyes have been on the GOP, waiting for an answer to the question, “What now?” if the court rules that subsidies are illegal in states that use the federal insurance exchange, rather than a state marketplace.
Congressman Paul Ryan appeared with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” and Wallace tried to get him to say what the Republican plan will be, should the court strike down subsidies. Wallace asks repeatedly if Republicans in congress have a solution to the problem that will be created for millions of people who rely on a subsidy to pay for their insurance. Ryan, playing the role of a human talking points machine, replies with the same tired rhetoric that has been coming out of his mouth for years.
Ryan calls Obamacare a “failed law.” He says that Republicans want to give people “freedom from Obamacare.” The law is collapsing, Ryan says, adding “Even if the court rules for Obamacare, you still have a disaster on our hands.”
Wallace, who many regard as perhaps the only truly “fair and balanced” personality on the “fair and balanced” network, keeps asking Ryan if there is a Republican solution, should the court rule against subsidies. Ryan keeps saying that Republicans “will have a solution.” But, when Wallace gives him the opportunity to outline even some of the most basic things that would be involved in a Republican solution, Ryan comes up empty. All he can talk about is how “bad” Obamacare is, and how Republicans want to wait to see what the exact court ruling will be before offering any ideas.
In four short minutes, Paul Ryan reveals that Republicans have no idea of what they will do if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies in the law. But why should we expect anything different? Over twenty years ago, the GOP railed against what they called “Hillarycare,” and at that time they even offered an alternative. That alternative contained a lot of the same provisions as the law they now ridicule. If they really cared about fixing America’s broken health insurance system, they had six years to offer a solution, from January 2001 to January 2007, when they had total control in Washington. They did then what they’ll do now, if Obamacare subsidies are struck down — nothing.
Here is Wallace’s interview with Ryan, via Mediaite:
Featured image via Will O’Neill/Flickr