SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

Republicans in wait-and-see mode after judge strikes a blow to Obamacare

Top congressional Republicans were quick to argue that a federal court ruling that the Affordable Care Act i...

Posted: Dec 18, 2018 9:33 AM
Updated: Dec 18, 2018 9:33 AM

Top congressional Republicans were quick to argue that a federal court ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional won't affect the immediate future for health care consumers and the legal battle will take a long time to play out.

The comments from GOP leadership come, however, as some rank-and-file GOP lawmakers say that the ruling puts pressure on Congress to come up with a plan if the ruling striking down the law is ultimately upheld.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Decisions and rulings

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Health and medical

Health care

Health care policy and law

Health care reform

Health insurance

Insurance

Law and legal system

Obamacare

Political organizations

Political platforms and issues

Politics

Trial and procedure

US Congress

US federal court system

US federal government

US political parties

US Republican Party

US Senate

US Supreme Court

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

White House

Legislation

US Democratic Party

US House of Representatives

"The status quo will be maintained pending appeals to the circuit courts and the Supreme Court," Sen. John Cornyn, the current No 2. Senate Republican, reassured on Monday, adding that people need to "take a deep breath" and "we'll see what the Supreme Court does, maybe in a couple of years from now."

"Nothing is going to happen near term. We know that," added Sen. John Thune, the Senate's current No. 3 Republican.

The landmark health care law does remain in effect for now, despite a ruling Friday in Texas that said that its individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law therefore cannot stand. It's too soon to say what the ruling will mean for the fate of the law since it is expected to face appeal and likely end up before the Supreme Court.

That has left Republicans in Congress, who very much want to make broad legislative changes to the Affordable Care Act, in wait-and-see mode over whether they will be forced into yet another fight over health care as a result of the current legal battle. Lawmakers are also anxious about the potential political fallout of disrupting the health care law that polls show is popular with many Americans.

But while Republican congressional leaders appear to be arguing that at least for now this remains an issue for the courts to resolve, President Donald Trump has seized on the ruling to immediately turn attention to Congress.

The President tweeted on Friday: "Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!," referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to become the House speaker in the new Congress.

Trump tweeted again on Monday, saying, "We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare! A confirming Supreme Court Decision will lead to GREAT HealthCare results for Americans!"

Several GOP senators acknowledged Monday that even if the issue isn't before Congress currently, the ruling puts pressure on lawmakers all the same.

"It puts pressure on everybody to come up with something that endures," said Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is retiring at the end of his current term.

"It should put pressure on Congress to finally address the millions of Americans who have been hurt under Obamacare," said Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, adding, "I believe it is long past time that we follow through on our promises to expand competition, expand consumer freedom and lower premiums to make health insurance more affordable."

"It puts both parties in a heightened focus on health care, there's no question," said retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. Corker added, "It's going to take a long time for that to work its way up in the courts, so there's a lot of time."

The question of what Republicans should support when it comes to health care policy has proven divisive for the party in the past.

The GOP's struggle to unify around a policy was on full display on Capitol Hill last year when there wasn't enough consensus among Senate Republicans to pass a narrowly-crafted Obamacare repeal bill, despite the fact that congressional Republicans had rallied around calls to repeal the law during President Barack Obama's administration.

One challenge for the GOP is the fact that the politics surrounding the health care law have shifted as parts of the law have proven popular, such as protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

That, in part, helps explain why so many Republican candidates claimed to support those protections while campaigning in the 2018 midterms, despite the fact that a group of Republican state attorneys general filed the lawsuit that resulted in Friday's ruling, which threatens to wipe away the ACA's protections if upheld.

"I think most people like, and I certainly do, the pre-existing health problems protection and I think whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you like that aspect. We might be able to put that in a lot of policies," said Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama on Monday.

One key difference between any health policy debate that takes place in the run-up to the 2020 election and the debate that unfolded immediately after Trump won the White House is that Republicans will no longer control both chambers of Congress starting in January.

That could take some of the pressure off of Republicans to fully flesh out the nitty gritty details of any policy alternative to Obamacare and give the GOP more leeway to focus on a broad, overarching message on health care instead.

Some GOP strategists argue that now the political dynamics of any health care policy could even be more favorable to the Republican Party with Democrats in control of the House.

"This ruling would have been terrible for Republicans if they still controlled the House, but because they don't, they have the opportunity to sit back and focus on message and really this has the potential to give Republicans second life on this issue," GOP strategist Ford O'Connell said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 26273

Reported Deaths: 1126
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8867641
Ramsey3252140
Stearns205014
Nobles15625
Anoka148878
Dakota141464
Washington68034
Olmsted67211
Kandiyohi5111
Rice4833
Scott4602
Clay44129
Mower4062
Wright3392
Todd3361
Sherburne2482
Carver2322
Benton1823
Steele1670
Blue Earth1480
Freeborn1420
Martin1325
St. Louis11814
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Lyon811
Winona8015
Cottonwood790
Watonwan780
Crow Wing774
Unassigned7511
Carlton750
Otter Tail730
Goodhue715
Chisago641
Polk612
Itasca5610
Dodge530
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur461
Meeker460
Douglas450
Becker430
Jackson420
Murray400
McLeod390
Isanti360
Waseca270
Pennington230
Rock230
Mille Lacs231
Faribault200
Swift190
Beltrami180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Sibley160
Brown162
Norman150
Pipestone120
Marshall120
Kanabec121
Wilkin113
Cass112
Aitkin110
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Big Stone80
Redwood70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Yellow Medicine60
Grant40
Traverse40
Red Lake40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Roseau30
Hubbard30
Houston20
Kittson10
Lake10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20767

Reported Deaths: 583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4541137
Woodbury283737
Black Hawk177548
Buena Vista9971
Linn97179
Dallas94025
Marshall91218
Wapello62814
Johnson6189
Muscatine56541
Crawford5472
Tama41029
Scott38010
Dubuque35521
Louisa34911
Pottawattamie31110
Sioux2980
Jasper26917
Wright2120
Washington1958
Warren1661
Plymouth1462
Story1261
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9912
Poweshiek928
Henry722
Bremer706
Boone700
Des Moines671
Clarke660
Clinton651
Taylor640
Webster621
Hamilton610
Guthrie543
Cedar491
Benton431
Monroe415
Shelby370
Cherokee370
Jones370
Jefferson350
Marion350
Osceola340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Iowa330
Dickinson330
Buchanan330
Madison292
Lee290
Fayette280
Sac280
Davis280
Harrison260
Monona250
Clay250
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Emmet240
Lucas222
Hardin210
Grundy200
Mills200
Delaware191
Humboldt191
Floyd191
Franklin170
Appanoose173
Hancock160
Butler161
Ida150
Greene150
Pocahontas150
Page140
Kossuth140
Keokuk140
Audubon131
Jackson130
Carroll130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Cass120
Winnebago110
Montgomery91
Adair90
Union90
Van Buren90
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Calhoun60
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Fremont40
Worth30
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned00
Rochester
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 69°
Mason City
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Albert Lea
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 68°
Austin
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Another round of severe weather tonight
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Covid-19 Cases on the Rise

Image

Becoming a better ally

Image

Giving your best

Image

Coronavirus attacking your blood vessels?

Image

Young Protester's impact on police reform

Image

How important are school resource officers?

Image

bri first at 4

Image

Graffiti on Rochester trail

Image

Expedited breast cancer treatment

Image

Stock market makes a comeback

Community Events