Here Comes the Next Obamacare Showdown

If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in June that health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans are illegal, Republicans better not be caught flat-footed, because President Obama will be ready to pounce, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told the Washington Examiner in an interview.

“As the president said to me in the White House [earlier this month], he said, ‘There are five million people [who receive subsidies through the federal exchange] — and I know who they are.’ He spoke like a community organizer who was going to try to use those people that he has actually caused significant damage to by not applying the law,” Barrasso said from his senate office.

The Wyoming senator has of late been something of a Paul Revere of the Republican Senate majority, shouting, “King vs. Burwell is coming! King vs. Burwell is coming!”

King vs. Burwell is a case with major implications for the future of Obamacare that will be argued before the Supreme Court on March 4 and likely decided by the end of June. At issue are the subsidies that the federal government provides for individuals purchasing insurance through Obamacare. Though the text of the law says the subsidies were to go to individuals obtaining insurance through an “exchange established by the state,” a rule released by the Internal Revenue Service subsequently instructed that subsidies would also apply to exchanges set up on behalf of states by the federal government.