Republicans Have Only Patchy Plans in Case Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies

The list of Republican plans to deal with the potential fallout from a pivotal Obamacare case before the Supreme Court is growing longer, although Republicans have yet to coalesce around a game plan with just six weeks before the court is expected to rule.

The justices will decide by the end of June whether the IRS is unlawfully distributing Obamacare subsidies to people who use the federally run health care insurance exchange. The law offers tax credits to exchanges “established by the state,” but the administration insists that Congress intended to help all Americans, no matter where they live.

If the subsidies are struck down, President Obama will blame Republicans for cheering on the lawsuit and demand a quick extension of subsidies to all 50 states so more than 6 million people will keep their coverage.

Republican majorities in Congress instead have forged a patchwork of alternatives to rescue Americans affected by the case, known as King v. Burwell, so they aren’t blamed for the fallout.

They added two more plans in recent days. One is a comprehensive replacement for Obamacare from a senior House member, and the other would let states either stay the course or opt into a system that allows consumers to use a block of health care funds as they see fit.