Republicans are likely to leave the Affordable Care Act in place, but only because their backers in the insurance industry fear the alternative.
“If I’m the leader of the majority next year, I commit to the American people that the repeal of Obamacare will be job one.”
– Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, on Fox News Sunday
“If you thought it was a good idea for the federal government to go in this direction, I’d say the odds are still on your side. Because it’s a lot harder to undo something than it is to stop it in the first place.”
– Mitch McConnell, in Elizabethtown, KY, on Monday
With the Supreme Court ruling upholding the core of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans at every level have renewed their promise to repeal it. It is Mitt Romney’s “Day One” task. Because Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the individual mandate under the taxing power in the Constitution, conservatives such as economist Keith Hennessy and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli argue, the penalties for non-compliance are now a “tax,” and the mandate can be repealed under the federal budget reconciliation process, which can’t be filibustered in the Senate. That is, just 50 senators, along with a Republican vice president to break the tie, can repeal the mandate.
This is true – though the Court’s decision has nothing to do with it.