This weekend, Senators Lamar Alexander, John Barrasso, and Orrin Hatch took to the pages of the Washington Post to announce they have a plan for what to do if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare as written, meaning subsidies are only available through exchanges established by states.
First and most important: We would provide financial assistance to help Americans keep the coverage they picked for a transitional period…
Second, we will give states the freedom and flexibility to create better, more competitive health insurance markets offering more options and different choices. Republicans understand that what works in Utah is different from what works in Tennessee or Wyoming. We want to give states the time and flexibility to design health-care systems that work for them, not for the bureaucrats in Washington.
People who live in states that have state exchanges will continue to be subject to Obamacare’s costly mandates and rules, along with the subsidies. But their states could also have the benefit of our solution. Every state would have the ability to create better markets suited to the needs of their citizens.
The details are pretty skimpy, and a lot will depend on the exact details of the financial assistance for the transitional period. But it’s possible Republicans are beginning to coalesce around a plan that doesn’t ‘fix’ Obamacare but instead begins to replace it with more market-oriented and, just as important in my view, state-specific health care reforms. Time will tell.