Less Than 30 Percent Of Americans Support Supreme Court Nixing Obamacare Subsidies

supreme court justices artist impression

A Hart Research Associates Poll released on March 2, finds that by a solid 63-29 majority, American voters want to keep Obamacare intact. The national survey of 800 registered voters, conducted on behalf of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), found that 63 percent of respondents would disapprove, if the Supreme Court restricted the availability of tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with 44 percent strongly disapproving.

By contrast, just 29 percent of American voters would approve of the Supreme Court siding with the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could eliminate the health care subsidies in 34 states. Only 15 percent strongly favored the Court pulling the federal subsidies and depriving millions of Americans of coverage under the ACA.

According to the poll, even 56 percent of Republican voters want to keep the subsidies in place. 74 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Independents support upholding the subsidies.

Oral arguments in King v. Burwell began on Wednesday. The Hart Research Associates poll highlights the peril Republicans face if the partisan court majority, rules in favor of gutting the Affordable Care Act. A majority of Americans believe that if the conservatives justices overturn key provisions of the ACA, that decision will be based more on politics than on their interpretation of the law. A partisan decision by the conservative justices could create a backlash that spills into electoral politics in 2016.

The American public has expressed a great deal of ambivalence towards the ACA, especially if Obama’s name is attached to it. However, the polling is very clear, that Americans support the healthcare subsidies made possible by the ACA, and that they strongly oppose the Supreme Court removing those subsidies. The Supreme Court does not have to answer to public opinion for the next election cycle, but Republican candidates do. Those candidates could suffer the consequences if the court decides to cripple Obamacare, with what appears to be a blatantly partisan ruling.

Furthermore, the Roberts Court will have an opportunity to define its legacy in King v. Burwell. If the court upholds the ACA, that decision will, at least partially, preserve the Supreme Court’s image as a mostly impartial arbiter of constitutionality. However, if the Roberts Court decides instead to throw millions of Americans off of their health insurance, they will be remembered in the same breath as the justices that presided over the Plessy v. Ferguson and Dred Scott cases.

Not only would the ruling antagonize the many Americans who would lose their health care coverage, but it would also create a backlash against the GOP at the polls. In addition, the Roberts Court would forever be remembered as the court that robbed Americans of affordable health care, and the five justices who ruled against the healthcare subsidies, would die in infamy.

14 Replies to “Less Than 30 Percent Of Americans Support Supreme Court Nixing Obamacare Subsidies”

  1. “You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue?” Scalia said today.

    Do Justices see what Republicans are doing to our nation, or do they live in a bubble.

  2. The immoral catholic mafia on the court expect Congress not to do anything. What the hell its not like corporations will be affected

  3. Thirty percent of those Americans do not even know what the subsidies are, so they are in no position to state an opinion.

  4. dj – yes they will. They are STILL mandated to cover everyone, no exclusions, and if the subsidies fall, so will enrollment. People may not realize it but another part of ACA is that if you can prove you cannot afford it, you are exempt. With profits for insurance corporations limited to 15% (85% MUST go to patient care) the insurance companies would be radically curtailed. While they do not HAVE to participate in ACA, they want that business even at the very much lower rates of profit. But if this is a negative ruling, it will impact people, insurance companies, and governments because the mandates don’t go away if the ruling sucks but only the subsidies. The Southern white populations will be jammed the worst. And the SCOTUS folks get that. Insurance no longer – anywhere – get away with the massive profits of yore. ACA will make sure that continues. But if people don’t enroll, the insurance companies cover ONLY the ill, and that IS a problem for us all.

  5. The public is wise to oppose nixing the subsidies. Look at how much longer lifespans are in states with liberal healthcare policies- here. That huge skew isn’t purely the result of healthcare policy, and the subsidies aren’t the only liberal healthcare policy that is making a difference, but losing the subsidies would certainly mean thousands of lives being lost prematurely.

  6. Unlike many other political issues, striking down this law would directly affect many people’s lives, including my own. For 25 years I have been unable to have health insurance. Why? Because at the age of 5 I had cancer. My family had insurance at the time, and I was treated and completely cured, but since then, no insurance company would write me a policy. Not even technically a “pre-existing” condition, but a rather “non-existent, cured 25 years ago” condition. Still, I had to go without insurance for years until I got a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas PPO plan from the Obamacare marketplace in Jan ’14. I am very conservative and even disagreed with obamacare in the beginning. But now, my health insurance hangs in the balance, all over petty politics. And even I will admit it will hard to not blame the republicans for taking away my insurance if SCOTUS rules in favor of King.

  7. Did John Roberts Tip His Hand?

    The question suggests a route out of the case for Roberts—and the potential for a victory for the Obama Administration. Roberts came of age as a young lawyer in the Reagan Administration, and there he developed a keen appreciation for the breadth of executive power under the Constitution. To limit the Obama Administration in this case would be to threaten the power of all Presidents, which Roberts may be loath to do. But he could vote to uphold Obama’s action in this case with a reminder that a new election is fast approaching, and Obamacare is sure to be a major point of contention between the parties.

  8. Semantics? Will we have to call this the “Unaffordable Care Act” as the new acronym once SCOTUS rules against? Once health care is destroyed in this country the GOP won’t have to call it Obamacare anymore. Grade school children could make a decision on this with more insight than the GOP. The legislative intent of the ACA is so obvious it is a disgrace to be honoring this challenge at our highest court.

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