If The Supreme Court Guts Obamacare, Republicans Can Kiss Their Senate Majority Goodbye


With a Supreme Court ruling on the King v Burwell case looming, the GOP has no contingency plan to help the nearly 6.5 million Americans in 34 states who will be hurt by a potential court decision eliminating the federal subsidies, made available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At first blush, a Supreme Court ruling that strikes at the heart of Obamacare would seem like a clear Republican victory.

However, because such a ruling would have a profound impact on a number of crucial battleground states in 2016, the ruling could create a backlash against Republicans in states necessary to win the 2016 presidential election. Also, many of the state’s that would be most affected by an end to federal Obamacare subsidies are also states with key races for control of the U.S. Senate. Ironically, Republicans who have spent the past half-decade trying to repeal Obamacare, may soon discover that a Supreme Court decision in their favor will prove a Pyrrhic victory that costs them control of the U.S. Senate.

For example, the state that stands to lose the most from an end to tax credits made available by the federal exchange is Florida. 1.488 million Florida residents benefit from the Obamacare federal exchange subsidies, with their average annual tax credit adding up to over 3500 dollars per person. Ironically, the nation’s most Obamacare dependent city is the Republican working class Miami suburb of Hialeah, Florida, where 37 percent of city residents were uninsured before Obamacare passed, and roughly another 37 percent were subsidized by public insurance through Medicare or Medicaid.

If the Supreme Court ends the federal exchange subsidies, not all voters will blame the GOP for taking away their affordable health care coverage. However, if even a small percentage of the 1.488 million Floridians assign blame where it belongs, the Republicans will have virtually no chance of holding onto the Senate seat being vacated by GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio.

Florida would be the biggest loser if the Supreme Court nixes the federal exchanges, but it is not the only state with a pivotal Senate race that would lose big. 10 of the 14 states that stand the most to lose if Obamacare subsidies are gutted by the Supreme Court are states where Republicans must defend a Senate seat in 2016. If the Supreme Court elects to pull the subsidies from millions of Americans, the backlash could have a direct impact on vulnerable incumbent Senators in several of those states.

Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI), Mark Kirk (IL), Rob Portman (OH), and Richard Burr (NC) seem particularly vulnerable, and each of them represent states that are among those that stand the most to lose if the federal exchanges are ended.

The irony that a conservative Supreme Court ruling could have the unintended consequence of throwing Republicans out as the majority party in the U.S. Senate, only underscores the additional irony that it is Republican voters who are Obamacare’s prime beneficiaries. While GOP voters may be critical of Obamacare because they fail to understand it, they are disproportionately helped by the program.

An Urban Institute study on who would lose insurance if the Supreme Court declares the federal tax credits illegal, found that white lower and middle-income Southerners would be the biggest losers if the Obamacare subsidies are eliminated. At some level, this GOP-leaning bloc of voters will have only themselves to blame. However, because Republicans cannot even afford to lose a handful of these voters in Senate battleground states like Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, the right-wing Roberts Supreme Court could end up ironically becoming the Republican Party’s worst enemy.

45 Replies to “If The Supreme Court Guts Obamacare, Republicans Can Kiss Their Senate Majority Goodbye”

  1. Perhaps.

    Or more than likely Pox News will blame it all on Obama and the Ditto-heads will swallow it hook,line, and sinker, and then demand more…

  2. The GOP would ABSOLUTELY be blamed. This will be the first time that a wide demographic would feel an immediate impact of Republican policies.

    Many Republican voters like Obamacare. Those Republican voters will either choose to elect a Democrat or stay home if they can’t stomach the idea of voting for either a Democrat or for their own party.

    PLUS many usual Democrat non-voters will also feel the need to vote since they screwed themselves over by staying home.

    When it comes to survival, people will do amazing things. That includes voting in the right people.

  3. This would be a classic case of poetic justice for the GOP. I hope that if it does happen the party as a whole is torn to shreds by angry voters.

  4. If the corporate criminals sitting on the bench of the USSC gut the Affordable Care Act it won’t be just the Senate the republicans lose. They will lose the House as well. I think the republicans have already lost the Senate regardless of what the corporate criminals sitting on the bench of the USSC. Bitch McConnell’s leadership is as bad as if not worse than the Oppmpa Loompa’s leadership in the House.

  5. Slight correction: many GOP voters hate Obamacare, but LOVE the Affordable Care Act!

    But seriously, healthcare is THE most important thing to anyone over the age of 40, and any government or judicial body foolish enough to hamper one’s ability to access affordable healthcare is committing political suicide. Just ask those of us who live in sensible, kind and caring countries with universal healthcare. Any time there is a suggestion to limit it in any way, it causes a veritable uprising of the populace.

  6. I hope the SCOTUS take away the subsidies. I want these people to suffer. I want them to know elections have consequences. I want them to suffer because of their racism and idiocy. I hope when their family die they will feel the pain of their choices

  7. I understand and sympathize with your sentiments dj. They certainly do deserve that but what about the rest of us who support the ACA and rely on it for health care? If they take out the subsidies a lot of good people will lose their health care along with me.

  8. I read another article about this issue and the author stated that when you consider how Obamacare has such a negative connotation for so many people, plus the large number of low information consumers, along with the help of the right wing media to spin the Supreme Court decision, this will totally be Obama’s fault for passing such a horrible law that “ruined our country”. He called this a perfect crime — the GOP literally getting away with murder.

    I can only hope the Supreme Court will rule against the plaintiffs and allow the subsidies to stand. The ACA has helped millions of people.

  9. White people are so stupid they will not know who the blame. Then they will still vote republican because of the dog whistles

  10. ” Just ask those of us who live in sensible, kind and caring countries with universal healthcare. Any time there is a suggestion to limit it in any way, it causes a veritable uprising of the populace. ”

    Well, in a SMART country, yes…

  11. Perhaps.

    Perhaps Republicans will be justifiably blamed. Perhaps they’ll wrongfully blame Obama.

    But in the end- we will have hordes of Conservatives gleefully letting people die unnecessarily due to loss of medical coverage.

    All the while trumpeting what “Good Christians” they are… and patting themselves on the back.

  12. FF..I was thinking the same thing, if ACA is gutted, the idiots who like ACA but hate President Obama, will blame POTUS.

    I was too tired to keep beating this dead horse to write what you did, but when I saw your post I had energy to write!

    Unfortunately, I do not see the GOP being blamed for anything especially in the upcoming election. They shut down the gov and put hardships on many, many families, and they carried 2014. I hope I am wrong, but unless Dems get off their butts and vote, 2016 will play out as 2014 and 2010.

  13. ACA has helped me so much, it has given me a new lease on life.

    I have been so worried if they gut it, that I have been stocking up on sales for groceries, because I am afraid that without the subsidies I will have to spend what little I earn totally on healthcare.

  14. DJ, agree. President Obama will be blamed by stupid white people from now until the end of time, because he is black.

    Idiots, just idiots. Nothing will ever be the GOP’s fault until they own us all, and then the light bulb goes off too late.

  15. We didn’t ask to be here, Lord. the devil made them do it. And to think, my great, great, great grand parents could have been king & queen of the Cottoneers, and respected, not rejected.

  16. Stop with your mantra of ‘stupid white people’, it’s just as revolting and racist as saying ‘stupid black people’. I’m white, I voted for Obama, and I’m sick and tired of being called stupid because I am white.

  17. “Stupid people” and “white people” are not intended to be coterminous categories. White people who are stupid by choice, however (in the sense of selective ignorance), are in a position to be especially dangerous as authoritarian followers. For more information, go to the website of Dr. Robert Altemeyer at the University of Manitoba and download these free PDFs: “The Authoritarians”, “The 2008 Election”, and “The Tea Party”.

  18. If The Supreme Court Guts Obamacare, Republicans Can Kiss Their Senate Majority Goodbye

    I seriously doubt us winning back the Senate in 2016 will have anything to do with Republican mismanagement, horrible governance, and taking away subsidies under ObamaCare.

    As they say, you can’t fix stupid and working Republicans prove it every election cycle.

    I have no doubt we’ll win back the Senate in 2016, but that’s only because it’s a presidential election year and turnout will be high. Be prepared to lose seats in 2018 midterms again.

    Americans really are self-defeating. *sigh*

  19. Why would you wish this to happen? Yes, it would be poetic justice and blah blah blah, but what about the people impacted? It would devastate them.

  20. That’s cruel. I didn’t vote for Walker and I don’t deserve that either. My ex who voted every election since 1978 died for lack of health care at 55 right before Obamacare took effect. His son and I don’t deserve it. The family owned business I work for denies any work related injuries and doesn’t offer ACA compliant coverage even if you can afford it under 30 hours a week. It’s getting harder to comment here but I agree with some others that the ACA has saved my life.

  21. An awfully painful, unnecessary death happened in my family in 2014 and our son will deal with it for the rest of his life. Yet I work at a family owned business that repeatedly tells me Obama is to blame for limiting hour hours (very hard work nonetheless, not sure if I could do it more hours at 54) and making health insurance too expensive for us so that’s why they can’t offer anything compliant. So they rely on Medicaid without admitting it. They won’t even sell condoms at our store. They recently gave us $1 an hour raise so it will push many out of Medicaid. And yes they are big time christian they play christian talk radio in the kitchen.

  22. Le Hunt, I am white and voted for President Obama x2.

    “Stupid white people” is not all inclusive; however, a lot of white people have voted against their best interests, some because they are stupid, and some because they are racist. This is why our country is being overwhelmed with extremists. Some white democrats did not bother to vote, either, so that makes them either lazy or stupid take your pick.

  23. Sometimes we have to suffer in order for things to come out right. People have to learn how to take care of themselves regardless of party affiliation.The Repubs have screwed this country and we may have to suffer for what others did or did not do. It will be bad if the ACA is gutted, and lives will be lost no doubt about it, and it’s awful that good people have to suffer for the foolishness of selfish, egotistical people who don’t think critically, or keep up with current events for their own good (Red States), and some who are in Blue States. Change is hard, but sometimes its the best thing..and people will get hurt in the fall-out..We have to wake up, find out who has our backs and who doesn’t..With love Always…To Everyone…

  24. The Real Reason Republicans Don’t Have A Contingency Plan For Obamacare

    If you want to know about the Republican Party’s priorities for health care, pay close attention to what transpired — and what didn’t transpire — on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

    The House Ways and Means Committee held a session to consider a number of health care-related measures. In theory, it would have been an ideal time to take up, amend and maybe even vote on a contingency plan for King v. Burwell — the case before the Supreme Court that could wipe out health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for more than 6 million people scattered across two-thirds of the states.
    Read More

    In other words they don’t give a damn and will blame the President. And they will get away with it because of stupid people who votes against their interest

  25. the presidents name is OBAMA I really get tired of some of our upstanding citizens feel the need to insult our president, if you don’t agree with the polices at least show some respect

  26. Spot on. Of course they will blame the President because of their stupidity; and let’s not forget of course, the media will not set the record straight either.

    I don’t see an answer if ACA is gutted. Bottom line is people will die and some will end up hospitalized which will end up costing much more, which in turn will drive medical costs through the roof. People who get subsidies certainly cannot afford to pay their hospital bills.

    GOP has done nothing except to undo everything this country has put in place over past decades.

  27. The SCOTUS isn’t going to gut the ACA! too many people depend on it! especially ALL the republicans that SIGNED up for it! BTW when I use the phrase ”LILY WHITE republicans,” I’m absolutely not trying to play the racist, I use that term to hammer home my point that 90% of the GOP consist of caucasians who still believe caucasians are a superior race of people! And YES! I’ve been very critical of these people but if you’re noticed, I’ve been very brutal on FAKE CHRISTAINS! – BLACK conservatives- GAY conservatives- Women conservatives! I couldn’t care less about COLOR! I care about character.

  28. David, the Oppmpa Loompa leadership in the House that John is referring to is John Boehner, not President Obama.

  29. “White people are so stupid ” was what was said and is insulting and racist. Dj should know better since he has witnessed it all his life. Saying “stupid white people” is one thing, but saying “White people are stupid” is quite different.

  30. David,

    I too hate disparaging comment on Obama. My disparaging comment was directed at Boehner, i.e, Oompa Loompa. Try reading the post.

  31. Good post again, Knight. You are just saying the way it is, what people take it as is their issue.

  32. I were Obama I would NOT VETO IT,,Something the republicans are DEPENDING ON,,,lets see how 27 million americans feel about losing their health care,,they are the ones who voted them in to do this,,,AND lets see how republicans feel about have 27 million votes against them next election,,,,

  33. One gets the feeling that King v. Burwell has become one gigantic headache for the Republicans who egged it on. The case that challenges subsidies to people who bought Obamacare insurance on the federal exchange they were crowing over just six months ago has become a source of real dread. Even the so-called House “Freedom Caucus,” the far-right of the extremist right, is thinking that maybe something should be done to stave off the disaster of Republicans being blamed when people lose their insurance.

  34. our local news station here in oklahoma is already setting it up so that obamacare & the democrats will be to blame for people losing their insurance….they are running a story where blue cross canceled someone’s insurance, the reason why is unclear, but the story places the blame on obamacare for doing it instead of the insurance company where the blame actually lies….expect more of these stories the closer it gets to the date of the scotus ruling

  35. It seems ironic that many of the people that have voted Republican are now going to get the shaft. I live in Florida and Medicaid was not expanded And there will be a large number of people who will loose health care coverage. It’s as if the Republicans think the house needs some plumbing work so they decide to burn the house down. There is no plan beyond that.I don’t see how this helps get them votes in 2016. The GOP has let the mindless wing nut goobers take over the party and now they can’t
    get away from the fact that they are the party of stupid. Considering they compete with Democrats that’s saying a lot.

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