The Supreme Court could be about to torpedo a significant part of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
The highest US court is expected to soon issue its ruling on Obama’s signature healthcare law. At stake is the legality of healthcare subsidies for millions of people who get their insurance through the federal exchange.
The subsidies for low-income Americans seeking mandatory healthcare insurance are widely seen as a critical component of the Obama-backed Affordable Care Act, the reform bill that passed in 2010.
And, according to The New York Times, even Obama’s closest allies admit that “a decision to invalidate the subsidies would mean years of logistical and political chaos.”
Former Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Carolina), who was once Obama’s pick to head the Health and Human Services Department, only gave a 50% chance that the subsidies survive the upcoming ruling.
Daschle used harsh terms to describe the outcome if the White House loses the case:
“It would be a huge, devastating blow to the country. … It is cataclysmic, from an insurance perspective.”
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius agreed that such a ruling would be devastating:
“Will that have, in the history books, an impact on the president? … I’m sure. I know Republicans like to focus on how this would be a great blow to the president. But for heaven’s sake, they would have a mess on their hands.”
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