In an echo of the last time the Supreme Court held the fate of the Affordable Care Act in its hands, the White House today began warning the Court of the kind of rhetoric it would face if it eviscerates the crown jewel of President Obama’s presidency.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today suggested that the Court would be responsible for wrecking the U.S. health care system by undermining Obamacare should it take the side of Plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case, a decision to be handed down this month that would invalidate the federal Obamacare health insurance exchanges used by 37 states.
If the Supreme Court were to throw the health care system in this country into utter chaos, there would be no easy solution for solving that problem because it would likely require an act of Congress in order to address that situation.
Note the careful phrasing here. Earnest is laying culpability on the Supreme Court, when all the Court would be doing is to decide that Congress failed to provide subsidies for federally-created exchanges, as opposed to those created by the state.
The tactic harkens back to April 2012, when Obama indicated he would attack the Court if it failed to uphold Obamacare during a challenge to the law that year:
Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.
In fact, CBS News later reported that Chief Justice John Roberts did change his opinion, allowing the law to survive by a 5-4 majority, and that he was concerned about damage to the Court.