Senate Republicans are preparing legislative strategies for the possibility that the Supreme Court ultimately rules the health care law’s individual mandate unconstitutional.
At a Capitol press briefing Friday, McConnell declined to discuss the details, which, he noted, would depend on the extent of the court’s decision. But his message was essentially: Stay tuned.
“Most people who’ve looked at this — both those who are opposed to ‘Obamacare,’ as I am, and those who are in favor of it — believe that the individual mandate is kind of the linchpin of it,” McConnell said. “Discussing an endless set of hypotheticals about what you would do if they did this or that is probably not productive. But we’ve had some conversations about it, as you can imagine. I think we’ll have to wait to see what the court does.”
Other Republicans I’ve spoken with have suggested that they’d use such a court decision to push for massive changes to, if not full repeal, of the rest of the law. The administration will argue that if the court does strike the mandate, it should also strike provisions in the law that guarantee everybody will be sold health insurance, without bias toward pre-existing medical conditions.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.