Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has a secret. The secret is that he is a realist. As such he has to balance competing interests on a daily basis if he would like to keep his job. And yes, he really wants to keep his job.
- The most vocal members of his party want to repeal Obamacare (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) immediately.
- Americans, even Wisconsinites, seem evenly divided between repealing and reforming the new health care law.
- Millions of Americans have directly benefited from key provisions of the law such as Open Enrollment, coverage for Preexisting Conditions, and the Tax Credit Subsidies.
- The Supreme Court will rule on King v Burwell in next month. There is a very real possibility that the court may eliminate the subsidies for those Americans who purchased coverage through the federal exchange (healthcare.gov) as opposed to a state run exchange.
The Supreme Court may help the coyote catch the roadrunner.Senator Johnson has a solution. He has crafted a plan where Americans would keep their new coverage, and more importantly their tax credit subsidies, until after the next election. By kicking the can down the road till 2017 he solves two problems.
- It is after (he hopes) his reelection
- A new Republican president will be able to put forward a real plan.
Senator Johnson’s most vocal constituents on the right can’t stomach anything less than complete repeal. And his constituents on the left will treat the Johnson plan like a piñata.
Senator Johnson isn’t alone. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI)are already touting the second version of the Patient Care Act. According to Forbes, it’s terrific. Much like the Johnson plan, details, the real specifics of how this will affect you, are hard to come by. Their Press Release, however, is filled with glowing generalities and buzz words.
The Hatch plan solves many of the Republican issues with Obamacare by giving them new names. Don’t like the Cadillac Tax? The Hatch plan reduces “the distortions in the tax code that drive up health care costs (by) capping the exclusion of an employee’s employer-provided health coverage”. Hate the Tax Credit Subsidies? The Hatch plan would “Empower Small Businesses and Individuals with Purchasing Power (by providing) Targeted tax credit to buy health care”.
None of this is on Senator Hatch’s website. There just isn’t space for stuff like that. Besides, it’s a secret.