Jindal to GOP: Don't ‘save ObamaCare’ with more subsidies

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is lashing out against Republicans in Congress who have rolled out alternative plans for ObamaCare, which he warns will only make the law “more entrenched.”

"Some on the right want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory," Jindal wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the National Review.

One day before the Supreme Court hears arguments for its biggest case on the Affordable Care Act in three years, House and Senate Republicans have rushed to present fallback plans in case the justices rule against the law.

Republicans in both chambers have created contingency plans for a plaintiff victory in King v. Burwell, which would throw out about $25 billion of ObamaCare subsidies in states that didn’t set up their own insurance marketplaces.

Both plans would create tax credits or other forms of financial assistance to help the 8 million people who could suddenly face far steeper healthcare costs — on which Republicans in both chambers say they have achieved “a great deal of consensus.”

The effort is intended to make it easier for the court to strike down the subsidies, since Republicans believe the justices are more likely to rule in their favor if they believe a plan is in place to limit the fallout.

But Jindal criticized their planning as “a ‘solution’ in search of a problem.”

“Americans would pay billions more in higher taxes to fund the newly-restored subsidies, making Obamacare that much more entrenched. What self-proclaimed conservative of sound mind would do such a thing?” he wrote.

The firebrand governor, who is considering a White House bid in 2016, countered that restoring subsidies would weaken the Republican’s effort to repeal the whole law.

He argues that the loss of subsidies would virtually eliminate the penalties for the employer mandate and the individual mandate, which only apply when subsidies are available. If the subsidies are kept, however, Jindal said, it would only strengthen those rules.

The Louisiana governor's conservative think tank, America Next, also published a study Tuesday that says a plaintiff victory would cut taxes by $48 billion because of the elimination of the employer mandate penalties and the reduction of individual mandate penalties. The research will be sent to GOP members of Congress on Wednesday, when arguments in King v. Burwell begin at the Supreme Court.  

Louisiana is one of 37 states, mostly lead by conservative governors, that would lose subsidies in the case of a plaintiff victory. Jindal, a longtime health policy expert, has not specifically said how he would address the massive disruption in his state’s healthcare market if the subsidies disappear.