Walker: States will not rescue ObamaCare in wake of court ruling

Greg Nash

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker issued a threat to the Obama administration on Wednesday that if the Supreme Court rules against healthcare subsidies, states will not take steps to save the law.

“Governors across the country have been clear: If the Supreme Court strikes down the Obama executive overreach, we will not bail out Obama at the expense of the American people,” Walker wrote in an op-ed for CNN.com on Wednesday.

The looming court case, which Walker called “a turning point” for the law, could come as early as Thursday. If the administration loses, 6.4 million people could lose their financial aid under ObamaCare because they don’t live in the dozen or so states that run their own healthcare exchanges.

Walker has already said that he would not set up a state exchange, even if it means that 200,000 people in his state would no longer receive subsidies — which he acknowledges is “a big problem.”

He is among a handful of Republican governors, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who have ruled out setting up their own exchanges.

Still, plenty more states have not yet said how they would handle the decision. Just two states — Delaware and Pennsylvania — have plans in place to set up an exchange, but many more could decide to do so if thousands of people's healthcare is at stake. 

In a nod to a chorus of conservative groups in D.C., Walker said Republicans in Congress must use the ruling to finally repeal the law.

Walker said he hopes Obama and Republicans can find a way to “ensure those impacted are transitioned appropriately post-Obamacare.”

But he does not detail what that help could look like. His op-ed steers away from the heated debate in Congress about whether to temporarily extend ObamaCare subsidies if the court rules against the administration.

It was published one day after conservative ringleader Jim DeMint penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner urging Congress to “let the subsidies die.”

DeMint, a former senator who now leads the Heritage Foundation, said any extension of the subsidies would be “political malpractice, not just a mere Band-Aid upon an infected wound.”