GOP governor: 'Turmoil' if court strikes down ObamaCare subsidies

GOP governor: 'Turmoil' if court strikes down ObamaCare subsidies
© Getty Images

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, says that there will be "turmoil" if the Supreme Court strikes down subsidies under ObamaCare. 


Mead said the elimination of subsidies for people who buy ObamaCare on the federal exchange would cause problems both state governments and the private sector.

“If on June 30, if that’s when the case comes down, and they say no more subsidies for federal exchanges ... it is going to cause a lot of turmoil,” Mead said at a press conference, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. “Not just for the state, and for those people, but for the private sector as well.”

Mead's public comments are a frank acknowledgment of the problems that many Republicans fear will occur, despite their strong opposition to ObamaCare, if the court strikes down subsidies that help around 7.5 million people afford coverage.

The case, King v. Burwell, threatens ObamaCare subsidies on the roughly three-dozen federally run marketplaces, including Wyoming's. 

Republican governors are contemplating a range of responses if the court rules for the Republican-backed plaintiffs in the case. They would face intense pressure from Democrats to restore the subsidies, as millions of their constituents lose help buying insurance. 

Options being considered by Republican governors include simply cheering a strike against a law they oppose, setting up a state-based exchange to restore the subsidies, and counting on Republicans in Congress to pass a solution in the form of an alternative to ObamaCare. 

“We will see what the decision is, and if the Supreme Court upholds the federal government’s position, that is one thing,” Mead said. “If they don’t, I think we will be one of many, many states that will be scrambling, trying find an answer and seeing whether Congress can provide the statutory fix that would be needed.”

Asked for clarification about whether Mead hopes the court rules for the Obama administration and upholds the subsidies, spokesman David Bush emphasized the governor's opposition to the Affordable Care Act as a whole.

"Governor Mead has opposed the ACA since taking office and believes it is bad policy," Bush wrote in an email. "However, it is the law of the land and as such WY will comply with the law. His comments regarding King vs. Burwell refer to the difficulty that could be caused with the removal of the subsidies for those families and private businesses in WY that rely on those subsidies. He would prefer to have the ACA fully repealed."