McConnell: Obama will veto any ObamaCare backup plan we pass

McConnell: Obama will veto any ObamaCare backup plan we pass
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGarland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks DOJ declined to take up Chao ethics probe Trump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC MORE (R-Ky.) says President Obama will veto any ObamaCare contingency plan Congress sends him, even if the Supreme Court cripples the law. 


Congressional Republicans are working on backup plans in case the high court rules later this month in King v. Burwell to invalidate subsidies that help 6.4 million people afford health insurance in 34 states using the federally run exchanges. 

But McConnell said in an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show Thursday night that this planning could be moot. 

“I don’t think he’s going to sign anything, frankly,” McConnell said. 

He pointed instead to the states where governors could set up their own exchanges to keep the subsidies flowing. However, some Republican governors have indicated they are reluctant to do that. 

“What I think he’ll probably do is veto anything we send him and put the pressure on the states to cave and turn established state exchanges in place of federal exchanges, thereby making them eligible for subsidies,” McConnell said. “I think he’s going to put the heat on the governors who have, in my view, wisely decided not to go along with this new game plan, either with the Medicaid expansion or with establishing a state exchange.”

McConnell said, though, that he has not been getting involved in the issue on a state level.

Asked if he will pressure governors not to set up a state exchange, McConnell said, “No, I haven’t communicated with the governors.”

Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBoehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE (R-Wis.), leading the planning effort in the House, has called on states not to set up their own exchanges. 

Still, McConnell said “many of them felt they didn’t want to wrestle with these exchanges anyway. And so I don’t, you know, I think it was probably a pretty wise decision.”

Despite saying a congressional plan will be vetoed, McConnell said Congress will be ready with a plan. 

“So we’ll have a response to it, depending upon what the Court recommends,” he said. “Whether the President will sign it or not is another matter, but we’ll let the American people know what we think is appropriate in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.”

McConnell has co-sponsored a plan from Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenate coronavirus bill delayed until Thursday Democrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill Senate GOP will force clerks to read bill to delay COVID-19 relief vote MORE (R-Wis.) that would extend ObamaCare’s subsidies through 2017 but would also repeal the law’s individual and employer mandates, raising doubts about whether Obama would sign the plan.