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House GOPers: Obamacare Fix? Ha, Our Constituents Don't Get Subsidies!

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AP Photo / Jeff Tuttle

"Ninety-seven percent of Americans aren't receiving those subsidies," Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) said. "I will tell you I'm a 'no' on voting to extend those subsidies unless the president is willing to sit down and work with us and fix the problems for that 97 percent."

Such an attitude could prove problematic for Republicans, particularly those in the Senate, who are beginning to coalesce around a plan offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) that would extend the subsidies through 2017 on the condition that Obamacare's individual and employer mandates are eliminated. Thirty-one Republicans, including leadership, have signed on to the proposal, which is expected to be non-starter among Democrats and the White House because of the mandate provisions.

The scrambling is in anticipation to the Supreme Court's pending ruling in King v. Burwell, in which the challengers are arguing that federal tax credits offered to certain health insurance consumers are illegal in states where the federal government, rather than the state, has set up the insurance marketplace. A ruling for in the challengers' favor has the potential of eliminating the tax credits for some 6.4 million people in the 34 states most likely to be affected, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.

While some districts may be spared from any major effect, the ruling has broader implications for the Republican Party. Among the states expected to be the hardest hit are Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, all major players in the 2016 presidential election.

There is debate as to which party would bear more of the blame if the subsidies were eliminated. However Huelskamp called the issue's political influence "vastly overestimated."

About The Author

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Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.