New AP Poll: Most Americans don't want SCOTUS to destroy millions of people's lives
OK, the actual headline over at The Hill is: Poll: Majority wants Supreme Court to uphold ObamaCare subsidies
The looming case of King v. Burwell threatens subsidies that help 7.5 million people* afford health coverage in the roughly three dozen states using the Affordable Care Act’s federally run marketplace.
*(Note: As I've stated repeatedly, the actual number who would lose tax subsidies is "only" about 6.5 million, but the number who would lose their insurance as a result is likely a couple million more, plus another 4-5 million who'd pay through the nose to keep their coverage).
The Associated Press-GfK poll released Monday finds 56 percent wants the justices to rule to continue the subsidies, while 39 percent wants them invalidated for the federally run marketplaces.
There's also some interesting numbers about the politicization of the Supreme Court (y'know, the one which isn't supposed to be politicized):
A plurality, 48 percent, is not confident that the court will decide the case based on “objective interpretations of the law” as opposed to the justices personal opinions of ObamaCare. Thirty-nine percent are moderately confident the court can put aside personal beliefs, and just 10 percent are extremely or very confident that they can.
...although interestingly, it's those opposing the ACA who are apparently wringing their hands about this angle, which I admit surprised me:
Perhaps reflecting the court's 2012 ruling upholding the law, ObamaCare opponents have less faith in the Supreme Court on the issue than supporters of the law. Sixty percent of opponents are not confident in the court’s objectivity, compared to 44 percent of supporters of the law.
Another interesting tidbit: While 56% want the SCOTUS to keep the federal subsidies flowing in all 50 states, only 51% say they'd want Congress to tweak the wording to do so if the Supreme Court doesn't rule for the government. Apparently 5% want SCOTUS to fix it but doesn't want Congress to, which seems curious to me:
A slim majority, 51 percent, wants Congress to amend the law to continue subsidies in all states, while 44 percent wants the law to remain as is, meaning only the subsidies are only available in states that set up their own insurance exchanges.
Meanwhile, as Jonathan Cohn notes, the Republicans, who could resolve this issue in 5 minutes if they actually cared one whit about those 13-14 million people who'd be left twisting in the wind, are still dithering around with "work groups" and whatnot:
Under Supreme Court rules, an order would typically take effect within 25 days of its announcement from the bench. In theory, the court could issue a stay delaying its impact. In practice, legal experts consider such a move both unlikely and of questionable significance, given the tight deadlines that insurers and state regulators face for setting next year's premiums.
...Ryan’s committee, arguably the most powerful in the House, has direct jurisdiction over health care financing. So how many hearings has it held about these contingency plans?
And that’s typical. Two other House committees, Education and the Workforce along with Energy and Commerce, have formal jurisdiction over health care financing. They haven’t held hearings, either.
...No, in the six months since the Supreme Court announced it would hear King v. Burwell, Republicans in Congress have held exactly one formal hearing that focused on the subject. It took place last week, before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. But the Small Business Committee is among the least powerful in Congress and it has virtually no jurisdiction over health care financing issues. That may explain why it attracted very little interest -- even from committee members, only a handful of whom bothered to show up.
As an aside, the Small Business Committee is the one where Michael Cannon cited me as one of his data sources. Turns out I shouldn't be too geeked about this, however, since apparently no one was listening to him anyway.