Now Families USA has released new data in another batch of key battleground states. In Pennsylvania, some 349,000 stand to lose subsidies. In Wisconsin, it’s 166,000 people. In Ohio, it’s 161,000. This data is broken down by Congressional district as well.
Some highlights: In Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin district alone, some 19,000 people stand to lose subsidies. In John Boehner’s Ohio district, that number is 9,000 people. In Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, five House Republicans represent districts each with over 20,000 who would lose subsidies. A number of GOP districts in all three states are each home to over 10,000 such people.
Here’s the breakdown in Wisconsin:
Here’s the breakdown in Ohio:
Here’s the breakdown in Pennsylvania:
Over ten thousand people could lose subsidies in each of a number of GOP districts in Illinois, and Indiana, too. (A note on Families USA’s methodology, which is based on federal data, is here.)
As we’ve already seen, the GOP’s Obamacare Fog Machine is cranking up for the spin war over a Court ruling against the government. Multiple Republicans are already framing the loss of subsidies in advance as the fault of the ACA itself, vowing (incoherently) to protect people from the law by temporarily restoring those subsidies, before repealing Obamacare for all of its beneficiaries and replacing it with the long-promised phantom GOP alternative.
Paul Ryan, for his part, has served up the pleasing, focus-group-ish talking point that Republicans will produce an “off-ramp from Obamacare.” House Republicans have suggested a temporary fix for those who lose subsidies, packaged with repeal of the individual mandate (followed by repeal of all the ACA in 2017). Ryan now claims a Court ruling invalidating subsidies will be “the beginning of the end” for Obamacare, arguing that it will ensure that “Congress will be rewriting the law fully” once Obama is out of office (and, presumably, a GOP president has taken over).
As Ryan knows, of course, any plan that would repeal Obamacare — or its individual mandate — would get vetoed. But the numbers who stand to lose out in GOP districts raise a question: Can Republicans really get away with offering fake fixes that would destroy or repeal the law, ones that are designed only to draw an Obama veto for the blame-game to come, or will they feel pressure to participate in actual negotiations over a solution in which both sides make genuine, workable concessions?
Obviously it’s very possible Republicans might simply shrug off any such pressure. After all, the bite from the sequester and the expiration of unemployment insurance didn’t move them. But it’s also possible that this time it won’t be all that easy, if some of the more dire predictions — such as insurance market meltdowns and even economic disruptions, which go well beyond knocking people off of subsidies — come to pass in their states.
Meanwhile, a new CBS/New York Times poll finds that Obamacare has edged into positive territory, with Americans approving of it by 47-44. Americans say by 64-29 that Congress should keep the tax credits going if the Court nixes them. (The polling averages still show the law is viewed unfavorably, but other polls have shown broad support for Congressional action to keep subsides flowing).
Yet even if Republicans wanted to embrace a genuine fix of some kind, the pressure from the right not to do anything of the kind will be intense. Jim DeMint, the head of the Heritage Foundation, took to the Washington Examiner today to warn lawmakers: “Let the subsidies die.” Two groups from the Koch brothers’ political network appear to be gearing up in similar fashion.
Meanwhile, Families USA’s overall national numbers show that of the six million people who might lose subsidies, over four million are in GOP House districts.