Today, I’m frustrated. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the high-profile and historic King v. Burwell case, upholding federal subsidies distributed under ObamaCare, has generated a media firestorm. Many legal experts had expected the Supreme Court to rule in a favor of a plain reading of the law, which clearly states that the federal subsidies are illegal. Conservatives who had believed this decision might finally be the death knell for ObamaCare are frustrated – and in one sense, rightfully so. But, despite my frustration, I’m optimistic that this decision might be the first step to finally achieving full repeal of this disastrous law.
One thing we can’t do is to buy into the President’s argument, repeated over and over again in a Rose Garden press conference after this decision: “This law is working.” It’s not. It hasn’t been, and it won’t be after this decision fades from recent memory. Insurance premiums are rising by as much as 60% annually for families, and many that were kicked off of the plans that had worked for them for years are now paying more for fewer options and less coverage. I am dismayed to see the Supreme Court bend over backwards to save a law that is hurting so many Americans. But I want to make one thing crystal clear: this fight is not over.
Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McConnell, Chairman Ryan, and my colleagues have reiterated our position that this ruling doesn’t change our resolve to protect American families from the negative impacts of this law. We have come together to draw up the initial framework of a plan that will serve as an off ramp from ObamaCare – a plan we will continue to flesh out and perfect over the next year and a half.
President Obama’s time in office is limited. He won’t be around forever to protect this law that bears his namesake but is opposed by a majority of the American people. He may view it as his legacy, but to American families, it’s a weight around their necks.
Already, a large field of presidential candidates is forming on both sides to succeed him. One thing you don’t hear them saying, even in the Democratic primary, is the President’s mantra: “This law is working.” King v. Burwell places this issue front and center as a top priority that must be addressed by each of these candidates. They won’t be able to escape it, even if they try.
Today’s decision throws the ugly realities of ObamaCare into sharp focus. It will force the law to emerge from underneath the shadow of litigation to stand on its own two feet and be judged on its merits alone. That is an argument I am confident conservatives can and will win. And when the American people cry out from under the crushing weight of ObamaCare during the next presidential contest, I believe President Obama’s successor must and will finally work with Congress to end this nightmare.
So, to my conservative friends – take today to be frustrated. Wake up tomorrow ready for battle. That’s how I view King v. Burwell – as the opening bell of the next round in this fight to protect the American people from harm. I’m not giving up, and neither should you.
Congressman Charles W. Boustany Jr., M.D., a cardiovascular surgeon with more than 30 years of clinical experience, was first elected to Congress in 2004. Boustany represents Louisiana’s Third Congressional District, covering South Louisiana. A senior Member of the House Ways & Means Committee, Boustany had worked closely with Chairman Ryan and other Members of the Committee to craft a Republican offramp from ObamaCare. This piece originally appeared at Red Alert Politics.