Just one day after Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) handily defeated three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in a runoff election Saturday night, Louisiana’s new senator-elect announced his next target: Obamacare.
During an interview this morning with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Cassidy, 57, said his top priority would be to go after the health care law.
His decisive victory over Landrieu widens the Republicans majority in the Senate for next year. When the 114th Congress convenes in January, the GOP will have nine more seats than they have now, giving them even more momentum to develop their economic and foreign policy initiatives as well as take aim at the president’s key policies, including Obamacare.
This is bad news for the Obama administration, especially since the health care law is still highly unpopular with most Americans.
A Gallup poll from last month revealed the health care law had the lowest approval rating on record after the start of Obamacare’s second open enrollment period.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the new Majority Leader-to-be in January, as well as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), have already vowed to vote to repeal Obamacare, though the health law will be safe as long as President Obama is in the White House.
Still, Republicans are planning to go after vulnerable provisions of the law, such as the medical device tax and the employer mandate. The law also faces immediate danger from the judicial branch.
The Supreme Court decided last month to hear a case about whether people enrolled in health insurance that was sold on the federal exchange could receive subsidies.
The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell say the law’s language only specifically grants federal subsidies to people getting insurance on the state exchanges. The Obama administration and drafters of the law, however, say the intent was always to provide any eligible enrollee on the state or federal exchanges with financial assistance in obtaining health coverage.
“The Supreme Court is now considering a case as to whether the administration is breaking a law in terms of how they give subsidies – and a plain reading of the law suggests they are,” said Cassidy on Sunday morning. “If the Supreme Court rules that the administration is breaking the law, it crashes in 30 some odd states.”
If the High Court rules for the plaintiff, some 4.6 million people enrolled on the federal exchange will lose access to the subsidies that help make their insurance affordable. Cassidy said he will wait to see how the Court rules, but added that he intends to tackle it either way.
“I’m a doctor,” Cassidy said. “Clearly Obamacare is pounding the American people.”
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