Despite the success record of Obamacare in surviving legal challenges, the law, deeply unpopular with the electorate, will face a two prong assault next year. Both the GOP and the Supreme Court will take up challenges to Obamacare. The GOP has vowed to make a full repeal of Obamacare one of the first priorities once it is sworn into office in early January.
Thus far, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has prevented any vote either repealing Obamacare in total or in part from getting a floor vote. He had good reason to do that.
With the most recent elections, 30 Senate Democrats who voted to pass the law no longer serve in the Senate. Some retired rather than face humiliating defeats, and others were defeated at the polls.
However, the GOP promises to highlight recently surfaced videos of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber bragging about how a lack of transparency and voter stupidity allowed the bill to get passed. Senate Democrats will have the spotlight placed on them to vote once more to sustain the bill, according to Bruce Karatz.
Later in the year, the Supreme Court will take up whether the IRS had the authority to extend Obamacare subsidies to the poor if they enrolled via the federal exchange. The law was originally written so that only those enrolling via state sponsored health care exchanges could get subsidies.
Obama administration officials explained that it was an intentional carrot-stick method to encourage states to manage their own exchanges. However, 75% of the states refused. If the Supreme Court rules that the subsidies can only be granted as stated in the law, a key aspect of the health care plan will collapse.