The Supreme Court will rule later this month on whether Obamacare's insurance subsidies are legal. Sen. John Thune (R-SD) weighed in on the case on Twitter Monday:
Six million people risk losing their health care subsidies, yet @POTUS continues to deny that Obamacare is bad for the American people.— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) June 8, 2015
Those 6 million people getting subsidies that Thune mentions? They're getting that financial help because Obamacare is the law. Before the Affordable Care Act, the subsidies didn't exist. But then the drafters of Obamacare decided it was a good idea to help low- and middle-income Americans purchase individual market plans, and made that part of the health law. These are not just health-care subsidies. These are Obamacare subsidies. And Thune is literally criticizing Obamacare by saying that its insurance subsidies are a great program, one that Americans should worry about losing.
At least one other Republican legislator recognized the absurdity of this critique, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI):
Senator, I support repealing #Obamacare, but subsidies exist only b/c of Obamacare. Your criticism makes no sense. https://t.co/z6XBGI1DiD— Justin Amash (@justinamash) June 8, 2015
There is, of course, a solution in sight if Thune and his colleagues want to keep these subsidies around: they could pass a one-sentence fix to Obamacare — the type that the president suggested earlier Monday. But Republicans, Thune included, have made it clear that they won't support that legislation — and thus a ruling against Obamacare would mean the subsidies disappearing.