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Mitch Perry Report for 6.26.15 — SCOTUS rule on ACA works out for Florida Republicans

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

While we eagerly await the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage later this morning, reverberations from the court’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act continuestoday.

The court ruled that Congress’ intention was to provide subsidies to those on the plan, regardless of where they lived.

Supporters of the law insisted the case never should have gone all the way to the court, saying that it was little more than a scrivener’s error regarding the errant language that gave standing to the plaintiffs. Critics of the law said the problem was a structural error.

Conservatives really, really hated the decision, but as far as Republicans on the campaign trail and even here in Florida, it’s not a bad deal.

You can rest assured that in addition to blasting President Obama for allowing ISIS to prosper and abandoning Israel, there will be plenty of red meat given to the base that the candidates will continue to elicit loud cheers on the campaign trail that they’ll repeal the ACA on “Day one” of their administration.

Of course, nobody will call on them to offer a reasonable alternative.

The Republicans were prepared to back Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s plan in the Senate if the court had ruled for them yesterday. His proposal would have restored the subsidies through September 2017 for people who already have signed up, but would have repealed the individual and employer mandates, as well as the minimum standards of coverage for insurance plans. President Barack Obama undoubtedly would have vetoed the bill, but it would give Republicans political cover before next year’s election, so where was the downside there?

But would it be easy for Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, in particular, to cheer on this news? It’s one thing to deny coverage for up to 800,000 people when you refuse to expand Medicaid — it’s another story altogether when you take away benefits for 1.3 million people who have enjoyed them for years.

“At first blush, I would say the Legislature just dodged a bullet,” Republican Senate budget chief Tom Lee told Politicosaying that the decision was a victory for the Florida Legislature and the Obama administration. “I think there would have been a lot of finger-pointing going on had the court not upheld the subsidies.”

So the ACA isn’t going anywhere for at least another year and a half. If a Republican wins next year, it definitely could still be severely defanged. The law definitely has problems. Why not try to make it better instead of wasting time criticizing it?

In other news..

Florida TaxWatch released its “Turkey Watch” report – 48 hours after Gov. Rick Scott geeked the entire Tallahassee establishment by signing the 2015-2016 budget.

Rick Scott is in Connecticut today, in the second day of his attempt to poach a few Nutmeg State businesses and have them relocate to the Sunshine State.

Tampa City Council Chair Frank Reddick called out Mayor Bob Buckhorn for being political regarding a decision made regarding an aide to Councilman Mike Suarez yesterday.

And Jeb Bush’s comment about losing the GOP primary to win the general election always rubbed some conservatives wrongly — Bobby Jindal articulated that disdain in his commencement speech on Wednesday.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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