Some Republican senators and attorneys general do not want to see Obamacare struck down in the courts, even as the Trump administration has escalated its efforts to have the health care law deemed unconstitutional, according to The Hill.
What's this about? The Department of Justice recently sided with a district court ruling that found Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, unconstitutional.
The law is being challenged on the basis that its individual mandate provision that required everyone to have health insurance is unconstitutional, and therefore the entire law should be considered invalid. The individual mandate was repealed in 2017 and is no longer in effect.
Why would Republicans want Obamacare to stand? There is more than one reason for Republican opposition to the court ruling against Obamacare. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) believes the Trump administration "should not attempt to use the courts to bypass Congress" and that any changes to or repealing of Obamacare should go through the legislative branch.
The attorneys general of Montana and Ohio, both Republicans, filed a brief Monday with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals saying that the ruling against Obamacare was an overreach.
"No sound application of neutral rules and precedents—whether based on the Constitution's original public meaning or Supreme Court precedent—could lead a court to strike down an entire congressional act based on the unconstitutionality of a single, inoperative provision within it," the brief read.
Other Republican senators anonymously told The Hill that they fear the political consequences that could result from a repeal of Obamacare, since there is almost no chance that Republicans could pass a viable replacement law through a divided Congress.
"If you're looking strictly at political outcomes, it could be argued that a lot of members don't want to see this struck down because they don't want to deal with the fallout," one GOP senator told The Hill.
A failure to pass a replacement healthcare law in the absence of Obamacare could result in political backlash against Republicans.
"Can we find something where the Democrats who are in the majority in the House could agree with 60 senators in the Senate?" another GOP senator said. "I can't imagine that's the case."