Rove: New Obamacare Ruling 'Tricky PR Problem' for White House

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 12:50 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The ruling on Tuesday by a U.S. appeals court on Obamacare subsidies presents a "tricky" public relations problem for the administration of President Barack Obama, Republican political strategist Karl Rove told Fox News' "Happening Now."

A three-judge panel of a U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday in Halbig v. Burwell that the federal government could not provide subsidies to people who bought their healthcare coverage on the federal insurance marketplace.

Rove said that because the House was unlikely to consider any requests to allow all 50 states to get subsidies, there would be "consequences" for the White House when it came  to who got a subsidy and who did not.

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"This is a little bit of a tricky PR problem for the White House, because it just makes sense that the heart of the Halbig decision is that the law is written in a way that says only states who run their own exchanges will get subsidies," Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said Tuesday.

Subsidies currently received by Obamacare enrollees in the 34 states with state-run exchanges would now be "very much up in the air," Rove explained. He pointed out that several of the states receiving subsidies are larger in population, where "more than half the people in the country live," including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Florida.

"I'm not certain that the court is going to necessarily allow the government to continue to pay for those subsidies during a period where this decision is being reconsidered," he said.

There is also a brewing problem between the people who received a taxpayer-funded subsidy and those who did not, Rove predicted.

"Everybody who's not part of Obamacare with the subsidy is going to be saying, 'Why is it somebody who sort of looks like me, and is in my neighborhood, getting money from the federal government, from my pocket as a taxpayer, in order to subsidize their coverage, if they're sort of like me?'" Rove said. The government could appeal the ruling to the entire court.

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