Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) will respond swiftly to any adverse Supreme Court ruling with legislation to reinstitute parts of the health care law that get struck down.
“I’m prepared for a lot of different contingencies,” Harkin, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Thursday during a Senate vote.
If the Court finds the mandate unconstitutional — a big if — it will either strike the mandate alone, toss out coverage guarantees that the mandate is meant to support, or throw the whole law out. Those are, at least, the three most likely possibilities.
Harkin says he’s ready for all of them.
“We’re going to have to have some kind of community rating and keep the guaranteed issue,” he said. Those are the technical terms for provisions guaranteeing that all consumers can buy health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions, and cost sharing to allow high-risk people to afford insurance.
“We have some possible legislative fixes that I will bring forth at that time,” Harkin said. “But we are prepared for different forms of legislation to address that.”
In the unlikely event that the Court throws the whole thing out, Harkin says he’ll try to reanimate the whole thing.
“If they throw the whole thing out, yes, I will be prepared then with what I call a Health Care Restoration Act,” he said.
And of course it will immediately be blocked by Republicans. Nothing will pass this year. And tens of millions of people will be out of health coverage, and the rest of us will be back to insurance companies denying payment whenever possible. So sorry, that acne problem you had in 5th grade wasn't on your insurance application, your policy is canceled. Good luck getting coverage.
After all, opponents have spent $100 million to make you think it's evil socialism. Turns out there are only five people they had to buy off.