Scott Walker: Congress Should Step In If Supreme Court Erases Obamacare Subsidies

The presidential hopeful says Wisconsin won't act if the government loses in King v. Burwell.

63646219
Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wants everyone to know that if the Supreme Court erases health-care tax credits for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites this month, it won't be his fault—or his problem to fix.

In a conversation after his speech Tuesday to Florida Governor Rick Scott's economic summit in Orlando, Bloomberg asked the likely Republican presidential candidate what Wisconsin should do if the justices limit subsidies under the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell.

"We will ultimately push back," Walker said. "This is a problem created by this president and the previous Congress. It's something that requires a solution at the federal level. States didn't create this problem, the federal government did. And they should fix it." 

Should states do anything about it?

"No," Walker said. "States shouldn't be in a position of cleaning up yet another mess of that federal government has created."

Walker didn't say what sort of fix the federal government should enact.

More than 360,000 Wisconsinites could lose their health insurance subsidies and potentially their coverage as a result of the Supreme Court ruling, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization that focuses on health care.

Wisconsin is one of three dozen states that declined to build a state-based Obamacare exchange, so many of its residents buy insurance through the federal exchange.

At issue in the King v. Burwell case is whether the text of the Affordable Care Act confines premium tax credits to Americans enrolled through state-based exchanges. Oral arguments in March indicated a sharply divided court; a decision is expected by the end of this month.

Scott similarly suggested that his state won't act in response to such a ruling, which threatens subsidies for some 2.5 million Floridians. "I think it has to be a federal fix," he said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE