ByÂ JENNIFER HABERKORNÂ | Politico
The Supreme Court lawsuit isnâ€™t the end of the legal challenges to theÂ health care lawÂ â€” and the next ones just might help Republicans keep pushing their favorite political hot buttons.
The next wave of lawsuits likely wouldnâ€™t put the whole law at stake, as the challenge to the individual mandate could have. But theyâ€™re going after pieces of the law that happen to be red meat for many conservative voters â€” like the lawâ€™s contraception mandate and a newÂ MedicareÂ panel that Republicans call a â€œrationing board.â€
And one possible legal challenge, which would try to block the feds from offering subsidies in a federal health insurance exchange, is meant to exploit a loophole in the law. But it could also be a good â€œmessaging hitâ€ â€” allowing them to attack the subsidies they see as a budget-busting new entitlement.
GOP strategistÂ Ron BonjeanÂ said the continuing legal challenges play into the partyâ€™s kitchen-sink mentality toward bringing any negative attention to the health law.
â€œIt fires up conservatives who want to do everything possible to repeal Obamacare and its various tentacles,â€ Bonjean said. â€œSo any type of action, legal or political, is up for grabs. Itâ€™s in the toolbox.â€
The danger forÂ RepublicansÂ is that the public could get sick of the debate. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Monday found that 56 percent of Americans â€” including 51 percent of independents with no party leanings â€” say theyâ€™re ready to move onto other issues after Thursdayâ€™s landmark health care ruling.
Bonjean said thereâ€™s a possibility of exhausting the health debate, but he said thereâ€™s still opportunity for the lawsuits to sway independents against the law.
â€œThese legal actions could be used as PR initiatives to show the massive overreach of Obamacare,â€ he said. â€œIn certain places, it could move independents to a varying degree.â€
The suits could get additional attention as they move toward the oral argument stages â€” if they make it that far. And theyâ€™ll help the Republicans keep up the broader narrative they hope to push in November: The law has so many problems that it deserves an all-out assault.
â€œIt presents the picture that this law has a lot of problems with it and has to be adapted and changed,â€ said Republican strategist John Feehery. â€œThis law isnâ€™t getting any more popular.â€
These are the next health care lawsuits that are either under way or in the pipeline.
There are 23 lawsuits already filed in courts across the country challenging the lawâ€™s requirement that religious-affiliated institutions, such as schools and hospitals, provide insurance coverage for birth control and other contraceptives.
The first suits challenging the requirement were filed late last year and arguments could possibly begin in the trial courts late this year.
The challengers â€” which include Notre Dame University and several regional Catholic archdioceses with the backing of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishopsâ€” say that the requirement violates their religious freedom.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78104.html#ixzz1zi7UkqDg
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