Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seems to have faith that Congress would fix Obamacare if the Court weakens it—but not so much faith in the Congress that wrote the law in the first place.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, arguing on behalf of the Obama administration, warned the Court during oral arguments in King v. Burwell on Wednesday that a ruling invalidating Obamacare's insurance subsidies in most of the country would have disastrous consequences. Premiums would skyrocket, millions of people would lose their coverage, and many states' individual insurance markets could descend into chaos, he said.
But Scalia wasn't sure it would be that bad.
"What about Congress? You really think Congress is just going to sit there while ÂÂall of these disastrous consequences ensue?" he asked Verrilli. "I mean, how often have we come out with a decision "¦ [and] Congress adjusts—enacts a statute that ÂÂtakes care of the problem? It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?"
"This Congress, your honor?" Verrilli replied. "Of course, theoretically, they could."
Seated just a few feet away were many of the congressional committee chairmen who would have to come up with and pass such a fix, including Sens. Orrin Hatch and Lamar Alexander; and Reps. Paul Ryan and Fred Upton.