It's health care week in the House, and although the chamber isn't scheduled to vote on what to do if the Supreme Court knocks down Obamacare subsidies, the upcoming decision in King v Burwell will still dominate the conversation.
The House will vote on legislation that would repeal some of the most-hated or controversial pieces of the Affordable Care Act: the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which its opponents have derided as a "death panel"; and the medical-device tax, which helps cover Obamacare's costs. Several bills reforming Medicare Advantage will also appear on the floor.
Each side hopes to have the last word in the ear of the public prior to the announcement of the Supreme Court's decision, and by bringing the bills to the floor this week, the GOP messaging rings out loud and clear: Regardless of the Court's decision on King v. Burwell, the Affordable Care Act is a bad law.
"With the economic downturn and rising healthcare costs, seniors, like so many other Americans, have seen their finances spread thin. Obamacare makes it even worse," the office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in a memo last month.
The House is scheduled to begin voting on the MA bills Wednesday and the IPAB and medical-device repeals Thursday. They are virtually certain to pass. The IPAB repeal has 20 Democratic cosponsors, and the medical-device-tax repeal has 41. But the Obama administration has threatened to veto both, continuing to escalate tension in the health care arena.