Jeb Bush didn’t waste any time not fundraising off the King v. Burwell decision.
The former Florida governor, who is currently polling at the top of the Republican pack, blasted out a statement to reporters that landed in The Daily Beast’s inbox at 11:26 a.m. And a fundraising email to supporters pegged to the decision came our way five minutes earlier.
“Friend, you know in your heart that we cannot afford four more years of the same policies, which will be the case under a Clinton White House,” the fundraising email read. “But the only way to prevent that is to make the most generous contribution you can afford right now to stop her. [that last sentence hyperlinked to a donation page].”
In his official press statement, Bush said the loss in court doesn’t mean the GOP will stop pushing for repeal. He didn’t add any specifics about what he would do as president, beyond saying that he would push for “conservative reforms that empower consumers with more choices and control over their health care decisions.”
Republican presidential candidates like Bush must have a lot of feelings about Obama’s big win at the Supreme Court today. On the one hand, they’re univocally opposed to the Affordable Care Act, and they seem to share a deep disappointment that SCOTUS ruled to keep it unchanged.
On the other hand, though, this really gets them out of the hot seat. Proposing policy fixes for the millions of people who received government subsidies to offset the costs of health insurance they bought through the federal exchange would have been, from a political standpoint, extraordinarily dicey.
Former Texas governor Rick Perry promptly blasted out a statement decrying the justices’ move and calling for new leadership in the White House (hint hint!).
“While I disagree with the ruling, it was never up to the Supreme Court to save us from Obamacare,” he said in the statement. “We need leadership in the White House that recognizes the folly of having to pass a bill to know what’s in it.”
Senator Ted Cruz, meanwhile, compared the justices to the 20th century’s most celebrated illusionist.
“Today, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State,’” he wrote.
“These judges have joined with President Obama in harming millions of Americans,” he continued. “Unelected judges have once again become legislators, and bad ones at that. They are lawless, and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and this transparent distortion is disgraceful.”
And Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin who’s expected to announce a presidential bid next month, immediately looked to Republicans in Congress for answers.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the administration’s implementation of ObamaCare means Republicans in the House and Senate must redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive and costly law,” he said in a statement.
“Now, instead of just finger-pointing from the president for why his law is failing, we need real leadership in Washington, and Congress needs to repeal and replace ObamaCare,” he continued.
And Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also came out swinging.
“Republicans must outline a clear and coherent vision for health care to win the trust of the American people to repeal Obamacare,” he said. “And right now, I am the only candidate to put forward a comprehensive plan.”
Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner summarized Jindal’s healthcare plan as an approach that would “wipe out Obamacare completely, return tax and spending levels to where they would have been if the law had never passed, and build a free market alternative from scratch.”
And former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina took to Facebook to call the court’s decision “outrageous.”
“We need to do the one thing we’ve never tried in our healthcare system—real competition,” she continued.
“And competition doesn’t mean eliminating care for those with preexisting conditions,” she added. “States should administer high-risk pools for those who have real needs. We’ve seen this in action—New Hampshire was able to administer high-risk pools effectively before Obamacare.”
Fiorina’s response is about as detailed as the Republicans got. The Burwell decision has taken them off the hook. And if others follow Bush’s lead, it might get them a windfall.