Republican claims document shows administration preparations for health care law defeat

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

A leading House Republican claimed Thursday that he's been told of a 100-page document showing the Obama administration is preparing contingency plans in case the Supreme Court invalidates federal subsidies that help millions of Americans afford health care coverage.

Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-Pa., provided no details about the paper and did not say if he has actually seen it. At a hearing of a House health subcommittee that he chairs, Pitts said he had received information about it from "a source" in the Health and Human Services Department.

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Sylvia Burwell, the Health and Human Services Secretary, told Pitts at the hearing that she was unaware of such a document.

Congressional Republicans have been angered for weeks as administration officials have not directly answered whether they are planning for a possible loss in the court case. Burwell has said the administration believes it will win the case and that no administrative actions could solve the problems that would result should it lose.

Such responses have not helped the GOP-controlled Congress. Should the court nullify the subsidies, many lawmakers will feel pressure to propose a way to help the millions of voters who could suddenly find their health care unaffordable.