U.S. lawmakers andgovernors are unlikely to act to restore Obamacare healthinsurance subsidies in at least 34 states should the SupremeCourt rule them illegal, health policy experts said onWednesday.

The influence of elections in 2016 as well as restrictionsalready put in place in states opposed to President BarackObama's health law could hamper even a short-term compromise,experts said during a panel discussion in Boston at The Forum atHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, presented incollaboration with Reuters.

Their views run counter to the optimism expressed by manyObamacare watchers, from Wall Street investors to healthcareexecutives, who are betting either Congress, the White House orindividual states could come up with a fix to keep the subsidiesflowing to nearly 6.4 million people.

Without subsidies, millions of people could drop theirinsurance plans and prices of other individual plans could thenrise, pushing millions more Americans out of the market. Peopleunable to afford insurance could be exempt from the law'smandate to have insurance, undermining a key component of thehealthcare reform law.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case, known asKing v Burwell, in the next two weeks. The challenge, brought bylibertarian opponents of Obamacare, argues that the law onlyallows subsidies in states that have set up their own exchangesto sell health insurance, rather than rely on the federalHealthCare.gov website.

If the court decision requires the government to stop payingthese subsidies, Republicans may offer some sort of legislationto reinstate them, but are likely to require other concessionsthat Democrats, including Obama, would refuse to consider. Theymight include throwing out the law's individual mandate thatrequires most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine.

"The Republicans will send something to the president whowill reject it," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of theconservative American Action Forum, said during the discussion."There will be a period of stand-off."

Harvard professor Robert Blendon compared the potentialwrangling in the aftermath of a Supreme Court decision tounsuccessful efforts to broker even an interim agreement betweenwarring factions in the Middle East process.

"The dilemma is that both parties are going to think it'ssmart not to reach an agreement," Blendon said. "What's too badis that we actually could reach a compromise through the (2016)election, and that's what people who care about this should beworking on."

The White House has said there is no "Plan B" to continuesubsidies should the court invalidate them, and that it is up tothe states and Congress to find a fix.

But many of the states using HealthCare.gov decided againstsetting up an Obamacare exchange because their Republicanleaders oppose the law. Some have sought its repeal.

There is a "distinct lack of political will" to embrace anypart of Obamacare in states like Texas, which are also home tothe largest numbers of uninsured people in need of subsidies,Harvard professor John McDonough said.

A decision against the government would likely come up inthe 2016 elections. "A lot of people will be voting on thisissue," McDonough said.

A replay of the discussion is available here. (Reporting by Sharon Begley, Caroline Humer and Andrew M.Seaman; Editing by Tom Brown)