Thursday, May 7, 2020

Trump Doubles Down on Ending Obamacare ↦

Devlin Barrett reporting for The Washington Post:

“We want to terminate health care under Obamacare,” Trump told reporters Wednesday, the last day for his administration to change its position in a Supreme Court case challenging the law. “Obamacare, we run it really well. . . . But running it great, it’s still lousy health care.”

While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration’s legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions.

The comments are related to a case now scheduled to be argued in front of the Supreme Court which seeks to invalidate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. The Court is unlikely to issue a ruling on the case before the November election.

The latest ACA suit was organized by Republican attorneys general in Texas and other states. When the Trump administration declined to defend the law, a coalition of Democratic-led states entered.

The case began after the Republican-led Congress in 2017, unable to secure the votes to abolish the law, reduced to zero the penalty for a person not buying health insurance. Lawyers for the state of Texas argued that in doing so, Congress had removed the essential tax element that the Supreme Court had previously ruled made the program constitutional.

A district judge in Texas agreed and said the entire law must fall. Eventually the Trump administration agreed with that assessment.

In the middle of a pandemic, Trump wants to kill health care coverage for millions of Americans. The previous efforts to repeal Obamacare were so toxic, the Republicans in Congress couldn’t pass a bill to do it in spite of being the majority in both houses during Trump’s first two years as President. Now they are asking the courts to do what they couldn’t. If it wasn’t already accompanied by a deluge of inhumanity from this Administration, it would be breathtakingly cruel.