President Donald Trump’s administration just keeps spiraling. This week, after he said he’d be pushing off presenting a replacement plan for Obamacare until after the 2020 elections, a full eight House Republicans joined with their Democratic colleagues to vote against a move he’s taking to undercut the monumental health care law in the meantime.
Without any replacement plan on the table, the Trump administration told a federal appeals court recently that they believed the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down as part of a lawsuit Republican-led states brought alleging that it’s unconstitutional in the absence of the financial penalty for not having health insurance, which eliminates the argument that the legislation-defining individual mandate is a “tax.” They had previously only notified the courts that they wouldn’t be defending a particular handful of the law’s provisions, not joining the push to dump the entire thing. If they’re successful, tens of millions of Americans could lose their health coverage thanks to the rollback of everything from national Medicaid expansion to protection of people with pre-existing conditions.
In response, the House Democratic majority put a nonbinding resolution through this week condemning the move and calling for its reversal. The House Republicans who supported that resolution include Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), John Katko (N.Y.), Tom Reed (N.Y.), Denver Riggleman (Va.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Pete Stauber (Minn.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Fred Upton (Mich.).
Upton and Reed, who’ve both spent considerable time in GOP leadership, both cited the fact that the Trump team is seeking to pull the rug out from under Obamacare without any replacement plan in place. Although the president has relaxed his legislative demands, his team hasn’t stopped their legal push, which they began at Trump’s apparent direct order.
As Upton put it:
‘Pulling the safety net out from under our fellow Americans by repealing Obamacare without a replacement plan ready to go on day one would be cruel and irresponsible.’
Upton, Reed, and the others aren’t the only ones who’ve refused to get on board with the president’s attempt to roll over Obamacare, although it’s wild that among hundreds, only eight Republican members of the House emerged willing to go on record against the White House plan to strip health coverage from millions of Americans.
Recently, after the president jumped on the plantiffs’ side in that multistate case against the ACA, both his 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel “tried to tell the president that they could not understand what he was doing,” according to The New York Times. Quite simply, his repeated barrages against the Obamacare without even having any replacement plan ready to go give Democratic presidential candidates — and lower level contenders for elected office — a great deal of fodder to use against the GOP.
Trump has also again lost moderate Republicans in the Senate like Maine’s Susan Collins, who urged Attorney General William Barr to dump the effort to “use the courts to bypass Congress.”
For now, they’re keeping at it, and with every day that passes, their position dismissing the welfare of millions of Americans becomes that much clearer.