The GOP keeps facing their legislative pushes turning around and biting them. This week, that took the form of a fittingly upset voter at a town hall meeting confronting Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who had to answer for his history of having voted over half a dozen times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. At present, there’s a Republican-state led lawsuit winding its way through federal courts seeking to have the entire health care law thrown out that the Trump administration is supporting without a plan in place to care for those millions of Americans who would be left out in the cold by abruptly losing their coverage.
A woman asked Grassley:
‘What is the plan to keep millions of Americans like myself covered — those of us with pre-existing conditions, people who are on their parents’ insurance, and again, people like myself who need life-guaranteeing medication? We could lose our insurance and I’d probably be dead in two months.’
Grassley had no plan. Instead he sought to dismiss the line of questioning, although as the woman noted, her life literally depends on it, along with the lives of many other people throughout the United States provided for by ObamaCare provisions like Medicaid expansion.
First turning to the crowd, Grassley rambled:
‘She’s asking only because the courts may declare it unconstitutional. Now I don’t think the courts are going to declare it unconstitutional… There’s no question about keeping pre-existing conditions, if that’s your question. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and it’s not going to be repealed by Congress. Do you think it’s going to be repealed tomorrow?’
Getting in the constituent’s face, Grassley continued on angrily:
‘Besides, if we pass it in the Senate we wouldn’t get it through the United States House of Representatives! So what are you worried about?’
The woman made abundantly clear exactly what she was worried about, but Grassley deflected the scrutiny of his past support for Republican legislative moves to overturn the health coverage of millions of people across the United States. He wants the people whose lives hang on the continuance of the Affordable Care Act to just go on that he doesn’t “think” the law will be going anywhere any time soon.
The woman countered:
‘You’re threatening my life!’
Elsewhere in the Republican Party, prominent members have long continued on with Grassley’s same kind of deflection. Even while his team had no replacement plan meant to follow the ACA on the table, President Donald Trump proudly and repeatedly proclaimed in recent months that the GOP would soon be known as the party of healthcare.
After an abrupt pivot to the topic in the face of looming scrutiny from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation’s final report, Trump eventually conceded to punt the issue down the road and keep replacing ObamaCare as something to follow a potential 2020 election victory — but his administration is still supporting a lawsuit to overturn the whole law all the same. They have informed the courts that they will not be arguing in favor of any portion of the legislation.
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