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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Trump v. Obamacare, Continued

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the health care issue in the 2016 campaign.  the 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.

James Hohmann at WP:
President Trump insists on the campaign trail that he wants to protect insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions. His legal team just told the Supreme Court otherwise.
http://www.epicjourney2008.com/2020/05/trump-tax-cut-still-yields-benefits-for.htmlThe 82-page brief submitted late Thursday night by Trump’s representatives states crisply that the president wants to get rid of every provision of the Affordable Care Act.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco packs in a string of rhetorical flourishes that may draw cheers at a Federalist Society legal conference but will inevitably appear as factual citations to back up attack ads that Democrats plan to run this fall against vulnerable Senate Republicans, in a redux of the messaging that proved so potent in the 2018 midterms.

The Trump team’s core argument is that every Republican who voted for the tax cuts three years ago knowingly voted to destroy the 2010 law in its entirely, not just to get rid of the mandate that individuals buy health insurance. And, because the Supreme Court previously upheld the constitutionality of the law on the grounds that the individual mandate is a tax, Trump’s lawyers say that the whole system became invalid once Congress got rid of the penalty for not carrying health insurance.

“Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the ACA to continue to operate in the absence of these ... integral provisions,” Francisco writes in his brief, which is co-signed by four other Trump appointees at the Justice Department. “The entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate.”
The brief is full of little gifts like this to Joe Biden and Democrats who hope to ride his coattails down the ballot. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted against repealing Obamacare in 2017, which she touts as evidence of her independence, but then she voted for the tax legislation. This brief can also be used as a cudgel to attack GOP Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and David Perdue (Ga.), who separately each voted to repeal the underlying law. Recent polls show those three senators are locked in tight races as they seek second terms. Appointed Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who trails Democratic challenger Mark Kelly in multiple polls, also voted for the tax bill as a member of the House.
The tax bill, which Republicans saw as a genius move, has turned out to be a political disaster in several ways.