Here’s the real reason Trump is taking up the Obamacare fight — again
From GOP strategist Ana Navarro to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, some prominent conservatives have been lambasting President Donald Trump this week for his campaign to abolish the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare, via the federal courts. Navarro, Scarborough and Steele—stressing that Democrats campaigned aggressively on universal health care in the 2018 midterms and recaptured the House of Representatives—described health care as an issue that could be politically toxic for Republicans in 2020. A GOP strategist interviewed anonymously by the Daily Beast said of Republicans, “WTF is wrong with them?” And television producer/writer Natalie Shure answers that question in a blistering March 28 article for Jacobin Magazine: because Trump and other Republicans will do anything to make the rich richer.
Shure notes that the ACA, for all its shortcomings, succeeded in “curtailing insurers’ most reviled practices, like locking out patients with preexisting conditions”—and that Trump and other Republicans have decided to “once again push a message on health care that was widely blamed for costing them dozens of seats in the 2018 midterm elections.” But Republicans, Shure stresses, cannot miss any opportunity to pander to the ultra-rich—even when it’s politically risky.
“I humbly offer that the answer is the same as WTF has always been wrong with them: the modern GOP’s guiding purpose is to serve as a conduit for the right’s dream agenda, which is allergic to the merest hint of redistribution downwards,” Shure asserts. “Of course, the handful of extraordinarily rich people who manipulate the political system as an instrument of personal wish fulfillment hate Obamacare: however inadequate it was, it levied hundreds of billions in new taxes that fell largely onto the very people the GOP serves.”
Shure goes on to say that “the more their strategy succeeds, the richer they get, and the more insulated they are from the repercussions of mass backlash. So what if they lose a few more elections—they’ve already hedged their bets by gerrymandering districts, suppressing votes and stuffing courts with judges committed to concluding that, yes, the richest people in human history deserve even more than they already have. So what if people die without health care? So what if they riot in the streets? That’s what iron gates and private security is for.”
The television producer/writer adds that the answer to the question “Why would the Trump Administration even dream of trying this again?” is “so laughably obvious I can’t believe anyone is still asking it.” The answer, Shure says, is “benefit the richest people on Earth”—and in doing so, Republicans won’t hesitate to “stoke white nationalism” or “ram through massively regressive tax cuts.”
Shure concludes her piece by saying that it isn’t surprising that Republicans would try to abolish the ACA through the federal courts without proposing a viable alternative.
“Of course Republicans have no alternate health care plan,” Shure asserts. “Their goal was never to build programs, but to strip them clean.”