Trump claims he was 'never planning a vote' on healthcare before 2020 — here's why that's a huge problem
President Donald Trump Wednesday morning did an about-face, a week or so after he renewed his battle against the Affordable Care Act that bears the name of his number one nemesis. And then he lied about it.
Last week out of the blue there was this:
The Republican Party will become “The Party of Healthcare!”— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1553619498.0
The Republican Party will become the Party of Great HealthCare! ObamaCare is a disaster, far too expensive and dedu… https://t.co/PGPioeaFGM— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1553802071.0
Reporter: Your administration is making very clear that you think the ACA is invalid..What's your message to Americ… https://t.co/14afynP1Ur— POLITICO (@POLITICO)1553620405.0
But now, today there's this:
I was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 Election on the wonderful HealthCare package that some very talented… https://t.co/YQ94MTXmSn— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1554298013.0
...This will be a great campaign issue. I never asked Mitch McConnell for a vote before the Election as has been in… https://t.co/MZYJVV86HJ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1554298634.0
So, let's point out a few huge problems.
First, the Trump administration-supported lawsuit making its way through the courts that initially was designed to gut the individual mandate has been "successful." The state attorneys general, led by Texas, got the ruling they wanted.
Then President Trump – against the advice of his cabinet and top Republican leaders – ordered his Dept. of Justice to tell the judge he wants the court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act. All of it.
It's unclear who's defending the law – which, technically, the Trump administration is supposed to do.
(Caveat: We've supported decisions from the Obama administration when they refused to defend unconstitutional laws like DOMA.)
So, the law gets invalidated by the courts, maybe before 2020. What happens?
President Trump says there won't be any plan ready until 2021. What happens to the tens of millions of Americans who will lose their health care?
Trump doesn't care – he just said so: "This will be a great campaign issue."
He literally doesn't care.
In the video above Trump declares, "The Republican Party will soon be known as the 'Party of Healthcare.'"
It's all just a branding exercise for him.
What happens when the Trump-supported lawsuit makes the Affordable Care Act disappear? We will return to the days before ObamaCare. That means, regardless of where you get your health insurance, if you have a pre-existing condition, you will be paying a lot more – if you can even get an insurance company to cover you. ObamaCare isn't just the health exchanges, it's hundreds of pages of regulations that expand coverage, mandate junk plans out of existence, and protect consumers.
Second, and maybe we're getting into the weeds here a bit, but Congress writes laws, not the President. And Congress votes on those laws on their schedule. Sure, a good president will partner with Congress to advance his legislative agenda, but Trump's tweets make clear he thinks he's in charge of Congress, and that's a huge problem.
Bottom line: Trump doesn't know the first thing about health care, the courts, the law, how the government works, or the Constitution.
And those who are literally paying for his ignorance and inabilities are the ones who can least afford it.