GOP Decides To Run On Gutting Healthcare Again. It's A Bold Move, Cotton!
How racist is the GOP? So racist that they'd rather yank medical care away from millions of Americans than support a healthcare law passed by a black man. So racist that they're actually going to the mat to strike down coverage for pre-existing conditions before the election. So racist that they're literally trying to gut the Medicaid expansion that gave hundreds of thousands of poor kids healthcare. So, you know, pretty fucking racist!
It's not like Republicans have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. But if Obama was for it, they're agin' it -- it's the law. So last year, a coalition of Republican state attorneys general sued in Texas to invalidate the ACA's mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions. All the while insisting that the GOP was protecting patients with pre-existing conditions from the depredations of those dastardly socialist Democrats, of course.
In 2012, Chief Justice Roberts "saved" the ACA by ruling the individual mandate was a tax. But in 2017, a Republican Congress zeroed out the tax penalty for failing to buy healthcare, then immediately argued that the whole law must fail because it was no longer a legitimate exercise of the government's tax authority. So they filed their lawsuit in Texas and made burnt offerings to Satan in hopes of scoring a judge willing to throw millions of people off their healthcare. And it worked! The GOP drew ultra-conservative US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth to hear the case, and he bought their bullshit argument that the entire law must fail if one provision is held to be unconstitutional. The ruling is on appeal as the case winds its way through the Fifth Circuit and up to SCOTUS, where Justice Roberts will likely get to pretend to be a moderate again by sending the ACA into a death spiral, rather than just sticking a shiv in and watching it bleed out on the steps of the court.
No other credible legal authority buys O'Connor's argument, and even Hateweasel Jeff Sessions's original position was to support the repeal of the individual mandate, while arguing that the rest of the law should stand. Because the doctrine of severability, i.e. that one illegal provision can be "severed" without rendering an entire statute void, is one of the pillars of American jurisprudence. Besides which, throwing millions of people off their healthcare from one day to the next is kind of a bad look.
But no more! As of yesterday, the DOJ's new position is REPEAL AND GO FUCK YOURSELF!
That's right, they're seizing on a facially ridiculous interpretation of the law and not defending a duly passed act of Congress. We are old enough to remember when the GOP lay on the floor kicking and screaming because the Obama Justice Department refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court on grounds that it was unconstitutional. But then again, Eric Holder was black. And as long as we're getting into the weeds here, last summer, one career DOJ lawyer resigned and two withdrew from the case after Sessions supported striking the individual mandate. Today, zero career DOJ officials were willing to put their names on this POS letter -- Hunt, Shumate, and Totaro are all political appointees.
And so we enter another election season with the Trump administration explicitly gunning to take away healthcare from millions of Americans. They just got killed in the midterms because Democrats ran on protecting preexisting conditions (not Mueller), but the GOP is all in to dismantle every last bit of Obama's legacy. Because if they win, and they somehow convince Justice Roberts to allow them to gut the American healthcare system, millions of Americans will lose their healthcare the day the SCOTUS opinion comes out declaring the ACA unconstitutional. So, totally worth it, right Gippers?
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.