Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Axe Obamacare

President Donald Trump’s administration has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Obamacare law introduced by his predecessor that added millions to the healthcare safety net but has been a major political controversy.

Government advocate Noel Francisco argued in a filing late on Thursday that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – one of former President Barack Obama’s signature achievements – became invalid after the previous, Republican-led Congress axed parts of it.

“Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the ACA to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions,” said Francisco, who leads the Justice Department’s Office of the Solicitor General.

“No further analysis is necessary; once the individual mandate and the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions are invalidated, the remainder of the ACA cannot survive.”

The legal push is sure to be an important political battleground in the presidential election, where Trump is seeking re-election against the challenge of Democratic candidate Joe Biden in a November vote.

“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” said Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely. There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump Administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ health care.”

BIDEN CALLS MOVE “CALLOUS”

The United States is the nation worst-hit by COVID-19, with more than 124,000 deaths and 2.4 million infections.

It was the ACA that has prohibited health insurers from denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing health conditions.

“It’s cruel, it’s heartless, it’s callous,” Biden said in a campaign speech on Thursday of the move to gut Obamacare.

Trump has criticized healthcare costs and coverage under Obamacare and has been promising since his 2016 campaign to replace it with a different plan.

Republicans view the law as excessive government intrusion into the healthcare market. They argue that the system is broken anyway and that they will help more people gain coverage by repealing the law while working to minimize disruptions to those who depend on it.

“Obamacare has been an unlawful failure and further illustrates the need to focus on patient care”, White House spokesman Judd Deere was quoted as saying by the Washington Post after Thursday’s filing.

“The American people deserve for Congress to work on a bipartisan basis with the president to provide quality, affordable care.”

The Trump administration’s filing was made in support of a challenge to the ACA by a coalition of Republican governors.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by John Stonestreet, Andrew Cawthorne and Jon Boyle)

Responses

  1. Delbert and Scott :

    I wonder if the Caucasian n*gger trash trumphuhkers here

    who incessantly whine about the need for those who

    disagree with them to provide facts to back up their claims

    will respond to your exhaustively fact filled comments.

    My guess is that none have the concentration and retention

    skills to understand what you have written even though you

    have kept your thought to spaced paragraphs .

    I hope your thoughtful efforts have not been in vain.

    I write in double spaced, single lines because

    the vast majority here cannot concentrate on and

    understand the content of any other writing style.

  2. “No further analysis is necessary” Noel Francisco

    Excuse me?

    After all of your big talk, Your Majesty, where is YOUR better and cheaper replacement plan? We are DYING to have it.

    “If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.” Larry King Live, 1999

    “There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private’… I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now … the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.” “60 Minutes,” September 27, 2015

    “We’re going to work with our doctors. We’ve got to do something. … We’ll work something out … Nobody knows health care better than Donald Trump.” Interview with ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” January 30, 2016

    “We have to come up, and we can come up with many different plans. In fact, plans you don’t even know about will be devised because we’re going to come up with plans—health care plans—that will be so good. And so much less expensive both for the country and for the people. And so much better.” Interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, September 15, 2016

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    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against the “failing” Obamacare and said he would replace it with “something terrific” once in office. He’s pushed Congress hard to overhaul a law that he says is “collapsing” and hurting American families.

    But it’s never been clear just what, exactly, Trump had in mind. He’s praised single-payer systems in Canada and Scotland and said that Australia’s government-run approach produces “better health care than we do.” And now, as Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act seem destined to fall short, some critics are blaming his failure to lay out a clear vision for the defeat.

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    Part of the problem, Republican lawmakers have grumbled privately to reporters, is that the president seems to have a thin grasp on the substance of health care. Some outlets have even reported that during the campaign, he often confused Medicaid with Medicare.

    On Wednesday, Trump bragged to the New York Times, “I know a lot about health care.” But he demonstrated just how thin that knowledge is as he struggled to describe the difficulty of enacting reform. “So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal,” he said, in comments that puzzled health care wonks. “Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. Here’s something where you walk up and say, ‘I want my insurance.’ It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.”

    So, what does Trump really think about health care? Judging from his circuitous, contradictory, and downright confusing comments over the years, it’s not clear even he knows the answer.

    ***

    “If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.” — Larry King Live, 1999

    “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican. And I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” — The Daily Signal, May 21, 2015

    “You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, to use it, because the deductibles are so high, it’s virtually useless. It is a disaster. And remember the $5 billion website? $5 billion we spent on a website, and to this day it doesn’t work. I have so many websites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a website.” — Town hall meeting, June 16, 2015

    “The only way the government should be involved, they have to make sure those companies are financially strong, so that if they have catastrophic events or they have a miscalculation, they have plenty of money. Other than that, it’s private.” — The Hill, July 29, 2015

    “There’s many different ways, by the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private’… I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now … the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.” — “60 Minutes,” September 27, 2015

    “We’re going to work with our doctors. We’ve got to do something. … We’ll work something out … Nobody knows health care better than Donald Trump.” — Interview with ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” January 30, 2016

    “We have to come up, and we can come up with many different plans. In fact, plans you don’t even know about will be devised because we’re going to come up with plans—health care plans—that will be so good. And so much less expensive both for the country and for the people. And so much better.” — Interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz, September 15, 2016

    “Once we break out—once we break out the lines and allow the competition to come … President Obama, by keeping those lines, the boundary lines around each state, it was almost gone until just very toward the end of the passage of Obamacare … We’re going to block grant into the states. We’re going to block grant into Medicaid into the states .. so that we will be able to take care of people without the necessary funds to take care of themselves.” — Second debate with Hillary Clinton, October 9, 2016

    “Together we’re going to deliver real change that once again puts Americans first. That begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare … You’re going to have such great health care, at a tiny fraction of the cost—and it’s going to be so easy.” — Campaign rally in Florida, October, 2016

    “I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that. Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced.” Interview with Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2016, in which he discussed meeting with President Obama.

    “[W]e’re going to do it simultaneously. It’ll be just fine. We’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced. And we’ll know. And it’ll be great health care for much less money. So it’ll be better health care, much better, for less money. Not a bad combination.” “60 Minutes,” November 13, 2016

    “It’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”Meeting with governors at White House, February 28, 2017

    “The longer I’m behind this desk and you have Obamacare, the more I would own it.” Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2017

    “You have to know your subject. And that would be the misconception of misconceptions for that. I mean, it’s not that I–look, I always had health care for my company. But it’s not that I—it was just something that wasn’t high on my list. I had people that negotiated for my company. But in a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care. And we did the right negotiating, and actually it’s a very interesting subject.” Time magazine, May 11, 2017

    “I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.” Remarks to reporters, July 18, 2017

    “The Republicans never discuss how good their health care bill is, & it will get even better at lunchtime. The Dems scream death as OCare dies!” July 19, 2017 on Twitter

    “Repeals burdensome taxes, big … Will provide better coverage for low-income Americans. By the way, low-income Americans under our plan—and we’re doing things at this meeting which I think you’ll be very happy about, because we’re going to spend some more money to make sure everybody is protected.” Addressing GOP lawmakers, July 19, 2017

    “So pre-existing conditions are a tough deal. Because you are basically saying from the moment the insurance, you’re 21 years old, you start working and you’re paying $12 a year for insurance, and by the time you’re 70, you get a nice plan. Here’s something where you walk up and say, ‘I want my insurance.’ It’s a very tough deal, but it is something that we’re doing a good job of.” Interview with New York Times, July 19, 2017 at Oval Office.

  3. The Republican House and Senate (in 2017 the Republicans owned both chambers) revoked the “individual mandate” clause of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), which required that you pay a penalty to the federal government if you did not buy health insurance. The GOP argument was that this was the most unpopular part of Obamacare. Trump’s lawyers are now arguing that without the individual mandate, the remainder of the act makes no sense, and is unconstitutional. This is the literal truth of how we got here.

    Obamacare was introduced because health care costs had risen fast, and were still going up fast, to the point where 20% of the country couldn’t get health insurance. Partly that was the job market, which for the last 40 years has been paying less and less, and transitioning from employer-employee to employer-independent contractor job rolls. The rest of it is America’s senseless health care payment arrangement, which we’ve chosen to structure as a job benefit. The way the thing is rigged, nobody has any incentive or ability to control costs, and the costs rise, because people in health care like to make more money. It’s gotten so that 18% of everything this country makes and spends goes into health care, health insurance companies, health benefit consultants, health executive salaries, and the Bentleys and Mercedes that those executives drive their third wives around in.

    Obamacare was founded with the idea that health care is a human right, and that not being bankrupted when you get care is also a human right. Republicans complain that these ideas of well-being and economic welfare interfere with market processes, and that the market would get around to fixing health care on its own, given enough years and deaths and economic ruin for individuals. Sure, Obamacare does muck with the market, but who thinks God guides the markets? The health care system we’ve got certainly screws with us, turning the country into a vast farm that enriches the health care industry, and making normal life impossible. What Obamacare does do is give coverage to a fifth of the people in this country, many of whom will die if it’s withdrawn. (Sure, they can go to emergency rooms for treatment and refuse to pay. An ER visit costs about $3000 or more and takes hours, and you never see the same doctor twice, and they don’t monitor your progress the way a primary care physician would. The last resort for health care is an expensive rat hole that undermines the rest of the system, and a failure at keeping people healthy. So, it’s not really an alternative. Ask a poor person.)

    Trump’s real reason for fighting Obamacare is that Obama embarrassed him at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and now Trump hates everything Obama, and wants to wipe out the memory of his name and any legacy he may have left. Trump’s not alone in hating Obama, either; a huge industry has grown up on the right feeding the story that O wasn’t anti-racist but the biggest racist since slavery, that he wasn’t pro-human-rights but drove Americans into chains; that his economy was not a recovery but a disaster, et cetera. Trump knows it’s popular with his crazy right base to bash Obama, and Trump is all about being popular. So, that’s your real story: Trump and his personality deficiencies, and an American political movement that is based on hatred and being fooled about their interests, and the deterioration of truth itself.

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