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ACA – A Ticking Time Bomb For Republicans.

Posted on | October 20, 2020 | 2 Comments

Mike Magee

Watching the Amy Conan Barrett hearings last week, I couldn’t help but wonder who exactly was running the Republican Death Star at the moment.

Specifically the Supreme Court candidate’s vulnerability based on an outspoken disdain for the ACA seemed to release a quiet, below-the-surface, Democratic  scream “Go ahead. Make our day!”

For nearly a decade the Republican party has done everything within its power to kill President Obama’s signature legislation, always promising but never delivering an alternative. And all along the way, they have succeeded in emphasizing the pieces of the bill that Americans in large majorities favor.

In the process, they’ve alienated not only those who believe health care is a right rather than a privilege, and those who support protections for pre-existing conditions, but also those against deceptive skimpy health insurance, those who believe transgender Americans deserve care guarantees, those who demand access to affordable drugs, those who have their adult children covered on their family plan, those opposed to cuts in coverage of contraceptives, and those in favor of federal funding of Planned Parenthood clinics.

No surprise then that Nancy Pelosi, on the first day of the Barrett hearings, went straight to the mic and said, “The president is rushing to make some kind of a decision because … Nov. 10 is when the arguments begin on the Affordable Care Act…He doesn’t want to crush the virus. He wants to crush the Affordable Care Act.”

What the House Speaker was referring to was California v. Texas. As Kaiser Health News Washington correspondent, Julie Rovner, recently wrote, “With the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the ACA’s future is in doubt.”

That’s because California v. Texas, set for presentation to the Supreme Court in just a few weeks, is seeking clarity on a challenge by Texas led Republican attorneys general (AGs) to declare the ACA unconstitutional based on a weak technicality. The California refers to 21 Democratic (AGs) led by California, and Barrett when confirmed could be the deciding vote.

But charter members of the Medical-Industrial Complex (MIC) aren’t lining up with Mitch McConnell. America’s Health Insurance Plan (AHIP), the lobbying arm for the big insurance companies, says a Trump win here would cast “a long shadow of uncertainty over ACA-based investments and denies health insurance providers, states, individuals, and other stakeholders of much needed clarity.”

The AARP, with its own proprietary Part D pharmaceutical plan, says a bad decision here “plunges millions of Americans into an abyss of prolonged uncertainty because they do not know if they will lose access to life-sustaining health care coverage and consumer protections.”

The American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, and the Association of American Medical Colleges issued a joint warning that a Trump/McConnell victory here could  “have serious, perhaps irreparable, consequences for hospitals and the patients they serve.”

Why would charter members of the MIC be spurred to such progressive, public-spirited action against their very own free-market allies?

The answer lies in the “What if?” What if Republicans actions in the Supreme Court on November 10th succeed in throwing American health care into full-throttled chaos in the middle of a pandemic now slated to result in 400,000 plus American casualties as we enter 2021…and Joe Biden wins control of the executive and legislative branches of government?

One scenario: Inside the White House on January 21, 2021, Biden takes a good hard look at the ACA, and at a new batch of Republican-led “nickel and dime” legal challenges that proceed unabated (with tacit support from the health care lobby status quo), and says, “Screw it. I’m going Medicare for All.”

Comments

2 Responses to “ACA – A Ticking Time Bomb For Republicans.”

  1. Lawrence Williams
    October 20th, 2020 @ 1:41 pm

    Most of the opposition to Medicare For All (MFA) is the cost. But if everyone is covered by MFA then we will no longer need the Medicaid program and the funds spent on that can be applied to MFA. The last available figure for Medicaid is for FY 2018. The cost in that year was $ 593,000,000,000. That is 593 billion dollars for one year. Why is this info not being mentioned in the articles on this subject?

  2. Mike Magee
    October 22nd, 2020 @ 9:52 am

    Thanks for raising this important point, Larry!

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