Tuesday, President Donald Trump and 18 states will head to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to try their hand at unmaking the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, reported the Washington Post.
Trump has spent the better part of the last year claiming that he and the GOP are the true supporters of healthcare and that if they had been able to repeal Obamacare, they would have created a far better law. The president announced in his recent reelection launch that the GOP is firmly behind the call to preserve coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
Trump and the GOP are counting on the fact that Americans will forget Republicans just spent the last ten years trying to attack Democrats for Obamacare and working to repeal it over 80 times.
Then there are the conspiracy theories the right-wing created. Republicans were also known for persisting the rumor that passing Obamacare would prompt “Death Panels,” which would decide who would kill the elderly. The law was just about telling people to make sure they had their advanced directives and paperwork in order as they age. Another claim was that passing Obamacare meant everyone would be forced to have a microchip implanted. Republicans said that people would lose their health insurance, lose their jobs, and every horror story in between.
Now, Trump wants to fight Democrats on healthcare, claiming that the Republican Party has the best plan and they can solve everything. The problem is that the chickens come home to roost on Tuesday at the 5th Circuit.
The ACA has gone to court several times and survived most attempts to bring it down. But Tuesday there is no win for Republicans.
If the 5th Circuit strikes down the law, they have two problems: First, they will be outed for trying to kill healthcare for millions and pre-existing coverage for the country. Second, the GOP will be forced to find the replacement they campaigned on but never exactly developed. If they lose on Tuesday, they choose whether to continue fighting the law in what will become a very public Supreme Court battle, or admit defeat.
“Rehashing the issue that perhaps most largely cost us the House doesn’t make a lot of sense as a political tactic,” said a former House Republican leadership aide in a conversation with the Washington Post. During the 2018 elections, Democrats campaigned in unison on healthcare and won overwhelmingly as Republicans struggled to explain their decades-long position against it.
“Even just bringing back the issue would benefit Democrats significantly, [giving] them all kinds of arguments about the president taking insurance away,” said the aide. Trump “is really playing with fire.”