Administration says it will protect Obamacare — until after the election

By

Opinion

October 9, 2019 - 10:34 AM

U.S. President Donald Trump and Sen. Susan Collins, R- Maine, participate in the signing ceremony for Know the Lowest Price Act. Collins is caught in the cross-fire of the angry partisan division, turning her from a shoo-in for reelection into one of the most vulnerable senators running in 2020.

Like a dog that finally catches a car and suddenly discovers it wishes it hadn’t, the Trump administration acknowledges being unprepared for what’s next if the Affordable Care Act is scuttled by a federal lawsuit that the administration supports. The White House says that if the administration gets the ruling it’s been seeking, it will ask for a stay until it can come up with an alternative to prevent people from losing their health care en masse.

Such a stay, conveniently enough, would likely postpone a catastrophic effect until after the 2020 election. It’s the clearest sign yet that the years-long Republican cry of “repeal and replace” was never about the latter.

Obamacare was created to address the fact that some 20 million Americans lacked health care coverage, an intolerable situation that rippled throughout the health care system, leaving curable illnesses untended because patients couldn’t afford treatment. Most importantly, Obamacare required medical insurance policies to offer reasonably priced coverage to people with preexisting conditions like diabetes. Before, those patients had routinely been denied coverage.

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