It appears what Republicans could not do through the legislative process, they may pull off through the courts.
What initially seemed like a sure loser-of-a-lawsuit for Republicans, even to many conservatives, may be headed towards ultimate victory.
The 2018 lawsuit, brought by 20 Republican state attorneys general against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or what we commonly refer to as Obamacare, was a winner at the trial stage when Texas District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the law unconstitutional this past December.
And now, the 5thCircuit Court of Appeals appears likely to do the same.
Of course, no matter the appeals court’s ruling, the Supreme Court will make the final decision. But can one really count on Chief Justice John Roberts rescuing Obamacare … again?
If you remember, Roberts came up with a pretty nifty rationale for finding in favor of the healthcare law in 2012. Roberts upheld the law (specifically the individual mandate penalty) as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power– even though President Obama famously claimed the law was not a tax!
Then in 2017, Republicans in Congress repealed the individual mandate, which required a penalty (tax) be paid by nearly every American who did not have health insurance.
With the mandate gone, might Roberts just go along with the lower courts’ reasoning that once Congress repealed the tax penalty that enforced the mandate, the whole law became invalid?
Let’s remember, the Democrats’ huge victory in the 2018 midterm elections revolved mostly around promising to protect people’s healthcare!
If Republicans get their way and the courts strike down the ACA, along with all its popular provisions, it won’t be very pretty for them in 2020. It makes one wonder what those Republican attorneys pushing this litigation are smoking! Secretly, many Republican lawmakers are hoping Roberts saves their skins by saving the ACA.
Yes, eliminating healthcare for an estimated 21 million Americans and doing away with pre-existing conditions coverage for nearly 133 million citizens is a great election strategy … if you want to lose!
Now if only Republicans had a plan to replace Obamacare with what Trump promised, time and again, would be something “much better” and “much less expensive” for “everyone” (Bernie Sanders – Gee, sounds like Medicare for all!).
Photo | HuffPost.com