The Trump administration is full steam ahead on its ridiculous Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but does not have the “exact details” for an alternative plan if the court wipes out the ACA. (You’re shocked, I can tell.) Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar dropped that bombshell on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, telling Jake Tapper that if it happens: “We will work with Congress to create a program that genuinely protects individuals with preexisting conditions.” Right now the administration is arguing that the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting conditions is unconstitutional. That was front and center of the brief they filed last week with the court.
Azar also told Tapper the plan they don’t have details on now would be “something very different than what we see today.” Which, unless it’s Medicare for All, is pretty much not possible because there are only so many ways you can do private health insurance. “It is 2020. We haven’t seen a replacement plan,” Tapper reminded him—and also reminded him that the coverage of 24 million people hangs in the balance, and that we’re in the middle of a pandemic in which 2.6 million people have been infected and more than 125,000 have died in the U.S. alone. Don’t worry, says Azar. Reelect Trump and it will be fine because “we have made very clear what we’re going to do, which is protect those with preexisting conditions through mechanisms that genuinely can protect them, real insurance, and have financing that meets the needs of people the way they want them met, not with a one- size-fits-all solution.” Which is utter gobbledygook, and the same gobbledygook we’ve been hearing for 10 years from Republicans. Ten. Years.
“The exact details,” Azar said, “will be dependent on the—frankly, the composition of Congress if and when the Supreme Court does strike down all or a large part of Obamacare.” Give us Congress again, he says, and we’ll do it, we’ll have a plan. Like the one that failed in 2017 and led to the House flipping to Democrats? There. Is. No. Republican. Plan. Certainly not one that will cover the millions of people who’ve recovered from the coronavirus and now have a preexisting condition for life.
They’ll fix that, Azar says. “We have been very clear that there are mechanisms that are well-proven to protect individuals who have suffered from preexisting conditions […] to make sure they have access to affordable insurance.” Like banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions. That seems to have worked pretty damn well. The idea that they’re just going to cook up an entirely never-before-thought-of-idea that will solve this whole issue—that is not a problem as long as the ACA is in effect—is utterly absurd.
The whole idea that Donald Trump is president is absurd. That we’re still having this stupid fight with Republicans after 10 years is absurd. The very premise of this legal challenge to the law is absurd, as is the fact that Supreme Court would accept such a ridiculous case and that there are definitely four and possibly five justices who will gleefully take health coverage away from 24 million people. The only thing to do, America, is get rid of every Republican on the ballot this November.