Why does Mitch McConnell never, ever speak up no matter what madness comes from Donald Trump? This is why: With Trump in the White House and Republicans holding the Senate, the combination is a judge-minting machine. McConnell can’t help but smile while his years of stonewalling President Obama are rewarded with the chance to fill the Justice system with men willing to give a reliably conservative ruling no matter how much logic-twisting it requires.
On Friday evening, Texas district court judge Reed O’Connor issued a ruling that because of issues around the personal mandate the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. That’s not just individual insurance, it’s payments to small business, it’s Medicaid expansion, it’s keeping college-age kids on their parent’s insurance, and of course, no matter what every GOP Senator said a month ago, it’s pre-existing conditions. Under this ruling, the price of prescription drugs would skyrocket. The limits on lifetime cost of insurance would be erased. The ban on charging more for women and people over 50 would go away. It’s a bizarre, over-the-top ruling that has millions of Americans suddenly worried about what it means for themselves and their families. It’s a gut-punch on an issue the voters thought was settled.
There’s absolutely no doubt that Judge Reed O’Connor held off on this ruling until after the election so that people like Missouri Senator-elect Josh Hawley—who shopped this case to this particular judge for just this kind of insanity—could go into November with their hands over their hearts, swearing that they would never, ever, let something happen to people’s healthcare. While laughing as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. And there’s absolutely no doubt that as long as Republicans control the Senate, almost nothing can be done in Congress to address these attacks, much less put in place the expanded Medicare-for-all plan that the nation desperately needs.
That’s why the best way to fight back against the attacks on Obamacare, is the same as the best way to fight against everything else on the Republican agenda — by taking back the Senate. While Republicans had a very favorable playing field when it came to Senate races in 2018, that’s not true in the next round. And with people across the nation getting another taste of just what it means to have Republicans in power, this is a great time to send a signal that their time in the Senate is going to be very, very limited.
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