Gage Skidmore / Flickr Mitch McConnell...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

I swear to God, you can’t teach this kind of stupid. And there is nothing in science showing that it is either genetic or inherited either. Which leaves us with only one possible explanation. The GOP Senators are actually interstellar refugees from the stupidest fucking planet in the solar system.

Right now, all of the attention in politics is centered on the GOP’s naked power grab in attempting to fill Justice Ginsberg’s seat. There are all kinds of dire threats and warnings flying around, and battle plans for retaliation. This is the kind of shit I got into politics for in the first place.

Right now, there are three major areas being affected that are the hot spots. One, Trump gleefully opines that he wants that seat filled by election day, so that he has an ironclad majority of justices ready to coronate him for another four years. A more belated consequence in terms of the calendar would be the eventual overturning of Roe v Wade. which, given current polling would be an action fraught with peril for the GOP to take. The third one is that the ACA case will be heard the week after the election, and another conservative justice would all but guarantee the law’s repeal.

This is the one where the GOP totally has its head up its ass. Let’s say that the Democrats win the White House and the Senate in the finalized tallies. The SCOTUS hears the ACA case the next week. With a solid majority of conservatives on the court, the deliberations may not take very long before the law is overturned. Which means that Joe Biden will take the oath of office on January 20thy with millions of more Americans newly uninsured, and in the middle of a pandemic that Trump worsened.

Let’s just take a quick look back at the ACA. That quickly became Obama’s spotlight first term agenda issue, and it pushed pretty much everything aside. And even so, it took almost a year to hammer the legislation through for Obama to sign into law.

And this is where the Republicans let their bloodlust to overturn the ACA and Row v Wade, and it is blinding their best judgement. Joe Biden is not running on Medicare for all. Biden is rightfully proud of the ACA, and his role in passing it. His plan is to strengthen and improve the ACA, while letting people who would rather opt for a form of Medicare for all do so. That’s his platform, and he’s sticking to it.

But what happens if Joe Biden takes the oath of office, and the Affordable Care  Act is as dead as Paddy’s pig? Biden doesn’t even have the framework for a new healthcare plan, much less the detailed plan itself. Everything he wants to do is based on the ACA providing the framework. With tens of millions of uninsured Americans, and a raging pandemic quite possibly in the middle of the second wave, with the flu thrown in, does Biden have 18 months to try to craft a new healthcare plan and get it passed?

Maybe Biden doesn’t have a ready made healthcare plan available, but Bernie Sanders sure as hell does. And as he likes to remind everybody, he wrote the damn thing, and it’s in bill form, ready to go. Let’s be fair, the majority of the progressive caucus wants Medicare for all, they’re tolerating Biden’s plan because he presents the best shot at getting rid of Trump. But once Biden’s plan sleeps with the fishes along with the ACA, progressive pressure to go with Bernie’s bird-in-the-hanbd is going to be crushing.

And I believe it will fly through. Once the reality sets in, and all of those red state Trombies who had been getting coverage through Medicaid suddenly find that their family can’t go to the doctor, they’ll scream for action. And the quickest path to providing universal medical coverage is passing Sanders’ Medicare for all plan.

Back in 2009, the more progressive Democrats were already screaming for Medicare for all, and the GOP had cardiac kittens. They trotted out Caribou Barbie and “death panels for granny.” And they got their wish, Obama ended up with a watered down health plan full of holes, and unpopular at the roll out to boot. But in their desperation to finally keep a promise that nobody even wants them to keep anymore, they could actually end up sticking themselves with their healthcare nightmare, and throwing away all of those lovely insurance industry campaign contributions. Ain’t irony a bitch?

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. Your analysis misses something important: when Scotus hears a case, e.g. the ACA after election day, they don’t hand down an opinion immediately. Instead, they discuss it, research aspects, write and pass around drafts…. Opinions aren’t usually handed down for months; the spring is when the opinions start to roll out.

    Thus, Biden and the new majority of Dems in both houses can use the existing ACA as the structural underpinning, and revise, revamp and improve it. By the time SCOTUS hands down an opinion, it would be moot, because it would be based on a law that was superseded by a new one.

    Another, even more delicious possibility: if the DOJ under Wild Bill can reverse itself and withdraw its prosecution of someone who has ALREADY plead guilty, the new DOJ under Biden can withdraw its support of the challenge to ACA, and instead come out against the challenge, i.e. in support of ACA. So could the new Dem. governors of whichever states sued but now went from Red to Blue. If enough states withdraw their support, the suit more or less goes Poof; even conservatives can recognize the handwriting on the wall.

  2. It’s all moot;

    1. 4 new liberal judges on the SCOTUS… woohoo…The court won’t be the problem.

    2. No Trump or Barr, a hot lamp and a lot of sweating, and Trump’s exCabinet are gonna fold like cheap origami… all the illegal backroom deals that put who, where, in the Federal Court System, for what ill-gotten gains… We’ll be flushing Federal Judges like other people flush poop and for the same reason.

    3. 2 more members of the SCOTUS (see #2).

    4. We’ll implement a national health system for dealing with the Pandemic. Once all the bricks and plumbing are in place, we repurpose it to be the new National Health Service, a single-payer model joined at the hip to Medicare. Done right, they won’t even know what hit them. just that it’s working, saving millions of lives, saving trillions of dollars, and having America join the ranks of the rest of the first nations on the planet.


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