Congressional Republicans have decided to resume their push to legislatively repeal and replace Obamacare only after the next election in November 2020, which means they will be able to campaign against the program over the coming 19 months.
This is, depending on your perspective, a brilliant move that guarantees the GOP recaptures the House of Representatives, or the umpteenth time the GOP has betrayed its conservative, Obamacare-hating base.
This delay has been engineered by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) who, after President Donald Trump met with Senate Republicans last week to press for legislative repeal (excluding protections for patients with preexisting conditions), decided not to play ball. Trump had tweeted before that that he wanted “The Republican Party … [to] become ‘The Party of Healthcare!’”
McConnell told reporters he would not promote repeal while the Democrats controlled the House. RINO Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah oppose Trump’s repeal drive. Collins said Trump was making “a mistake.”
Democrats, of course, are fine with this, because they love the health care law that empowers bureaucrats and death panels while robbing patients of choices and setting the nation on the path to a full-blown takeover like the economically insane “Medicare for All” proposal. Democrat presidential hopefuls are tripping over each other in the rush to endorse Medicare for All even though it is utterly unsustainable.
Democrats also want to keep the issue of health care alive so they can run on it in 2020 and in every election until the end of time. These people claim that Democrats’ health care policies helped them regain the House – though they can’t seem to explain why their minority in the Senate shrunk in the same election last year.
Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that created Obamacare was signed into law by Barack Hussein Obama on March 23, 2010, Republican lawmakers have tried to get rid of the abominable, un-American law scores of times without success. But they have still tried to spin away defeats as at least moral victories.
GOP careerists like to put lipstick on a pig by saying that the House “repealed” Obamacare 70-something times, by which they actually mean “voted to repeal,” as if that ended the matter. Every congressional repeal effort has ended in failure at the hands of the Senate or by presidential veto as happened in January 2016.
The mainstream media responded with a mixture of glee and horror when late last month Trump’s Department of Justice announced it supports getting rid of the Obamacare statute that nationalized a huge chunk of the nation’s economy.
But what the media has tended to leave out was the fact the Obamacare statute is already legally dead.
It was killed Dec. 14, 2018, when U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas held that in 2017 Congress effectively repealed the mandate that forced Americans to buy health insurance and, in the process, that body “sawed off the last leg it [i.e. Obamacare] stood on.”
“The court finds the individual mandate ‘is essential to’ and inseverable from ‘the other provisions of’” the Obamacare statute and is therefore unconstitutional, O’Connor wrote.
But unlike the aggressive leftist judges on the federal benches we are accustomed to, O’Connor agreed to stay enforcement on his commonsense ruling pending appeal.
At the time President Trump celebrated O’Connor’s decision with a Twitter post.
“As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”
After calling the ruling “Great news for America!” at that time Trump urged McConnell and then-incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to “get it done!”
The Hill newspaper reported March 25 that the Justice Department sent a letter to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals advising the court that its new position was that the Dec. 14 decision should remain intact while it goes through the appellate process. Previously it was the department’s position that only parts of the law should be struck down.
“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” the agency said in the letter.
This was not a sudden flip-flop by a schizophrenic president as left-wing journalists depicted it. It reflected a dispassionate acknowledgement of reality. Barring some activist judges or Supreme Court justices overturning O’Connor’s ruling, Obamacare will remain unconstitutional.
But whatever happens in the courts, the issue won’t go away anytime soon.
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared April 5, 2019, at FrontPageMag.