Here we go again.
If you don’t want to read the wonky articles this morning about the court ruling on healthcare that came down yesterday, I’ve summarized the whole sordid mess.
But first, remember that the ACA remains in place right now, and if you are covered by it, you are still covered. Don’t panic yet.
How we got here:
1) The ACA passed in 2010, under Obama.
2) The GOP never liked the “individual mandate” part of the law, which required everyone to buy insurance, and penalties for not doing that. They don’t like the government telling people what to do, unless it’s telling women what to do with their bodies, I’ll add.
3) In 2012 the Supreme Court (under Chief Justice Roberts) ruled that the ACA WAS constitutional, that Congress was not overreaching, the individual mandate was a form of a tax, and Congress is authorized to tax.
4) Years go by and millions get covered through the ACA, and at the same time the GOP tries to repeal the ACA 40 or 50 times and failed every time.
5) In his first press conference as President, Trump said that he was going to deliver healthcare that was “better and cheaper”. (I know this because I saved that quote and bring it out now and then. I knew it was a lie then, I know it’s a lie now).
6) In 2017, the now completely-controlled-by-the-GOP government tried to repeal the ACA again (with no viable replacement I’ll add)
7) In a dramatic move, Sen John McCain voted “no” and pissed off Mitch McConnell and Trump and a bunch of GOPsters. The repeal failed.
8) Not to be deterred, the GOP, the party of two priorities, passing massive tax cuts for corporations and super-rich people and repealing the ACA, decided to repeal the individual mandate as part of their massive tax cut. That succeeded. They got a two-fer.
9) There is no individual mandate anymore. The GOP should be happy because they hated the mandate, right?
10) No. Not content to rest on their laurels, a bunch of GOP governors band together and file a suit that says if there is no individual mandate (which their GOP repealed) then the whole ACA must be thrown out. I guess the theory is that if the mandate is what made it constitutional in the first place, and the mandate no longer exists (since the GOP repealed it), then voila! it must be unconstitutional. Mind you, I’m no Obama (meaning I’m not a constitutional scholar. We used to have a president who was a constitutional scholar btw). But you gotta hand it to the GOP, those smart and sneaky bastards.
11) Yesterday the federal court in Texas agreed and ruled the entire ACA unconstitutional.
12) What happens now is TBD, but it’s going to be a fight I’m sure.
So the GOP has struck again. They promised during the election cycle to protect pre-existing conditions, remember? Without the ACA, there is no protection for pre-existing conditions, along with a host of other things.
This would be reason to just throw up your hands and say “WTF we have to fight for this AGAIN?” if it didn’t mean that millions of people (including me) are potentially going to lose their healthcare if this succeeds.
Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and will finally propel us toward a system that truly guarantees quality affordable healthcare for all. It’s way overdue.
©Rebecca Larson 2018