Incredibly, both the Democrats and the Republicans wanted to talk about the same subject yesterday. No, not the Barr letter. They wanted to talk about healthcare.
The Democrats have been preparing a new piece of legislation behind the scenes for weeks, and yesterday announced that the bill would be introduced in three committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor.)
CNBC summarized the bill like this:
According to Pelosi’s office, the bill being unveiled Tuesday would make more middle-class people eligible for subsidized health insurance through former President Barack Obama’s health law, often called “Obamacare,” while increasing aid for those with lower incomes who already qualify. And it would fix a longstanding affordability problem for some consumers, known as the “family glitch.”
Trump, on the other hand, wants the Department of Justice to invalidate all of Obamacare, not just parts of it. We learned this through a brief that the DOJ filed in court.
That’s right. Trump wants to get rid of a law that insures 15 million Americans, covers another 15 million through Medicare expansion, and eliminate the protections that anyone with a pre-existing condition has. (Numbers from this source.)
Once we get more details about the Democrats’ new bill, I’ll post a call to action so we can all contact our representatives and push them to pass the bill. In the meantime, I am marveling at the politics of the current situation.
The Democrats won back the House in a landslide in the 2018 midterms, due in large part to healthcare. Voters overwhelmingly cited healthcare as their #1 issue going into Election Day. Leading up to Election Day, we knew that this was a top issue for voters–I even wrote a post about how we should push healthcare every day. (Looking back at it, it is extremely gratifying to see what I said about Republican Dana Rohrabacher, considering he lost his race.)
Trump seems to think that pushing to get rid of Obamacare is good politics, but the midterms proved him wrong. That he wants to double-down on his bet going into 2020 seems insane to me. The point, though, is that in order for healthcare to continue to be a winning issue for the Democrats, we need to talk about it all the time. As more information comes out about how the Democrats want to strengthen healthcare and the Republicans want to destroy it, share it widely.
Keeping healthcare as an issue in the hearts and minds of voters will be key to the upcoming elections.