While Obamacare was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it achieved something that made millions of people’s lives immeasurably better. The Affordable Care Act guaranteed Americans they would be able purchase insurance despite a pre-existing condition, making it illegal for providers to engage in the cruel, industry wide practice.
Insurers were also not allowed to raise costs for people with pre-existing conditions under the ACA, a provision paid for in part by the mandate forcing all Americans to buy insurance. This is now under attack by the Trump administration, and those with pre-existing conditions could stand to lose the right to by affordable insurance — or any insurance at all. Via NPR:
Twenty Republican state attorneys general filed suit on Feb. 26, charging that Congress’ changes to the law in last year’s tax bill rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional. In the tax law, Congress repealed the penalty for people who fail to have health insurance starting in 2019.
The attorneys general argue that a Supreme Court decision in 2012 saved the ACA from being declared an unconstitutional overreach of congressional power by declaring the penalty a tax — and pointing out that Congress has the power to levy taxes. Without the tax penalty, they argue, “the Court should hold that the ACA is unlawful and enjoin its operation.”
The Trump administration Thursday did not go that far. Rather, it argued that without the tax to encourage healthy people to sign up, the parts of the law guaranteeing coverage to people who have chronic illnesses or other pre-existing health conditions should be struck down as well.
The administration called on the court to declare that the provisions that guarantee coverage will be “invalid beginning on January 1, 2019,” when the mandate penalty goes away.
It is important to hammer home the message here: The Trump administration is actively trying to take health care away from people with cancer, heart disease, pregnancy, epilepsy diabetes, chronic pain disorders and other life threatening illnesses. There is no way to sugar coat this, and neither should there be.
This was what those of us who begged everyone to vote for Hillary Clinton warned about. This is why conscientious people were so afraid of Donald Trump and his blatant lying. Trump was never going to get Americans cheaper, better health care than President Obama did. He was always going to apply “free market” solutions to the health care industry that would do away with life saving regulation and cost controls. He was always going to destroy the ACA because it was created by a black man. He was always going to make health care worse for more Americans, because he never, ever cared about it.
Both sides are not “just as bad”. They never have been, and never will be.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.