Trumpcare is back, whether Republicans want it or not
Donald Trump’s decision to tell a federal court to abolish the Affordable Care Act has forced Senate Republicans to do the very last thing they want to do before the 2020 election: talk about health care again. Mitch McConnell is saying thanks, but no thanks: He isn’t going to be dealing with it again. And yet Trump and some Republicans persist.
For example, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, who may or may not be the Trump point man on it. Word is, Trump named Scott along with two others—Sens. John Barrasso from Wyoming and Bill Cassidy from Louisiana—to “come up with something really spectacular.” Scott went on Face the Nation Sunday to denounce Medicare for all, saying “it’s going to ruin Medicare.” He didn’t really get into the part about how he’s coming up with a new plan. But Scott does have a great track record in ruining Medicare. He’s the guy who, in a previous life, perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud in U.S. history. Which makes him perfect for this Trump job.
Joining the team, supposedly, is a familiar name: Mitt Romney, “who a spokesperson said has been involved in ‘preliminary discussions.'” Yeah, that Mitt Romney. Of Romneycare fame when he was governor of Massachusetts and implemented healthcare reform that was the essential model for the Affordable Care Act. So that’s not awkward at all.
On the other hand, these guys might not be doing anything at all, according to “a Senate GOP aide” who told The Hill that “I think [Trump] just sort of listed names.” The aide further explained that Barrasso, Scott, and Cassidy are not actually in any kind of working group to create Trumpcare. Since McConnell is so cool on the idea, that makes sense. He and the rest of the Republicans seem to be working on the assumption that Trump is going to forget all about this and move on to something else, so they can pretend like this isn’t happening.
But it is happening. A federal court is in the process of deciding if the Affordable Care Act is going to go away. Trump’s got his teeth back into his favorite revenge plan, still intent on destroying the major achievement of President Barack Obama. McConnell and friends are going to have to deal with that between now and November 3, 2020.