Trump Hopes Voters Forget All the Times He’s Tried Gutting Health Care
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A little bout of pre-election amnesia would be great right about now.

On Wednesday, as he whined that submitting a COVID vaccine through a more rigorous emergency approval process was a “political move” to hurt him personally, Donald Trump added a dash of artificial altruism to his familiar bitter offerings. “We want to have people not get sick,” Trump said in a press briefing, explaining his push for a vaccine to be approved in the coming weeks. “That’s a lot of lives you’re talking about.”

Yes, this president, who has said the novel coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” even as 200,000 Americans and counting have died on his watch, wants a vaccine before November because he’s concerned with saving lives — not because he thinks giving Americans something other than bleach to inject themselves with before Election Day could give him a political boost. Transparent as his vaccine motives may be, his hollow public health appeal Wednesday was just the latest example of his latest bullshit campaign narrative: That he is, despite all evidence to the contrary, the great defender of Americans’ health and health care.

Trump has made many soaring promises on health care as a candidate and as president — but, being a liar and an imbecile, has failed time and again to deliver on them. His most high-profile failing being his promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he couldn’t even manage to do when Republicans controlled Congress. He has continued to target Barack Obama’s signature health care law, asking the Supreme Court — in the middle of the worst public health crisis in a century! – to strike it down. But to this point, he has only managed to weaken the legislation by scrapping the individual mandate. He’d likely count doing so as a win, but it also flies in the face of another promise he’s made: to protect people with preexisting medical conditions.

He says he’ll always “very strongly” ensure those with preexisting conditions have access to insurance, and is expected to sign an executive order promising as much — possibly as soon as Thursday, when he’s due to outline his health care goals for a potential second term. But as the New York TimesMargot Sanger-Katz pointed out Thursday, the president’s record says otherwise. He has weakened protections for people with underlying health problems rather than strengthening them, and in seeking to repeal Obamacare without a replacement threatens to leave Americans even more vulnerable.

Decimating the ACA looms over the coming fight for his third Supreme Court pick, which he is set to announce this week. Amy Coney Barrett, widely considered a frontrunner to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and others on the president’s shortlist are seen as hostile to Obamacare, and if confirmed before the election, as Trump wants, could help a new 6–3 conservative majority deliver a fatal blow to the decade-old legislation when a pair of ACA cases come before the court on November 10. Of course, even if Mitch McConnell succeeds in installing a third Trump justice on the high court in the next few weeks, that’s no guarantee Obamacare is doomed. It may, however, constitute one of the right’s best chances at killing the law on which they’ve based a large part of their contemporary political identity. “It is still unlikely to prevail,” University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley told the Times. “But the small chance of a very bad thing happening is worth worrying about.”

That “very bad thing” isn’t just that a health care law millions of Americans rely on would be nixed — it’s that Republicans have shown time and again that they don’t have the foggiest idea of what they’d replace it with, despite having years to mull it over. Trump has spent the last five years promising a “phenomenal” health care plan that never comes. In 2020 alone, he has said again and again that a plan would be announced soon, only to kick the can down the road when yet another deadline passes. Speaking to Fox News’ Chris Wallace in mid-July, he vowed a “full and complete” plan in two weeks. When two weeks passed without so much as a hint of what his plan would be, the goalposts shifted: maybe it would come in mid-August, or perhaps by the end of the month. Now, in late September and losing to Joe Biden on the health care issue, Trump will apparently fill Americans in on some of the broader contours of his vision. But after all this time, if you’re expecting him to provide the miracle cure for America’s ailing health care system, here’s some Lysol and some “very powerful light” you might be interested in. “It’s going to take more,” Guy Cecil of the liberal Priorities USA told the Washington Post, “than repeatedly promising they are going to have a plan in two weeks over and over again.”

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From: VANITYFAIR