Nancy Pelosi’s Very Big Birthday Present
Author: Greg Valliere
March 27, 2019
REELING AFTER THE MUELLER REPORT, DESPERATE FOR A NEW ISSUE, the Democrats got quite a gift yesterday — Donald J. Trump will attempt to kill Obamacare, even the popular provisions. This clearly was a losing issue for the GOP in last fall’s election, and many Republicans cringed yesterday when they heard the news.
WHAT A BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR NANCY PELOSI: The House Speaker turned 79 yesterday, and she was planning to pivot away from the party’s impeachment fever, focusing instead on health care and other domestic issues. Incredibly, Trump did the job for her as the Justice Department tersely stated that it would push to eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act. According to Politico and other sources, Trump’s Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services opposed the move.
NOT SURPRISINGLY, THIS DID NOT SIT WELL with Republicans facing election next year. The party lost over three dozen House seats last fall, most in districts where health care was a key issue. Many Republicans agree with GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who asserts that voters want coverage for pre-existing conditions and for their children until the age of 26.
NEVERTHELESS, TRUMP IS DETERMINED TO KEEP HIS PROMISES, and abolition of Obamacare has always been a key issue for him — he still is obsessed with John McCain’s vote against Obamacare abolition. Trump said yesterday that the GOP would become “the party of health care,” but there’s one missing ingredient: the Republicans have consistently failed to agree on an alternative to Obamacare.
OFF THE HOOK: Democrats had been squirming this winter over charges that “Medicare for all” would be impossibly expensive and might threaten the existence of private health insurers. Liberals were on the defensive on this issue but now they can go on the offensive by asserting that 20 million Americans would lose coverage if Obamacare is killed.
PARTICIPANTS IN TOWN HALL MEETINGS around the country have rarely brought up Mueller or a potential Trump impeachment. Democrats running for president get more questions on health care than any other subject, as Pelosi realizes. So she will make health care the party’s signature issue, and Trump just did the heavy lifting for her.
THIS IS ONE REASON WHY TRUMP, the early favorite in the 2020 election, is hardly a shoo-in. He has a habit of self-inflicted wounds and miscalculations, largely because he doesn’t have a clear exit strategy (See: North Korea). We suspect Trump doesn’t have an end-game on health care, either — what, exactly, would the Republicans propose instead of Obamacare? He doesn’t know, and neither does his party.
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