Reminding people that Republicans want to ruin the health care system is like 'punching yourself in the face repeatedly,' said one GOP strategist.
Republican senators are panicking as Trump gleefully reminds Americans that he and his party want to rip away health care from millions of families.
"We need a plan, and right now we don't have one," one frustrated Republican senator told Politico, asking to remain anonymous.
Another unnamed Republican senator was surprised at the timing of Trump's renewed assault on health care, exclaiming to Politico: "Why would the president do this after the release of the Mueller report?"
That senator was referring to the Trump administration's decision to file court papers announcing that it supports completely overturning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
Trump's Department of Justice announced its intentions on Monday, just a few days after special counsel Robert Mueller completed his 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. (The actual Mueller report has not been released, contrary to the senator's claims; but even a four-page summary written by Attorney General William Barr acknowledges that Mueller found evidence Trump may have obstructed justice.)
If Trump's plan to wreck health care comes to pass, 20 million people will lose their health insurance, and every bit of the ACA will be eliminated. That would include eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance — protections that are very popular with Americans.
Republicans in Congress have spent years desperately trying to accomplish these same goals through legislation, both before and after Trump took office. Trump even had a Rose Garden event celebrating the GOP-led House of Representatives passing a health care bill which, if it hadn't been blocked by the Senate, would have eliminated protections for people with pre-existing conditions, raised premiums, and kicked tens of millions of people off of their health insurance.
The GOP health care sabotage was a major issue in the 2018 election, and it was a major reason voters handed Democrats historic gains in the House.
Trump's desire to remind people of the disastrous GOP position on health care "is the equivalent of punching yourself in the face repeatedly," said one Republican strategist. "It's the dumbest thing I have ever heard."
Voters may agree with that assessment. The ACA is now an integral part of the American health care system — and a recent poll, the majority of Americans said they want the current health care system strengthened, not blown up. Even Republicans say they would prefer to improve the current system rather than replace it.
Before Trump moved forward with his all-out assault on the ACA, even his own Cabinet officials warned him it was a horrible idea.
But Trump seems not to care what voters want — or what his own party and advisers want, for that matter.
And if he has his way, millions of Americans will pay the price.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.