Trump is determined to make health care, and his strong desire to destroy the current system, a centerpiece of the 2020 campaign.
Republican efforts to sabotage health care helped Democrats win sweeping victories in the 2018 midterms — yet Trump still thinks it's a good idea to make health care sabotage a centerpiece of his 2020 campaign.
On Wednesday morning, Trump said health care "will be a great campaign issue" in 2020.
The problem? He has no health care plan to campaign on — other than completely eliminating the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.
Trump's Justice Department has announced its support for a bogus lawsuit that would completely overturn the ACA, including its protections that ensure people with pre-existing conditions can't be denied health insurance or charged more for it.
If this lawsuit succeeded, it would kick an estimated 20 million people off of their health insurance and jack up premiums for millions more. Additionally, young adults would no longer be able to stay on their parents' health insurance until the age of 26.
Republicans have had no desire to talk about Trump's position on this, because they know how unpopular it is and how disastrous the results would be. Even his own Cabinet members advised Trump against the idea of destroying the current health care system.
But Trump ignored them, and is trying to accomplish through the courts what Republicans failed to accomplish in Congress: completely undoing every bit of the ACA.
Meanwhile, Trump has spent the past week trying to distract Americans from his extreme position, lying and making grand promises about a Republican health care plan that will soon be revealed.
He also claimed Wednesday that "the wonderful HealthCare package that some very talented people are now developing" for him and the Republican Party "will be on full display during the Election as a much better & less expensive alternative to ObamaCare."
But congressional Republicans and even White House aides admit that there is no such proposal, nor any efforts underway to develop one.
Trump's Wednesday statement also showed just how much he has had to backpedal on health care in the last week. After Trump impulsively declared that he would push the Senate to vote on a new health care plan before the 2020 election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut that idea down — even though Republicans have spent the past nine years trying to repeal Obamacare.
Now Trump is declaring that instead of campaigning on a great health care bill that he already signed, he'll campaign on the promise of signing a great health care bill, eventually.
If that bill ever does materialize, though, it's sure to be anything but great. The last time House Republicans passed a health care bill, it would have eliminated protections for people with pre-existing conditions, raised premiums, and kicked tens of millions of people off of their health insurance — if it hadn't been blocked by the Senate.
When given a choice, voters — even Republicans — say they would prefer to strengthen and improve the current health care law, not destroy it.
So far, Trump isn't listening.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.