While Trump and Pence go after Obamacare, Obama and the Dems fight to save it


While President-elect Donald Trump drew attention by tweeting about Obamacare, Vice President-elect Mike Pence headed to Capitol Hill to strategize an Obamacare repeal with Congressional Republicans. Meanwhile, President Obama also headed to Capitol Hill to strategize saving it, with Congressional Democrats who are mobilizing to fight back.

The differences between the two parties are vast and varied, but there is perhaps no issue that more starkly represents their current ideological contention than the Affordable Care Act. Today, the outgoing president and his party huddled to defend his signature healthcare initiative, while the incoming president and his party strategized how to repeal it.

In a perfect example of the dynamic Shareblue's editor-in-chief Melissa McEwan has described, pitting Donald Trump's distracting theatrics against Mike Pence's opportunistic stealth, Trump took to Twitter this morning to launch a political attack on the Affordable Care Act.

On a factual basis, Trump is massively incorrect that the Affordable Care Act has made coverage worse or more expensive. But accurate information is not his goal, of course; his tweets are meant to discredit the landmark legislation to justify its repeal, and, if those tweets simultaneously manage to divert attention while Mike Pence traveled to Capitol Hill to strategize with Republican leadership on that repeal, so much the better.

This is the two-pronged strategy the Trump administration will employ over and over, using Trump's bombast to drive the public conversation with misinformation, while Pence quietly works on a regressive agenda with the Republican Congress.

Democrats will have to counter the Trump administration on both fronts, of which they seem well aware, if today is any indication.

President Obama also traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with House and Senate Democrats, working on a plan to prevent repeal of the ACA. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats fought Trump's misinformation campaign with facts, concurrently turning Trump's slogan on its head and scorning Republican priorities with the hashtag #MakeAmericaSickAgain:

Rachel Palermo, a press assistant to the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement:

The Affordable Care Act is working: more than 20 million Americans have health insurance who wouldn’t otherwise and fewer Americans are struggling to pay their medical bills. The Republican plan to repeal the law is irresponsible and would be disastrous, causing as many as 30 million Americans, largely working families, to lose their health insurance while driving up the cost of premiums. The majority of Americans do not support the Republican plan for repeal, and industry experts are warning against it.

Trump and his party are determined to ignore those warnings, and the pleas of people who rely on Obamacare, and they will do everything they can to unwind the legislation.

But President Obama and Democratic legislators are keeping their eyes on the ball, and so should we.

(Melissa McEwan contributed to this article.)