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Trump officials privately worry destroying health care is a bad idea

Even members of Trump’s Cabinet raised objections to taking health care away from millions.

By Dan Desai Martin - March 27, 2019
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Trump’s Cabinet lackeys know the goal of taking away health care from millions of people is a terrible idea, but they are sticking with Trump’s plan to do it anyway.

On Wednesday, Politico reports that two of Trump’s Cabinet secretaries — Alex Azar, head of Health and Human Services; and Attorney General William Barr — raised objections to the radical, destructive plan over the past few months. Both have since changed their tune, enthusiastically backing the Trump ploy to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and send America’s health care system into disarray.

This past Monday, Trump’s Department of Justice attorneys filed court documents seeking to overturn the entire ACA, also known as Obamacare. If this happened, millions of Americans would lose health insurance, and many of the ACA’s most popular provisions would go away. These include health care protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions and the ability of children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26.

In a December 2018 meeting, Azar argued that Republicans — who have croaked about “repeal and replace” for nearly a decade — have no viable alternative to turn to if the ACA is eliminated, according to Politico.

But the only public comment from HHS since the Trump decision to move forward anyway is a cheery statement saying Azar “fully supports” Trump’s efforts.

The situation is even more awkward for Barr, who must lead the Department of Justice’s efforts to kill the popular health care law. Barr was opposed to the full-scale assault because he worried about the wisdom in trying to overturn the law after the Supreme Court upheld it in 2012.

But like Azar, Barr is now faithfully carrying the water for the Trump administration, no matter the consequences.

Trump’s callous decision to attack health care “set off alarm bells” among Republican strategists as well, according to the Daily Beast. “WTF [what the fuck] is wrong with them?” one top strategist texted a Daily Beast reporter.

A Republican pollster told the Daily Beast that the health care issue was pivotal to the historic gains Democrats made in the 2018 midterms. Referring to private polling data, this person said, “It was mostly all pre-existing conditions where they got the big run. Where they went from 20 seats to winning 40 seats, was on health care.”

And now Trump wants to make health care, and the Republican desire to rip away protections from people with pre-existing conditions, a key issue once again.

Trump’s actions, which top GOP congressional leaders don’t object to, are a boon to Democrats as they look toward 2020.

“We were, frankly, looking for a way to put health care front and center,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) told Politico.

“And they just did it for us.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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