In what will surely go down as the most stunningly stupid decision to come out of any White House in the 244-year history of the republic, the Trump Administration has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
With the country ravaged — economically and personally — by the worst public health crisis in a century, the cadre of blockheads surrounding the president agreed that some 20 million Americans should be denied access to health insurance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected 2.7 million Americans, killed more than 120,000 and its recent resurgence in parts of the country will certainly kill many more.
Does no one in the White House read newspapers? Or watch television?
There is no cure for the coronavirus and it is unlikely a vaccine will be developed for widespread use before sometime next year.
The Administration decision to seek overturning the law smacks of an unimaginable arrogance and condescension, arrived at by a bunch of people sitting around a table with their insurance ID cards tucked in their wallets guaranteeing them and their families gold-plated health insurance at taxpayer expense.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden can suspend his campaign, save time, money and energy and ride the Administration decision straight to the White House. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer can likewise ride the issue straight to the Majority Leader’s office.
The horizon has brightened for a Democratic landslide this November and control of the executive and the Congress.
Vulnerable Republican Senators — and there are many — as well as House members in competitive districts must have been aghast at the Administration action in delivering a massive political gift to their opponents.
Congressional Republicans are already dealing as best they can with a president whose polling levels continue to slide, watching with deepening dismay as Biden opens a double-digit lead in state after state.
While most have not yet separated themselves from the president, it has become increasingly difficult and politically perilous to defend him as he blunders and bullies his way into one public relations disaster after another.
Seeking the abolition of Obamacare may turn out to be the straw that breaks the Republican camel’s back.
Congressional Republicans have attempted a half dozen times to repeal the ACA and have failed each time.
Their deafness to the message is astounding: The American people like Obamacare. They like the coverage for their children until the age of 26; they like the ban on using pre-existing conditions as an excuse to deny coverage; they like the lifting of the cap on expenses.
For the great majority of those enrolled, it marks the first time they’ve enjoyed the peace of mind that health insurance coverage provides for them and their families.
The effort to overturn the law, in effect, tells 20 million individuals and families they do not deserve that peace of mind or the protection from financial disaster a government program provides.
They’re on their own, the Administration action says, and, should an illness or accident befall them, well, tough luck, Charlie.
I am a cancer survivor and in the 10 days I spent in a hospital after diagnosis and treatment and in the weekly chemotherapy sessions I endured for a year, I watched as fellow patients — often children and their parents — tried to hide their pain, put on a brave front and conceal their anxiety over their inability to cope with rising medical bills.
The mental strain showed on their faces, along with their tears. In a cancer ward, the fear of losing a loved one or a child was always present, exacerbated by the fear that financial ruin loomed.
I suggest that all those self-absorbed individuals, wallowing in their self-importance while mapping out a path to deny insurance, spend a day or so in a cancer ward.
How many could walk away still convinced they’d done the right thing? Damn few, I suspect.
In the 10 years since the ACA became law, millions of Americans have been relieved of the fear of falling into bankruptcy, their spirits lifted and freed to concentrate on the care and recovery of their loved ones.
The attempt to overturn the ACA — needlessly cruel and heartless — may have sealed the president’s fate.
In November, he’ll be turned out of office and secure his ranking as one of the worst chief executives in American history.
He deserves both.
Carl Golden is a senior contributing analyst with the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University.