The Republicans Are Trying To Kick 20 Million Americans Off Insurance IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC!
We have received the devastating news that at least 10 million Americans have recently lost their jobs due to Trump’s inept response to the international pandemic. (South Korea - which recorded its first corona virus case the same day the U.S. did — handled this pandemic without an economic shutdown because its government took the crisis seriously from the beginning. This didn’t have to happen.) Economists are projecting that the unemployment rate could soar to anywhere from 10% to 30%. Because health insurance is tied to employment for many Americans, that means that millions of Americans have already lost their health insurance and millions more will lose it in the next few months.
Despite the deadliest pandemic since 1918 and what could be the worst economy since 1933, Donald Trump, Pete Ricketts and Doug Peterson are still pursuing their reckless lawsuit aimed at throwing out the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) by judicial fiat. In a recent interview with Yahoo News, two Republican Attorney Generals have said it is full speed ahead with the lawsuit despite the pandemic and economic collapse.
Nebraska’s Congressional delegation is on record in support of repealing the ACA without a replacement plan. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer have voted numerous to times repeal or gut the 2010 health care reform law. Moreover, Jeff Fortenberry, Don Bacon, and Adrian Smith have all voted two times in support of this dangerous case.
If Ricketts, Peterson and our Congressional delegation “win” this case, the results would be devastating for our health care system and millions of American. Approximately 20 million people would lose insurance coverage and pre-existing condition protections would be eliminated if five un-elected Supreme Court justices with taxpayer funded health insurance vote in favor of the Republicans.
Even if Trump loses this case, his Administration is still doing everything it can to sabotage the ACA and prevent millions of newly unemployed Americans from obtaining insurance. Earlier this week, the Trump Administration ruled out reopening ACA enrollment to newly uninsured Americans who have lost their jobs due to Trump’s failure to prepare for this crisis. A special enrollment period would make it possible for millions of jobless Americans to get covered.
At a recent press conference, Vice President Mike Pence was asked about this irresponsible decision. Pence responded that: “We have Medicaid for underprivileged Americans.” What Pence failed to mention was that if the Trump/Pence Administration “wins” their case, the Medicaid expansion would be eliminated and 10 million Americans would be thrown off Medicaid.
Closer to home, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts continues to defy the will of the voters by delaying the Medicaid expansion. The billionaire Governor has rejected calls to speed up the implementation of the Medicaid expansion for 90,000 Nebraskans.
Going forward in 2020, we Democrats need to emphasize what we all agree on — universal health coverage for the American people. At the same time, the Democrats need to focus on how we differ from the GOP on health care. The Republicans simply don’t believe in universal coverage and consumer protections. Conservatives don’t believe it is a legitimate function of government to spend money on health care for the sick, the poor and the elderly. They just don’t believe in it.
We need to constantly emphasize the huge difference between our party and the GOP on health care. We need to say it again and again and again that Trump, Ricketts, Peterson and the D.C. Republicans support taking away insurance from 20 million Americans and ending pre-existing condition protections.
Democrats made this huge contrast on health care our central message in mid-term elections. We won big in 2018. Now let’s do it again in 2020!