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“Headache,” “Mess,” “Political Havoc”: Headlines Drive Home Political Consequences for the GOP Due to the Trump, Republican Lawsuit to Destroy Health Care

If the Trump administration and its Republican allies were seeking validation for their lawsuit to destroy America’s health care – they aren’t getting it. Headlines across the country are sounding off about the dire political consequences that Trump’s lawsuit will have for Republicans headed into the 2020 election as oral arguments in the case begin today. 

ABC News’s The Note: Trump Creates Fresh Health Care Mess For GOP. “The Trump administration is leading an effort to have all of Obamacare — yes, even preexisting conditions — ruled unconstitutional, after a judge in Texas ruled in their favor late last year. Another legal victory for the administration would be a win for a GOP base that’s long treated Obamacare as a curse word — or worse. But until, or unless, the president unveils his promised “phenomenal” health care plan, it would be a win that’s widely viewed as a political loss for the Republican Party. Just 38% of Americans overall and 41% of independents approve of the job Trump is doing on health care, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. GOP leaders on Capitol Hill have made clear they want to fight on more favorable terrain next year.” [ABC News, 7/9/19]

Washington Post: 5th Circuit Decision On ACA Could Create Political Havoc For GOP. “’The difference on health care are Democrats who want to expand coverage and decrease costs and Republicans, whose policies would get rid of coverage, lower coverage for millions of people and increase costs,’ said Brad Woodhouse, the executive director of Protect Our Care, a group that advocates for the 2010 health care law.” [The Washington Post, 7/7/19

US News & World Report: “The Unraveling Of The Affordable Care Act Poses Risks For Republicans.” “Even if there’s a courtroom victory for the red states and Trump administration, the unraveling of the Affordable Care Act poses risks for Republicans who haven’t shown much of an appetite for working on a replacement plan ahead of the 2020 elections, particularly after a few failed attempts to pass a health care plan in 2017. Trump, who has vowed to protect coverage for preexisting conditions despite supporting the lawsuit to unwind the law, has sent mixed signals about when the party will come up with a new health care proposal. Whether or not that happens in the near future, Republicans will need to fend off the likely onslaught of health care attacks as they protect their grip on the White House.” [US News & World Report, 7/8/19]

NBC News: “A Victory For Obamacare’s Opponents Could Turn Out To Be A Mixed Blessing For The Republicans.” “A victory for Obamacare’s opponents could turn out to be a mixed blessing for the Republicans. ‘It has the potential to backfire on them, because it would put health care front and center on the agenda for the 2020 election,’ Mark Murray, senior political editor at NBC News, said. ‘Going back to the last election cycle, Democrats have the big advantage when it comes to health care.’” [NBC News, 7/9/19]

The Hill: “The Lawsuit Has Proved To Be A Headache For Congressional Republicans.” “Democrats are using the lawsuit to argue Republicans are a threat to the 20 million people who rely on ObamaCare for health insurance. The lawsuit has proved to be a headache for congressional Republicans seeking to turn the page on their efforts to repeal ObamaCare after the issue helped Democrats win back the House in last year’s midterm elections.” [The Hill, 7/7/19]

Vox: “Republicans May Be Eager For The Focus On It To Die Down So They Don’t Get Beat With This Same Playbook Again.” “In the event that the Fifth Circuit opts to overturn the district court ruling, its decision could potentially be the final say on the matter, giving Democrats another major win on this subject. The ongoing back-and-forth on this case could also catapult the fight over the ACA and protections for those with preexisting conditions to the forefront of the 2020 election. Democrats ran heavily on this issue to win over key swing districts in 2018. Republicans may be eager for the focus on it to die down so they don’t get beat with this same playbook again.” [Vox, 7/9/19]

CNN: “Congressional Republicans Are Keeping Their Distance Since It Gives Democrats Fodder To Attack The GOP.” “Trump is pinning his hopes on the court striking down the law, allowing him to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal it, but congressional Republicans are keeping their distance since it gives Democrats fodder to attack the GOP for not protecting those with pre-existing conditions — a hallmark of the landmark health reform law. Trump has repeatedly said he is working on a replacement plan that will preserve those protections but has yet to release any details.” [CNN, 7/9/19]