From Anthony Piel:
Lord forbid that President Trump gets re-elected in 2020. As it is, Trump and the Trump-dominated GOP have tried to undo everything the Democratic Party has long stood for and tried to accomplish to benefit “ordinary” Americans, notably the saving of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, public education, labor rights and the environment.
While we have all been distracted by Trump’s endless distractions, and most recently by the un-controvertible evidence that “Vladimir Trump” committed the impeachable “ high crime” of attempted bribery of a foreign government, using taxpayer money ($391 million of it) to entice Ukraine to endorse a public lie (planted by Russia) intended to undermine Trump’s domestic political opponent Joe Biden, while at the same time serving his Russian puppet master Putin, and allowing Russia to keep its annexation of Russian-speaking Crimea and Eastern Ukraine (vital to Russia’s oil & gas industry) without fear of sanctions or other actions by the West. Trump’s actions are a clear “abuse of office” and border on the impeachable high crime of treason.
Trump and “Moscow Mitch” and the GOP have been quietly eating away at funding for essential programs, such as family planning (by giving NIH family planning money to groups opposed to family planning). Meanwhile, Democratic primary candidates have been trying to set themselves apart from each other by debating various reforms (such as Medicare for all) which they would sponsor, if elected. Candidate Biden is right about one thing: None of these would-be reforms could possibly be developed, legislated and implemented unless Democrats first take back the Senate and Oval Office. That’s why priority one has to be to kick “Vladimir Trump” out of office, and only then should a Democratic Congress debate the more controversial reform details.
Here below is just one example, from the Associated Press, of how Trump and the Trump GOP (having seemingly given up on “Obamacare” for which they have no replacement because they don’t really want one) are maneuvering to destroy after 2020 the essential “Welfare” programs the Democratic party has always stood for, in this case the Affordable Care Act (ACC). If we thought we had won the battle to preserve “Health fo All,” we had better think again, because the Trump GOP doesn’t “think” so:
The Conservative-controlled U.S. Supreme Court just cannot get it right. Even when they reach the right result, it is too often for the wrong reasons. The losers are the more progressive members of the Court and the American people.
A good example of this was the case of NFIB v. Sibelius (2012) which upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as “Obamacare” (the right result) on the grounds that the ACA contained a “mandate,” or “tax,” and “Congress has the power to tax” (the wrong reason).
Initially in the Sibelius case, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a lengthy would-be opinion declaring that the ACA was un-Constitutional because it amounted to “Welfare.” But then, worried about his own standing in history, on the heels of the infamous case of Citizens United v. FEC (2010) extending Constitutional rights of “personhood” to corporations, Roberts didn’t want to be seen as presiding over yet another law case on a par with the Jim Crow case of Dred Scott (1857) which held, in effect, that a Black person could never become an American citizen.
So overnight, Roberts flipped sides, arguing that “Obamacare” was Constitutional after all, because the “mandate’ was a “tax” and “Congress has the power to tax.” Actually, the US Constitution says exactly the reverse in plain English : “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes for the General Welfare.” It’s the fact that the ACA serves the “General Welfare” and NOT the tax that makes the ACA Constitutional.
Nevertheless, “Obamacare” was held Constitutional by a vote of 5 to 4 — the right result for exactly the wrong reason.
This sloppy “thinking” by the Roberts Court and its failure to read common English has left the door open to renewed attacks on the weakened ACA by “conservative” hardliners more concerned for tax breaks for the wealthy few, than for socially-responsible programs that serve the health and “welfare” needs of “ordinary” citizens the 99%. One logical weakness of the Roberts-approved ACA is that if the “mandate” were rescinded, the ACA would fail in its entirety. Or maybe saved in part ?
Sure enough, the Trump/GOP administration is now asking the Courts to strike down the entire ACA, based on a range of arguments including the assertion that if the individual “mandate” were set at $0, then logically the sole basis for the Sibelius outcome fails, and the ACA becomes un-Constitutional for the reasons Roberts had cited in his initial (but discarded) opinion.
The question now is whether some provisions of the ACA, such as coverage of “pre-existing” conditions, could be separated from the “mandate,” thus implementing part of the ACA while killing off the rest. After vacillating back and forth and changing his mind overnight or while playing golf, President Trump has now instructed William Barr and the Justice Department not to defend the ACA but to use the well-packed federal courts to wipe out Affordable Health Care once and for all.
So much for Obama and the needs of the “losing” 99 % of Americans.