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An act of unfathomable cruelty...

Susan Estrich on

Maybe it's because he resents his predecessor's popularity, especially as his plummets to record lows.

Or maybe he is just so clueless and in such a state of denial that he has no idea what is going on in this country beyond his inner circle of yes men.

On Thursday, the Trump administration filed a brief once again asking the Supreme Court to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it "an act of unfathomable cruelty."

There could not be a worse time to destroy a system that allows millions to go to a doctor, much less a hospital, without worrying the visit will bankrupt the family. Unemployment means that most people out of work are losing their employer-provided health insurance, and we are facing record levels of unemployment. Nobody should face this pandemic without the protection of insurance. Nobody should delay taking a loved one to the ER because of how much ER visits cost. COVID-19 can be an expensive disease, particularly for those who must be hospitalized. President Donald Trump has never had trouble paying for the best insurance money can buy. He doesn't need Obamacare, and plainly, he couldn't care less about those who do. Before Obamacare, it was either impossible or impossibly difficult for individuals who were not covered by an employer's plan to insure themselves and their families. When I tried to buy health insurance for my nanny, no company but Kaiser Permanente would take my money.

At the same time, former national security adviser John Bolton's book now confirms that Trump's Twitter rages are the work of a man who cares about no one and nothing but himself and his reelection. Trump can't believe this is happening to him, sees himself as the victim; the president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world, is being victimized by the truth. According to Bolton, notwithstanding Trump's tough talk on China, he sits there and asks a dictator to help reelect him. Just like he did when he delayed foreign aid to Ukraine so it would dig for dirt on Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.

"(T)he entire ACA must fall," according to the president, which means that anyone with preexisting conditions (those who are most at risk of hospitalization and death) can't get comprehensive insurance, or any at all, and will pay more for it than they would under Obamacare. No more subsidies. No more choices.

Trump doesn't care. Half the White House is in quarantine, as well as his Secret Service detail. The White House statement Thursday dismissed the pandemic as essentially irrelevant to its arguments. "A global pandemic does not change what Americans know: Obamacare has been an unlawful failure," deputy press secretary Judd Deere said.

 

Actually, that's not what Americans know. They know that the Supreme Court has already upheld the act against the same arguments they are making now. Polls have consistently found that Obamacare is, in fact, quite popular with voters. The fact is that Trump's base -- the white guys not wearing masks and shaming those who do -- is more likely to get sick than those of us doing our best to not only protect ourselves but also protect others. That's the American way, but it's not the Trump way, which is why more and more of his base may suddenly discover just how expensive it is to get COVID-19.

Everywhere he goes, Trump asks people to risk their lives to see him. The Democrats will have a nearly all-virtual convention. Trump is so determined to have a packed hall and balloons and cheers that he moved the convention site to Florida, which promised him an indoor venue packed with a crowd shouting support. The problem is that the virus is out of control in Florida, because its Republican governor has been a mini Trump, closing the state too late and opening too early. In trying to hold on to his shrinking base, the president is alienating more and more Americans every day.

Stay well. And make sure you have health insurance so that if you hear a loved one coughing, if you find that he or she has a fever, if you think it could be COVID-19, you won't hesitate to go to the hospital, as so many people did in the days before Obamacare.

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To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

 

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