Snatching defeat from the jaws of a claimed victory

From The Washington Post: Trump surprises Republicans — and pleases Democrats — with push to revive health-care battle

By TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA SEUNG MIN KIM

In a new court filing, the Justice Department argued that the ACA, also known as Obamacare, should be thrown out in its entirety, including provisions protecting millions of Americans with preexisting health conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health-care plans.

President Trump praised the move during a lunch with Senate Republicans, and suggested the GOP should embrace a new congressional battle over health-care policy ahead of the 2020 elections.

Read more here.

From The New York Times: Democrats Pivot Hard to Health Care After Trump Moves to Strike Down Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s decision to ask a federal appeals court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act has given House Democrats a new opening to pursue what they see as a winning political strategy: moving past talk of impeachment to put kitchen-table issues like health care front and center.

The notice to the court, filed late Monday by the Justice Department, could not have come at a more opportune time for Democrats. The finding by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, that there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, dashed the hopes of the most partisan Democrats that the House would impeach the president.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who celebrated her 79th birthday on Tuesday — had already planned to move to change the conversation with the unveiling of the Democrats’ own health care plan on Tuesday. The Democrats’ bill aims to lower health insurance premiums, strengthen protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and ban the sale of what Democrats call “junk insurance.”

Read more here.

From Politico: Trump hands Democrats a gift with new effort to kill Obamacare: The Justice Department’s surprise decision is giving Democrats a chance to move past the disappointment of the Mueller probe.

Democrats deflated by the anticlimactic end to Robert Mueller’s Russia probe desperately wanted to change the subject — and the Trump administration was only happy to oblige.

House and Senate Democrats on Tuesday seized on the Justice Department’s endorsement of a federal court ruling to eliminate Obamacare in its entirety, immediately renewing attacks on the GOP for trying to gut the law’s popular protections and rip health coverage from more than 20 million Americans.

The administration’s surprise decision — a shift from its prior stance that only parts of the Affordable Care Act should be thrown out — offered a unifying moment for Democrats still grappling with the news that Mueller would not charge President Donald Trump with any crimes and comes as the party readies a fresh legislative offensive on health care.

Read more here.

From Bloomberg Opinion: Trump Health-Care Miss Gives Democrats a Perfect Pivot: His doubling down on damaging and unpopular policy gives his opponents an opening just when they need it.

By 

Just as things were starting to look better for President Donald Trump, he seems intent on squandering any political advantage.
Republicans lost big in the 2018 midterm elections due in large part to failed efforts to dismantle the increasingly popular Affordable Care Act. Instead of learning a lesson, the Trump administration is doubling down. The Justice Department took a more extreme position in an ongoing legal challenge to the law Monday night, saying that the whole thing should be thrown out instead of just in part. If the lawsuit succeeds, millions would lose coverage and many millions more would again face discrimination and higher costs based on pre-existing conditions.
The decision is a gift for Democrats, who plan to release a set of bills on Tuesday afternoon that would shore up the law. It allows them to refocus on an issue they know is a winner and unite the party behind a common cause as they figure out where to go next in health care.