BS Comes Home: Obamacare Ruling Jams Cory Gardner

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

Politico reports on the political implications of a ruling Friday by a federal judge in Texas, striking down the 2010 Affordable Care Act in its entirety–and setting up a final showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court that could end in millions of Americans losing their health coverage:

Congress was ready to move on from Obamacare.

The midterm elections took repeal off the table, and Democrats were gearing up for a party-defining fight over “Medicare for all.” But Friday night’s ruling by a federal judge in Texas that the Affordable Care Act must be scrapped once again puts the law front and center as Democrats prepare to take back the House just weeks from now.

The ruling is sure to be appealed, and the Trump administration says it’s business as usual in the meantime. But the decision spells bad news for Republicans, by allowing Democrats to replay a potent health care message that helped them flip 40 House seats: that the GOP remains hellbent on gutting Obamacare and rolling back protections for pre-existing conditions…

Colorado Public Radio attempts to put a number on the threat to Coloradans:

The federal judge struck down the entire law, also known as Obamacare. The law will remain in place while the ruling is on appeal, but if it stands, the decision applies to all of the ACA’s protections and regulations, and could strip health insurance coverage from 20 million Americans.

The nonpartisan Colorado Consumer Health Initiative says that includes more than 600,000 Coloradans, because the ruling would scrap both the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid and federal financial assistance for coverage in the individual marketplace.

The political consequences of this decision are for the moment more important, but the rightward hardening of the U.S. Supreme Court make the threat of this new adverse ruling much greater in terms of actually repealing en masse the landmark 2010 law responsible for reducing the rate of uninsured across the nation and in Colorado to historic lows. However the case resolves, Republican failure to replace the Affordable Care Act during their two-year period of total control in Washington leaves that party politically responsible for negative outcomes on the issue over the next two years–and at the same time, any solution now must include House Democrats, who have no reason to either make concessions that would be harmful to those covered today or assume the blame for a poorly-crafted GOP fix.

Sitting in the middle of this increasingly perilous situation is Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the most vulnerable 2020 GOP Senators who campaigned for office on a sloganized promise to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” Gardner was the figurehead of a wide-ranging campaign of misinformation in Colorado about the Affordable Care Act, falsely claiming that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans “had their coverage cancelled” even as the law drove the rate of uninsured down. This misinformation was uncritically reprinted by local media, deepening public confusion over the law and driving down its popularity.

We’ve said for years that a day of reckoning could very well come for Cory Gardner, when he would be forced to reconcile his bogus claims that “hundreds of thousands of Coloradans lost coverage” with the prospect of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans actually losing coverage via Gardner’s own stated goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Obviously for the sake of those 600,000+ Coloradans, we were not eager to see this as vengefully satisfying as it may be.

Now, just in time for Gardner’s re-election campaign, it looks like that day could be at hand.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    Just posing this question for all the journalists out there: Who in Congress knew their votes on the tax bill could lead to a ruling like O'Connor's, and when did they know it? A fair follow-up – if you didn't, why didn't you?

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Did you see Susan Collins – whom I blame for this since she voted for the so-called Big and Beautiful Tax Cut – on SOTU yesterday? She claims this decision will not stand. Maybe her friend Brett Kavanaugh will come to the rescue.

      Put me down as dubious…..

      • 2Jung2Die says:

        I did see clips of Collins-without-the-Conscience. I keep reading that the O'Connor decision is likely to be overturned in the 5th Circuit but could be appealed to SCOTUS. I hope Park Hill (below) is right about Roberts being unlikely to support this ruling, and this quote is from an Indivisible post (I know, not the be-all-and-end-all of anything):.."The five justices who turned away the first challenge to the ACA are all still on the Court, and this case is considerably weaker on the merits."


  2. unnamed says:

    THis will get Moddy Meltdown's little sphincter up. 

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Who can forget the imagine of the angry and indignant Cory Gardner brandishing what he alleged was his insurance cancellation letter…..

  4. ParkHill says:

    All together: " Single payor here I come…"

    Roberts probably kills it because he knows it would have a massive impact on the health care insurance industry and on Republicans in general,

    The problem is that the ACA is not just about the market for insurance to individuals, it also restructured a lot of things from medicare to medicaid, and even into the group market. 

    • Early Worm says:

      It sure makes you wonder if this Texas Federal judge is actually a progressive masquerading as a conservative. The surest way to get government-based health care, also known as socialized medicine, is to keep blowing up every attempt at employer-based systems, also known as free market. Free market health insurance is not sustainable, any more than free market roads, education, or military. The Republican attorneys general should have been more careful about what they asked for. Now that they have it, they are not going to like it.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Because we all know that Mitch McConnell would fast track Medicare-For-All if this decision stands. Right…

        What happens we go back to pre-2010 with all the fun that entailed.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        Nobody with legal credentials who is commenting on Judge Reed O'Connor has hinted that the decision was a strategic move on his part or had him "masquerading" as a conservative.  He's definitely conservative. His ruling is definitely his opinion. The only strategic element, according to many, was NOT making the decision for months, waiting until after the midterm elections.

        After 8 years, we still await that amazing "replacement" plan Republicans keep advertising. After 2, we remain curious about the "beautiful" plan that Trump was going to have, making insurance available to everyone and making it cheaper.

        • Early Worm says:

          I don't think that O'Connor is actually progressive. I was offering an opinion that his decision will be very counterproductive to his goal. As you say, not at all strategic.

          I do not think that there is any chance his decision will be upheld. It is ridiculous. In the meantime, it gives Democrats a powerful talking point: the Republicans are taking away protection for pre-existing conditions (everyone hates that), taking away subsidies (insurers will not be happy), and taking away Medicaid expansion (most states will be very upset). 

          As you point out, the Republicans are backed against a wall trying to explain what "replacement" or "plan" they have to address these benefits of Obamacare they are getting rid of. Allowing insurance co.'s to sell insurance over state lines is not going to cover it.

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