UPDATE: Gardner’s nonsense bill about pre-existing medical conditions doesn’t even work anyway:
This recent bill from Senator Cory Gardner provides some protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but it leaves out a big one: Insurance companies would still be able to deny insurance entirely to people who are sick.https://t.co/CaYLVViGMh pic.twitter.com/FEs99fsQLm
— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) August 19, 2020
President Trump, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) and many other Republican elected officials have long campaigned on dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama a little more than 10 years ago. Legislative efforts to dismantle the ACA have failed (thanks, John McCain!), so Republicans are now hoping to kill Obamacare through a lawsuit that will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.
As CNBC reports, the highest court in the land will indeed hear the case against the ACA…but not until AFTER the November election:
The Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it will hear arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the landmark health care legislation known as Obamacare on Nov. 10, one week after Election Day.
A decision in the case, which could disrupt the health care coverage of tens of millions of Americans, is expected by June of 2021.
The announcement comes in the middle of the Democratic National Convention, which has featured criticism of the president’s muddled health care promises, and could provide a boost to liberal efforts to target Trump on the issue.
But the move to hear the case after Election Day also pulls the notoriously opaque Supreme Court out of the electoral spotlight somewhat, ensuring that the arguments themselves will not influence November’s contest.
Opposing the ACA served Trump well in 2016 and was the driving narrative behind Gardner’s 2014 Senate campaign. But in recent years Americans have consistently expressed support for the ACA (most recently by a 51-36 margin), which puts Republican candidates in a difficult position in 2020 — and no doubt played a role in convincing the courts to wait until after the election to hear the case. In Colorado, for example, Republican congressional candidate Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert is so worried about how the issue plays in CO-3 that her campaign won’t even answer questions about whether or not she supports the ACA lawsuit.
Gardner also does not like to answer questions about this lawsuit or his general opposition to the ACA, despite voting dozens of times to eliminate the ACA or its various protections. Gardner affirmed his support for the ACA lawsuit just a few months ago, though he comically ducked six different questions on the subject in a July interview with Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio. Gardner is now trying to inject life into his struggling re-election campaign by introducing a one-sentence bill in the U.S. Senate meant to convince voters that he actually does support things like protections for people with pre-existing conditions (just last month, The Washington Post fact-checked Gardner’s claim that he supports protecting pre-existing medical conditions as false, with its highest nonsense rating of “Four Pinnochios”).
Gardner’s new pre-existing conditions bill is an effort to allow him to look like he’s doing something on the issue, even though there is no chance his bill goes anywhere before Election Day. But actually doing something isn’t the point, just like actually destroying the ACA through the Supreme Court isn’t as important as telling your base that you want it to happen.
Meanwhile, Gardner’s opponent in the Senate race, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, released a new ad today highlighting his work to ensure health care coverage for 500,000 Coloradans. Hickenlooper talks about what he did do to help Coloradans with health care, while Gardner can only discuss what he might do differently. It’s not a hard choice for voters.