Tag Archives: health insurance

The GOP has weaponized the courts in undermining our democratic institutions

20 GOP attorneys general hand-picked a conservative activist judge known for his political activism from the bench to conspire to overturn the Affordable Care Act. One can fairly say that the process was “rigged” to produce the desired result. Judge Reed O’Connor should be impeached, and the 20 GOP attorneys general held to account for their unethical professional misconduct.

The New York Times reports, In Weaponized Courts, Judge Who Halted Affordable Care Act Is a Conservative Favorite:

In the 11 years Judge Reed O’Connor has been on the federal bench, he has become a favorite of Republican leaders in Texas, reliably tossing out Democratic policies they have challenged.

The state’s Republican attorney general appears to strategically file key lawsuits in Judge O’Connor’s jurisdiction, the Northern District of Texas, so that he will hear them. And on Friday, the judge handed Republicans another victory by striking down the Affordable Care Act, the signature health law of the Obama era.

Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has been at the center of some of the most contentious and partisan cases involving federal power and states’ rights, and has sided with conservative leaders in previous challenges to the health law and against efforts to expand transgender rights.

No one questions his expertise on the law. But his rulings illustrate the ways in which the federal district courts have become politically weaponized, as Republicans and Democrats alike try to handpick judges they see as ideologically friendly to their cases.

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Republicans Christmas gift to the nation: blowing up America’s health care system

I warned you about The evil GOP bastards’ scheme for a back door repeal of ‘Obamacare’ in the courts when the case was filed back in February:

A part of the GOP’s “tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats” bill back in December was the under-reported repeal of the individual mandate, which didn’t actually repeal the coverage requirement — it only repealed the tax penalty provision.

This was part of the long game the evil GOP bastards play to deny Americans access to affordable health care. By removing the tax penalty, it allowed the state Attorneys General from 20 red states, including Arizona, to file a lawsuit (.pdf) attempting a back door repeal of ‘Obamacare” through the courts, rather than through Congress.

These evil GOP bastards assert the legal sophistry that the individual mandate is now unconstitutional — after the GOP’s malicious sabotage of “Obamacare” in the tax bill – and now the rest of the ACA should fall as part of the GOP’s legal sophistry in court.

These Republican attorneys general went forum shopping to file their lawsuit in a district with a conservative activist judge with a history of  “intensely political” opinions, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas.

During the litigation, the Trump administration abandoned the defense of the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states, leading to a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general to intervene to defend the Affordable Care Act.

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GOP sabotage policy undermines GOP lies about protecting people with pre-existing conditions

To hear Republican candidates tell it, they are fully on board with the Affordable Care Act’s protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Donald Trump, in particular, tells his Nuremberg-style campaign rallies that Republicans will always protect people with pre-existing conditions, but the evidence doesn’t support his message.

Steve Benen makes a good catch on a little-reported news item from Monday that undermines this Big Lie. On pre-existing protections, watch what the GOP does (not what it says):

By any sane measure, the argument is indefensible. Not only have these GOP politicians spent years trying to tear them down, they’re also championing a lawsuit that would strip millions of families of the protections Republicans now pretend to support.

As Benen has previously noted:

There’s currently a Republican lawsuit pending in federal court that’s trying to tear down the ACA’s existing protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Trump not only refused to defend the current law in court, he also endorsed the litigation that would undermine Americans’ health security.

But the lie runs deeper. Trump’s agenda includes pushing short-term plans, which not only undermine the marketplace, they also allow insurers to sell plans that – you guessed it – don’t fully protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

This comes on the heels of multiple Republican legislative proposals – each of which enjoyed the White House’s support – which featured the same unpopular flaw.

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The Arizona Republic endorses Kyrsten Sinema for U.S. Senate

In a “woe is the state of political discourse and civility” editorial today, the Arizona Republic endorsed Rep. Kyrsten Sinema for U.S. Senate. Don’t believe the attack ads. Here’s who Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally really are:

Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally have been in campaign mask.

Both U.S. Senate candidates have been wearing false fronts since the primary, and everyone knows it. But Sinema and McSally continue with the fiction, somehow thinking their masks are going to make them look better.

They don’t.

That’s the pity of this race.

All either candidate had to do was be herself –– or, at least, the self both displayed as U.S. House members – and the race would be just as competitive, particularly among independents and moderates. Because the real Sinema and McSally are centrists, accomplished women with moxie and class and the ability to work with people who aren’t like them to get stuff done in Congress.

Is Kyrsten Sinema really a radical?

McSally and other groups have painted Sinema as a tutu-wearing leftist who – repeat it with us, because we know you’ve seen the ad –– was protesting our country while McSally was on a combat mission defending it.

It’s true. Sinema did wear a tutu. She told a Libertarian talk-show host that she had no problem with him joining the Taliban.

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Mitch McConnell: Republicans are coming for your healthcare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Believe them. (Updated)

Republicans were supposed to run on their tax cuts. Instead, they’re running away from them. Only the Chamber of Commerce (naturally) is running ads thanking Republicans like Martha McSally for making permanent the deficit busting corporate welfare tax cuts for wealthy plutocrats that did not benefit the average American taxpayer. Republicans stunned to learn voters understand exactly what their tax cut did:

The reality is not in dispute. Around two-thirds of the benefits of the tax cuts went to those in the top quintile of taxpayers, with about 20 percent of the benefits going to the richest 1 percent. By 2025, when the cuts are fully phased in, the top 1 percent will get 25 percent of the benefits. (See details here.) The centerpiece of the plan, furthermore, was a gigantic corporate [welfare] tax cut. Republicans promised that this cut would produce a wave of investment and wage increases for workers, but so far the only wave that has resulted is a tsunami of stock buybacks benefiting wealthy shareholders, which is exactly what liberals predicted.

Those facts are available to anyone who might seek them out, but most people aren’t going to. What people do notice, however, is that their paychecks didn’t look much bigger after the tax cut. Maybe they’re getting a few more dollars a week, but it certainly wasn’t life-transforming.

Tax cuts are actually tax expenditures that are paid for by borrowing money. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves, despite the GOP’s insane adherence to faith based supply-side “trickle down” economics. All it does is explode the federal deficit. Republicans like to claim they are “deficit hawks” when a Democrat is in the White House, but the truth is they are actually deficit peacocks who really don’t care about the federal deficit, especially when a Republican is in the White House.

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