Tuesday, March 26, 2019


It may be a coincidence that this happened just after Robert Mueller turned in his report without further indictments, but the Trump administration now appears to believe it can do anything it wants without risking the president's reelection.
The Trump administration on Monday said the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down, in a dramatic reversal.

In a filing with a federal appeals court, the Justice Department said it agreed with the ruling of a federal judge in Texas that invalidated the Obama-era health care law....

It's a major shift for the Justice Department from when Jeff Sessions was attorney general. At the time, the administration argued that the community rating rule and the guaranteed issue requirement -- protections for people with pre-existing conditions -- could not be defended but the rest of the law could stand.
Smart people didn't see this coming:
Pressed by Senate Democrats at his January confirmation hearing, Attorney General Bill Barr pledged to reconsider the Justice Department's stance on the lawsuit. But legal experts hadn't expected Barr to stake out a more aggressive position than his predecessor Jeff Sessions....
This is such an extreme move that members of the media are actually questioning whether Republicans are engaging in risky behavior in the run-up to the next election cycle. Republicans! As a rule, the press says this only about Democrats.

Sahil Kapur at Bloomberg:
Trump’s move ... could prove to be a gift for Democrats....

The debate over the ACA, which Republicans tried unsuccessfully to repeal in 2017, caused heartburn for the party in the 2018 midterm elections and was a focal point for Democrats on the campaign trail....

Exit polls published by CNN found that health care was the top issue for 2018 voters in House elections across the country. The 41 percent who cited it preferred Democratic candidates over Republicans by a jarring margin of 75 to 23 percent.
Nate Silver:

The Trumpers are in a bubble -- they believe the median American is a Fox News viewer who'll cheer this on. The hubris in this White House may have been building even before Mueller filed his report, but it's only going to increase now. It's possible that what will defeat Trump is what he does in the next year or so, now that he thinks he's untouchable.

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