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Thursday, 7 May 2020

Donald Trump says he WILL ask Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare in full after Bill Barr urging him to walk back case because it could kill his chances of winning in November

President Trump said Wednesday that the White House would stick to its position in an upcoming Supreme Court case that could strike down Obamacare in full. 
'We're not doing anything. We're staying with the group, Texas and the group,' the president said in the Oval Office.  
Wednesday was the last day the Trump administration could provide the Supreme Court with a revised position on a case, backed by a number of Republican-led states, which could see the entire Affordable Care Act law invalidated by next spring. 
President Trump said Wednesday that the White House would not be revising its argument pertaining to a Supreme Court case that could see Obamacare invalidated by next spring
President Trump said Wednesday that the White House would not be revising its argument pertaining to a Supreme Court case that could see Obamacare invalidated by next spring
Attorney General Bill Barr, according to CNN's reporting, encouraged White House officials in a meeting Monday to back off the position of trying to get Obamacare killed in full - arguing it could spell disaster for President Trump on the November ballot
Attorney General Bill Barr, according to CNN's reporting, encouraged White House officials in a meeting Monday to back off the position of trying to get Obamacare killed in full - arguing it could spell disaster for President Trump on the November ballot  
The Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare wouldn't likely come until next spring, but the court could hear the case right around election time in the fall
The Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare wouldn't likely come until next spring, but the court could hear the case right around election time in the fall 
In a meeting Monday, according to CNN's reporting, Attorney General Bill Barr advised top administration officials to back off that position - predicting it could be damaging politically. 
Barr told Vice President Mike Pence, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, members of the Domestic Policy Council and several other officials that the administration should change its position to allow some parts of the Affordable Care Act to be preserved. 
'I don't know about that suggestion,' Trump said in the Oval Office when asked about the report that Barr had informed White House staff to back off. 'I've spoken a lot about this with Bill Barr,' Trump added, before saying he was 'in lockstep' with all the states that want Obamacare gone.   
The president vowed to replace Obamacare with something cheaper and that ensures people with pre-existing conditions get coverage.   

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case in the fall.  
The coronavirus pandemic could make healthcare a top-tier issue in the general election.    
While Democrats were split on whether they wanted to improve upon Obamacare - a stance backed by presumptive nominee Joe Biden - or move toward a Medicare-for-all plan - backed by Bernie Sanders and other, more progressive candidates - the party was in lock step on wanting to get more Americans insured. 
Republicans, on the other hand, have long wanted to repeal Obamacare - but neither Trump nor his Capitol Hill allies have produced a definitive plan for what would come next. 
Democrats are aware of this.     
Party members were licking their lips at the idea of 'using the virus as a bat to bludgeon Republicans on healthcare,' Politico Playbook said, after Trump announced on April 1 that he would not be reopening the Obamacare markets.
On April 1, President Trump (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (right) announced that they wouldn't be reopening the Obamacare markets, instead floating a plan to directly pay hospitals to treat uninsured Americans with COVID-19. Democrats saw this move as a political opportunity
On April 1, President Trump (left) and Vice President Mike Pence (right) announced that they wouldn't be reopening the Obamacare markets, instead floating a plan to directly pay hospitals to treat uninsured Americans with COVID-19. Democrats saw this move as a political opportunity 
Supreme Court set to hear landmark case on Obamacare
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Trump and Pence instead pitched paying hospitals directly for uninsured Americans' COVID-19 treatments. 
'You have a perfectly good answer in front of you, and instead you're going to make another one up,' one Republican told Politico, responding to the quickly hatched plan. 'It's purely ideological.'   
An administration official also told Politico 'it's a bad decision opticswise.' 
'It politicizes people's access to health services during a serious national health emergency,' the official said.  
A Trump donor, oil executive Dan Eberhart, told NBC News several days later, 'Not having a plan for the rising uninsured yet seems to be a blind spot.' 
'The Democrats took the House in the 2018 midterms largely by having better answers on healthcare, so I think this could be a massive political liability in the fall,' Eberhart said. 
'Trump has provided sober and strong leadership, but this could prove to be his Achilles' heel in November,' the Trump donor added. 
While the result of the Supreme Court's Obamacare case wouldn't be expected until after the November election, the court would likely hear the case in the fall - giving Democrats the chance to wield a big bat when highlighting the administration's position.  

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