Given that Trump has told over 10,000 lies since January 2017, it has become difficult to distinguish which ones are the most blatant. But during his interview with Chuck Todd, he told one that is absolutely mind-boggling.
I could have managed Obamacare so it would have failed or I could have managed it the way we did so it’s as good as it can be. Not great, but it’s as good — it’s too expensive and the premiums are too high. I had a decision to make. I could have politically killed Obamacare. I decided not to do it.
This is the guy who didn’t merely champion Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare, he celebrated on Twitter when a federal judge ruled that Obamacare was unconstitutional, saying that it was “great news for America.” He went on to direct his Department of Justice to write a letter of support for that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
In the midst of all of that, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has been tracking all of the ways that the Trump administration has tried to undermine Obamacare, ensuring that it is more expensive, covers fewer people, and provides less comprehensive coverage. So far, they’ve documented 60 attempts to do so, beginning on the day Trump was inaugurated.
In other words, the president did everything in his power to kill Obamacare and, when that became impossible, he has done everything he can to undermine it. Now he tells us that he’s managed it so that “it’s as good as it can be.” There really is no limit to the depths to which Trump will descend when it comes to lies.
There is, however, an interesting take on this particular lie. Somewhere in the recesses of his brain, the president knows he’s in trouble when it comes to being re-elected. The stakes are high because once he’s out of office, he will probably face criminal charges that could result in prison time. Trump also knows that one of the reasons he’s lost political support is because of his attempts to kill Obamacare. So rather than backtrack or come up with ways to improve health care accessibility, he simply lies. Obviously, he’s delusional enough to think that he can get away with that kind of crap. Can he?
JUNE 26TH UPDATE – THERE’S MOVEMENT AT THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
In a surprise move that legal experts said added an unexpected threat to Obamacare, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked who — if anyone — has standing to appeal the December lower court ruling after the Trump administration recently sided with red states who brought the lawsuit.
A federal appeals court this afternoon questioned whether Democratic states and the House of Representatives have the right to appeal a court ruling that declared all of Obamacare unconstitutional.
The request from one of the most conservative circuit courts in the country suggests that the judges who will hear the could toss out the appeal on procedural grounds. In that scenario, the lower court ruling would stand, leaving in doubt the future of the expansive 2010 health care law.
The implications of such a decision for the future of the Affordable Care Act are difficult to parse without more information, legal experts said. But most suggested that it wouldn’t bode well for supporters of Obamacare.
“The odds that the Fifth Circuit does something nasty to the health-reform law have gone up”
Nicholas Bagley a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who has followed the case closely, wrote on Twitter.
The lawsuit was brought by more than a dozen GOP-led states who claim Obamacare was invalidated by Congress’s decision to eliminate the individual mandate penalty in its 2017 tax cut. A group of Democratic-led states and the Democratic-led House are defending Obamacare in court.
The 5th Circuit, which is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the lawsuit in two weeks, questioned whether the Democrats had standing to defend the law after the Trump administration made a significant shift in legal strategy.
The Trump administration initially only supported part of the lawsuit brought by more than a dozen GOP-led states, requesting that the courts strike just the law’s insurance protections, including those for people with preexisting conditions.
But in an expansion of the legal fight in March, the Justice Department backed the lower court ruling against the entire ACA.
Parties in the case were asked to file additional briefs addressing whether the administration’s legal shift “mooted the controversy and no other defendant has standing to appeal.”
The parties have seven days to file the briefs, and the court said they should be prepared to address the standing questions during oral arguments, scheduled for July 9 in New Orleans.
The court has not yet said which three judges will hear the case.
Eleven of the 16 active judges on the 5th Circuit are Republican appointees, including five named to the bench by President Donald Trump.
Katie Keith, a professor at Georgetown Law who has written extensively about ACA legal issues, said the optimistic interpretation for ACA supporters is that the appellate court is simply paying deference to a recent Supreme Court ruling addressing standing that’s cited in the new order.
“They want to cross their T’s and dot all their I’s so that it’s not grounds to somehow overturn whatever decision they’re going to make”