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Offbeat Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms

13:32  14 june  2018
13:32  14 june  2018 Source:   thehill.com

Justice Dept. argues key parts of ObamaCare are unconstitutional

  Justice Dept. argues key parts of ObamaCare are unconstitutional The Department of Justice (DOJ) argued in court Thursday that key parts of ObamaCare are now unconstitutional, siding in large part with a conservative challenge to the law.The Department of Justice (DOJ) argued in court Thursday that key parts of ObamaCare are now unconstitutional, siding in large part with a conservative challenge to the law.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to join a legal battle arguing that one of the most popular parts of ObamaCare should be struck down is being viewed by Democrats as a political gift, with the party apparatus quickly using the issue to attack GOP candidates and rally their base.

Democrats are seizing on the Trump administration’s push in court to overturn ObamaCare ’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, hoping to leverage the issue ahead of November’s midterm elections as some Republicans rush to distance

  Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms © Provided by The Hill Democrats are seizing on the Trump administration's push in court to overturn ObamaCare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions, hoping to leverage the issue ahead of November's midterm elections as some Republicans rush to distance themselves from the move.

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) decision to join a legal battle arguing that one of the most popular parts of ObamaCare should be struck down is being viewed by Democrats as a political gift, with the party apparatus quickly using the issue to attack GOP candidates and rally their base.

Ever since the DOJ joined 20 GOP-led states last week in arguing against the measure, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been sending out a drumbeat of press releases asking Republican Senate candidates where they stand on the administration's arguments.

Sessions explains to Congress rationale for not defending ObamaCare

  Sessions explains to Congress rationale for not defending ObamaCare Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday defending the Department of Justice's (DOJ) rationale for not defending the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare."As you know, the Executive Branch has a longstanding tradition of defending the constitutionality of duly enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense," Sessions wrote.

Democrats are seizing on the Trump administration’s push in court to overturn ObamaCare ’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, hoping to leverage the issue ahead of November’s midterm elections as some Republicans rush to distance themselves from the move.

Analysis: Obamacare faces new life-threatening conditions : The fight over preexisting conditions is back. The fight over preexisting conditions is back. Here’s why the Obamacare battle won’t end. There is a persistent divide in the US: Is insurance a privilege to be earned through hard work?

Democrats are also highlighting the fact that Patrick Morrisey, who is challenging Sen. Joe Manchin (D) in West Virginia, and Josh Hawley, who is challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in Missouri, are two of the Republican state attorneys general who brought the lawsuit against ObamaCare in the first place.

Replying to someone asking on Twitter late last week if Hawley would "protect my two year old son's health care," McCaskill tweeted: "No Tyler, he won't. He is one of the AGs bringing the lawsuit to end the protection of those with pre-existing conditions."

Obama meets with possible 2020 presidential contenders: report

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Democrats are welcoming the GOP's continued efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare because of the benefits they feel it could provide to the left for the 2018 midterm elections. Politico reported that members of the Democratic Party believe the ongoing healthcare debate is helping them as they seek

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The West Virginia Democratic Party also piled on against Morrisey, arguing the Republican candidate "wants to go back to the bad old days when insurance companies could deny coverage to West Virginians based on pre-existing conditions."

Senior DOJ official resigns in wake of ObamaCare decision

  Senior DOJ official resigns in wake of ObamaCare decision A senior career Department of Justice (DOJ) official has resigned, one week after the Trump administration made a controversial announcement that it would argue key parts of ObamaCare are unconstitutional. A DOJ official confirmed to The Hill that Joel McElvain resigned and his last day is July 6, but declined to comment on whether the resignation was due to last week 's announcement.His departure was first reported by The Washington Post.Last week, the DOJ wrote in a filing that it wouldn't defend ObamaCare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

House Democrats want to use the looming battle over government spending and raising the debt limit as leverage to shore up ObamaCare . John Yarmuth John Allen Yarmuth Top House Budget Dem warns deficits They are also unlikely to agree to the kinds of ObamaCare fixes desired by Democrats.

freerepublic.com. Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms . breitbart.com. Exclusive—Mike Kelly: ‘ Dems Would Love to Run Away’ from Obamacare Ahead of Midterms .

Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist, said that after GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare failed last year, "Republicans wanted to change the topic and they might have been able to if Trump hadn't sued to overturn the protections."

"The last thing they wanted to talk about is the thing Trump is now putting front and center," he added.

Some Republicans are now distancing themselves from the Trump administration's position.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, put out a scathing statement on Tuesday night saying the administration's argument "is as far-fetched as any I've ever heard."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declined to support the administration's position when asked Tuesday, though he did not directly say he disagreed, either.

"Everybody I know in the Senate - everybody - is in favor of maintaining coverage for pre-existing conditions," he said.

Court rules insurers not entitled to ObamaCare payments

  Court rules insurers not entitled to ObamaCare payments A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that insurers are not entitled to collect billions of dollars they claim the federal government owes as part of an ObamaCare program. The three judge panel ruled 2-1, giving a win to conservatives who think the payments under ObamaCare's risk corridor program are illegal bailouts. {The three judge panel ruled 2-1, giving a win to conservatives who think the payments under ObamaCare's risk corridor program are illegal bailouts.

The fight over preexisting conditions is back. Here’s why the Obamacare battle won’t end. There is a persistent divide in the US: Is insurance a privilege Republican cruelty is a pre-existing condition.Polls suggest that the public considers health care the most important issue in the midterm elections.

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Republican strategist Ford O'Connell noted that the Trump administration's move to argue against the ObamaCare measure in court could put vulnerable Republican incumbents at risk.

"What McConnell is trying to do is protect his Senate majority, and this issue could put folks in jeopardy like Dean Heller," O'Connell said, referring to the Republican senator from Nevada.

"One of the top issues that fires up Democrats is health care, and obviously pre-existing conditions is popular with independents," the GOP strategist added. "It may not be the best time to bring this up."

Megan Taylor, a spokeswoman for Heller, said "Senator Heller believes that Nevadans with pre-existing conditions should be protected. Period." She did not respond when directly asked whether Heller disagrees with the administration's argument.

Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), a leader of the repeal effort last year who is now facing a tough reelection race, said in a statement that pre-existing condition protections are "sacrosanct" and that he does not "support the DOJ decision without an accompanying legislative fix from Congress and President Trump."

Top Trump aide Marc Short to leave White House before midterms: report

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A top Democratic pollster said recently that Democrats should not be defending Obamacare in the midterm elections, but Bill Clinton has a decidedly different take. He told RealClearPolitics in an interview that Democrats shouldn’t run away from the argument, they should embrace the controversy

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A poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation during the repeal debate last year found strong backing for the pre-existing condition protection in ObamaCare: 70 percent overall supported it, including 68 percent of independents and 59 percent of Republicans.

Many Republican candidates are finding themselves in a bind. While they don't want to be against protections for pre-existing conditions, they also don't want to publicly break from Trump. Some are simply staying silent, at least for now.

The campaigns of Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who is seeking to unseat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) in North Dakota, and Mike Braun, who is challenging Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) in Indiana, did not respond to requests for comment on the Trump administration's argument.

A spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is running for Senate this year, said that the governor "supports protecting those with pre-existing conditions" and "believes every American, including those with pre-existing conditions, should have the ability to buy any kind of insurance they want."

The spokeswoman, Kerri Wyland, did not respond when asked directly whether Scott disagrees with the administration's argument in court.

Democrats argue that Republicans' repeal votes last year, as well as the lawsuit joined by the Trump administration, show that they do not really support pre-existing condition protections.

N.Y., Mass. to sue over Trump health plans skirting ObamaCare requirements

  N.Y., Mass. to sue over Trump health plans skirting ObamaCare requirements New York and Massachusetts will sue the Trump administration over its expansion of health insurance plans that don't meet all of ObamaCare's requirements. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey argue the expansion of "association health plans" will "invite fraud, mismanagement and deception.

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with their respective parties' lawmakers in an effort to frame the debate over the coming The new leader of Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer of New York, said GOP lawmakers seek " to rip health care away from millions" of Americans, "which

Pointing to the months of public debate over the Affordable Care Act, Democrats argue that Republicans are trying to rush their bill through the Senate without giving Democrats and Democrats have frequently used their leverage on the Senate floor to try to push Republicans on a particular issue.

The House repeal bill allowed states to waive those protections under certain conditions, as did a Senate bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Neither bill ended up being passed.

Democratic leaders are turning the screws.

"You ask the American people the number one issue they care about, it's health care, not anything else, and we are not going to get diverted," Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said at a press conference Tuesday.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) likewise called a press conference for Wednesday to attack the Trump administration's decision.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, countered that he thinks ObamaCare will in fact hurt Democrats.

"The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, is the reason we have massive price escalations despite the promises they were going to reduce the cost of care," Gardner said. "Nobody's going to all of a sudden think that ObamaCare is McConnellCare."

Hawley, while backing the lawsuit against ObamaCare, said in a statement that he still supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

"Insurance companies should be required to cover folks with pre-existing conditions," he said.

"The collusion plan known as Obamacare is a failure, and Senator McCaskill owns it," he added.

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A new Pew poll finds immigration has overtaken health care and the economy as a top 2018 issue. Democrats have been hammering home two issues in particular ahead of the 2018 midterms: jobs and health care.But between the recent outrage over the Trump administration’s family separation policy and House Republicans taking up a comprehensive bill aimed at fixing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, one new poll finds that voters thinking about 2018 care most aboutimmigration.

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