During the mid-term election two years ago, the Democrats won by emphasizing the importance of protecting the Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka Obamacare, and expanding healthcare coverage for more Americans. But in 2020, the deep recession, the pandemic — and to a lesser degree, racial justice – have become the dominant issues.
Medicare For All
And yet, as late as March of this year, the expansion of healthcare coverage was the dominant issue during the Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren led the charge for Medicare for All, while many of their rivals opted for a much less ambitious voluntary public insurance option.
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Now, just six weeks before the November 3rd presidential election, healthcare remains just a secondary issue. But last week, at a televised voters’ forum at Pennsylvania’s Kutztown University, President Donald Trump announced that he now had “a great plan” to replace Obamacare.
Of course, over the last four years he has made virtually identical pronouncements, but no details ever followed. Still, Mr. Trump has clearly set the all-time record for kicking the proverbial can down the road.
The Importance Of Healthcare Coverage
A discussion of healthcare coverage has become increasingly urgent since the spring, as our economy fell into the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, accompanied by an extremely deadly pandemic which has already killed over 200,000 Americans. It now growing increasingly likely that healthcare may soon vault into contention as a major campaign issue.
Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats have not yet done this. But health care will be back at center stage on September 29h, during the first presidential debate.
On November 10th, one week after Election Day, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments for and against the abolition of Obamacare, with a decision to be rendered in the spring. Just think of the repercussions if millions of Americans lose their health insurance during a deep recession and a pandemic.