Jul 15, 2019

The GOP isn't worried about its Affordable Care Act lawsuit

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (C) with John Barrasso (L), John Cornyn (R) and John Thune. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Senate Republicans aren't sweating the prospect of the courts striking down the entire Affordable Care Act, insisting they'd be able to act quickly to repair the damage — despite their inability to coalesce around a replacement plan at any point over the past decade.

Driving the news: "Do I hope the lawsuit succeeds? I do," Sen. Kevin Cramer told Politico. "What I wish is we had some idea where we are going if it does succeed, as it looks more and more like it might."

My thought bubble: It wouldn't be easy even to restore the most politically popular parts of the law.

  • To match the ACA's level of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a new plan would not only need to require insurers to cover those patients, but also would have to guarantee coverage for the services they'd need and prevent insurers from imposing benefit caps.
  • We have plenty of very recent evidence that Republicans themselves are divided over those issues, never mind the added complexities of negotiating with a Democratic-led House.

The other side: "I can't say that I hope it succeeds," Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told Politico, referring to the anti-ACA lawsuit.

Go deeper: Trump privately thinks ACA lawsuit will fail in court

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GOP governors have no post-ACA plans

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says his state will deal with the ACA rollback if it comes. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Much like their counterparts in Congress, Republican governors are not prepared to deal with the fallout if they finally succeed in persuading the courts to throw out the entire Affordable Care Act.

The big picture: Blue states are somewhat more prepared, because they're more willing to pass their own versions of some of the ACA's coverage requirements, but it would still impossible for even the most motivated state to reconstitute the entire law.

Go deeperArrowJul 26, 2019

What Democrats are doing on health care

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

As Democratic presidential candidates debate their ideal health care system, blue states are making incremental — yet significant — changes to the existing one.

Why it matters: In the states where they have power, Democrats are creating a blueprint for how the ACA could evolve under Democratic control in Washington.

Go deeperArrowJul 31, 2019

Joe Biden unveils his health care plan

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Joe Biden rolled out a health care plan Monday whose policies and political priorities are both rooted firmly in the Affordable Care Act.

Details: The cornerstone of Biden's proposal is a new public insurance option, which would compete alongside private insurance. The public plan would be available to everyone, even people who get their coverage from an employer. That's an important difference from the one that was debated in 2010.

Go deeperArrowJul 15, 2019