"They're coming for you."
"If you have a pre-existing condition...heart disease; diabetes; breast cancer...they're coming for you. If you love someone who has a pre-existing condition...they're coming for you. If you're under the age of 26 on your parents' coverage...they're coming for you."
Wednesday night's Vice-Presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence wasn't as bad as last week's dumpster fire of a Presidential "debate" between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The questions were mostly better, and neither Pence nor Harris screamed at each other. On the other hand, the moderator did a terrible job of cutting Pence off when he ran over his time limit or interrupted Harris, and just as importantly, Pence flat-out refused to answer most of the questions at all, often instantly changing the subject to whatever he happened to feel like talking about with zero pushback from moderator Susan Page.
As a result, Pence was never required to answer the critical question of just what the Trump/Pence "plan" would be to provide healthcare coverage for those with pre-existing conditions in the event that the Trump/GOP #TexasFoldEm lawsuit (aka #CAvTX or #TXvUS) successfully results in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act being struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court...even though that was precisely the question posed to him by Page.
Instead, Pence immediately tried to put Harris on the defensive over whether or not Joe Biden would expand the number of members of the Supreme Court if elected (which he actually couldn't do anyway...that would be up to Congress, though I presume he'd have to be the one to sign such a bill into law). Of course, Pence refers to this as "packing" the courts.
Fortunately, Harris was wise enough not to gamble on whether or not the ACA would actually be debated, so she brought it up herself earlier in the evening, making sure to put the situation in no uncertain terms with the statement above.
Once again: If the ACA is indeed struck down by the SCOTUS:
- Medicaid expansion for over 16 million people across 36 states and DC: GONE.
- ACA exchange subsidies for over 9 million people nationally: GONE.
- Basic Health Plan coverage for over 800,000 people in Minnesota and New York: GONE.
- Discrimination against coverage of 52–130 million* with pre-existing conditions: BACK.
- Charging women more for the same policy simply because they’re women? BACK.
- Charging older Americans 5 to 6 times as much as younger Americans? BACK.
- Requirement that policies cover at least 60 percent of medical expenses: GONE.
- Requirement that policies cover maternity care and mental health services: GONE.
- Adult children being allowed to remain on their parents plans until age 26: GONE.
- Annual and lifetime limits on healthcare coverage claims? BACK.
- Requirement that policies cover preventative services at no out-of-pocket cost? GONE.
- Tax credits to lower premiums for low- and moderate-income enrollees? GONE.
- Financial help to reduce deductibles and co-pays for low-income enrollees? GONE.
- A hard cap on out-of-pocket expenses? GONE.
- The Medicare Part D “donut hole” being closed by the ACA? REOPENED.
...and that's just for starters.
As a reminder, the case is being heard by SCOTUS (with or without Trump's hard-right RGB replacement, Amy Coney Barrett) on November 10th, one week after Election Day...but their ruling isn't expected until sometime next spring or even summer.