President Trump has achieved the greatest victory of his presidency. The supposed collusion with Russia has been an anchor on him. Some desperate Democrats are trying to keep it alive but their efforts are likely to be counterproductive. This is a time to take a victory lap and prepare for next year’s election. Instead, he has made a colossal mistake.
A judge from Texas declared Obamacare unconstitutional several months ago. President Trump has decided that the administration will support the judge’s decision as it winds its way through the appeal process. He has promised a much better replacement once it is struck down.
Healthcare is likely going to be a big issue next year. Everyone knows that there is no way a new law will be enacted. It couldn’t be done when Republicans controlled Congress. Now they have to deal with Nancy Pelosi. Democrats can now attack him and talk about improving Obamacare rather than the so-called Medicare for All.
Waiting for the case to wind through the courts takes away any control he may have had over the issue. There are three possible scenarios, all of them bad for Republicans. The Supreme could uphold it. That would be hugely embarrassing and does nothing to advance his agenda. It might not be decided before the election. That leaves him on the sidelines. If it is overturned, then it will be necessary to develop an entirely new law during an election year. This would be a situation similar to what Britain is facing with Brexit.
He won in 2016 because the Democrats had a bad candidate and a horrible strategy, he has broad appeal talking about the economy and he had a very solid base. It now seems that his strategy is do whatever he can for the base and ignore everyone else. The economy was a great issue for him in the midterms but he chose to focus on the border wall.
Any uncertainty over healthcare is going to worry millions of voters. He has no answers for them.