The Trump administration has sided with Republican state officials in a lawsuit arguing that changes to the Affordable Care Act made by Congress in 2017 rendered its mandate requiring people to have health insurance unconstitutional, and that without the mandate, the law should fall. On that basis, a federal district judge declared the entire law unconstitutional in 2018, but an appeals court recently sent the case back to him for review.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request from Democratic states to quickly consider the case; Mr. Trump and his Justice Department had made it clear to the court they were in no hurry to resolve it.
As Mr. Bloomberg’s ads blanket the airwaves, his Democratic rivals have spent most of their time going after one another, using health care as the vehicle to debate whether the party should nominate a moderate or a liberal seeking transformative change.
Lise Talbott, who works for a community health center in the Central Valley of California, in a congressional district that flipped to a Democrat in 2018 after a race dominated by health care, said she was surprised and disappointed that the Democrats running for president had not drawn more attention to Mr. Trump’s support of the lawsuit to overturn the law.
“The candidates seem to be in this battle over who’s going to get us closest to Medicare for all instead of talking about the care and coverage we have now and could lose,” Ms. Talbott said. “And because the candidates aren’t talking about it, I think a lot of people have sort of forgotten.”
Ms. Talbott, who supports Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, was active in helping defeat Jeff Denham, her district’s former Republican congressman, after he voted with most other House Republicans in 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Denham’s successor, Josh Harder, talks frequently about protecting the law, she said.
Like Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Trump seems to understand the power of warning people that they could lose something they like. At rallies and in speeches, he has repeatedly warned that the Democrats want to replace private insurance with a national single-payer health insurance program, or Medicare for all. (In truth, only Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and, to an extent, Ms. Warren, have embraced such a plan, with the other candidates calling for a “public option” that people could choose instead of private coverage.)