health care

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

Like McCain before him, Romney rebukes President Trump
2008 and 2012 presidential nominees have been most forceful GOP critics in the Senate

Back in 2008, Mitt Romney spoke at the Republican National Convention to back the presidential candidacy of onetime rival John McCain. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The greatest rebukes of Donald Trump’s presidency from the Republican side of the aisle have come from the two previous standard-bearers for the GOP.

When Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a freshman senator best known for being the 2012 Republican nominee for president, announced Wednesday on the Senate floor that he would vote to convict Trump of abuse of power, it evoked memories of the time when the late Arizona Sen. John McCain voted in 2017 to thwart the president’s desired repeal of the 2010 health care law.

Unchecked power
CQ on Congress, Ep. 184

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, talks with reporters in the Senate subway before the continuation of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Obamacare: A big issue voters might be missing
Supreme Court delay in deciding on health care law challenge could hide the issue from voters

The Supreme Court deferred a decision on a case challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Correction 2:20 p.m. | ANALYSIS — Democrats who say they are determined to keep voters focused on health care this year were hoping that the Supreme Court would hand them a ready-made campaign ad and a potential courtroom win.

Instead, the court recently punted on a major decision over whether to kill the 2010 health care law that expanded coverage to more than 20 million Americans. Now, Democrats hope that by shifting their attention to high prescription drug prices they might still mobilize voters and help the party maintain its edge on health care, the public’s top domestic concern, although Republicans also are focused on drug prices.

Trump’s speech rolled out Republicans’ blueprint for general election
Democrats must present contrast to Trump without looking out of touch on humming economy

President Donald Trump greets lawmakers as he walks into the House chamber on Tuesday to deliver his State of the Union address. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

For an hour and a half, President Donald Trump used his third State of the Union speech to remind Republicans why they supported him in the past and why they will stand with him in November.  

“From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the U.S. economy — slashing a record number of job killing-regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements,” he boasted. “Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American.”

States weigh expansion of their Medicaid programs
Several push for more individuals to be covered while others balk because of cost

Participants hold signs during the Senate Democrats’ rally against Medicaid cuts in front of the U.S. Capitol on June 6, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

State officials are seeking to change health care coverage for the nation’s poorest individuals, with Democrats trying to expand Medicaid to cover more people while Republicans aim to save costs over time.

Democratic governors in at least three states with Republican-controlled legislatures are ramping up efforts to pass legislation to expand the program. At the same time, states like Michigan have begun implementing aspects of their requirements that people receiving Medicaid work, which could lead to fewer people being covered if that is upheld in the courts.

Trump State of the Union guests highlight reelection messaging
Taxes, immigration, abortion among issues expected on campaign trail

Vice President Mike Pence claps while Speaker Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address after his remarks to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The guest lists for the 2020 State of the Union underscored both the messages for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign and the way in which congressional Democrats will be on offense against him and his GOP supporters on Capitol Hill.

From an appeal to his base through a typical hard line on immigration and Iran to a broader audience through talk of the benefits of 2017 Republican-led tax cuts and the state of the economy, the president’s guests set up a series of bullet points for the speech-writing team behind the teleprompter text.

State of the Union: Governors keep their distance from Trump
State executives this year have often compared the shape of their states favorably to the federal government.

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks beside President Donald Trump at a 2018 White House dinner. Ducey this year noted differences between “the Arizona way” and “D.C. politicians.” (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

To hear New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tell it, his Empire State is strong but threatened by a national mood he compared to a sea “as tempest-tossed as we have seen,” with “waves of anxiety, injustice and frustration  . . .  fanned by winds of anger and division, creating a political and social superstorm.”

His Jan. 8 State of the State address in Albany framed the state of the union under President Donald Trump as a disaster that would be far worse for New Yorkers if not for his state government.

Michigan’s moderate Democratic governor gets party’s spotlight
Gretchen Whitmer won Trump-voting Michigan in 2018, promising to ‘fix the damn roads’

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who won an open race in 2018 by almost 10 percentage points, represents the type of successful candidate Democrats ran in congressional and statewide races that year: a relatively moderate woman who won in an evenly divided state by focusing on issues like health care, education and infrastructure. (Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images file photo)

Democratic congressional leaders’ choice of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to deliver their response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address signals the party is likely to continue the message it rode to victory in 2018 elections across the country.

Whitmer, who won an open race in 2018 by almost 10 percentage points, represents the type of successful candidate Democrats ran in congressional and statewide races that year: a relatively moderate woman who won in an evenly divided state by focusing on issues like health care, education and infrastructure.

State of the Union: An impeached president goes before his accusers
Donald Trump first impeached president to run for reelection

President Donald Trump is seen in the House chamber during his State of the Union address along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence on Feb. 5, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump will kick his reelection campaign into high gear Tuesday in perhaps the most awkward of places: Inside the Democratic-controlled House, where he became only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

The 45th chief executive formally launched his bid for a second term last summer with a rally in Florida. But his fourth address to a joint session of Congress — and third State of the Union — will put him face-to-face with the House Democratic caucus that rebuked him, guaranteeing a made-for-television clash that seems a fitting Season 4 premiere for a presidency that continues to operate stunningly like a reality television show.