Covid-19 cases are surging in states that took Donald Trump’s advice and reopened for business too soon. This new surge — is it OK now to call it a second wave? — is, on average, hitting people younger than the initial surge in the Northeast did. Perhaps as a result, rising infections haven’t been reflected in a comparable rise in deaths, although that may be only a matter of time.
There is, however, growing evidence that even those who survive Covid-19 can suffer long-term adverse effects: scarred lungs, damaged hearts and perhaps neurological disorders.
And if the Trump administration gets its way, there may be another source of long-term damage: permanent inability to get health insurance.
Remarkably, last week the administration reaffirmed its support for a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which would, among other things, eliminate protection for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. If the suit were to succeed, having had Covid-19 would surely be one of the pre-existing conditions making health insurance hard, perhaps impossible, to get.
Now, the legal argument behind the case is beyond flimsy: The lawsuit claims that the 2017 tax cut effectively invalidated the act, even though that was no part of Congress’s intention. But with a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, nobody knows what will happen. And Trump’s support for the suit makes it clear that if re-elected he will do all he can to destroy Obamacare.
Not to worry, says the president. In tweets over the weekend he insisted that he would come up with an alternative to Obamacare that would be “FAR