Brian Chilson
LESLIE RUTLEDGE: Big day in court Tuesday.

The Washington Post previews arguments Tuesday before an appellate court on the case brought by the Trump administration with support of Republican attorneys general, including Arkansas’s Leslie Rutledge, to strike down the Affordable Care Act.


If Rutledge and Co. are successful, some 300,000 people in Arkansas can say goodbye to health insurance. Many more can say goodbye to coverage for pre-existing conditions, family coverage and required coverage of basic preventive health measures.

A 5th Circuit ruling that the health-care law is unconstitutional would almost certainly catapult the issue back before the Supreme Court — and to the forefront of the 2020 presidential and congressional races, say legal and political analysts. Even if the high court were to decline the case, the drama would raise fresh uncertainties about the millions of Americans who could lose insurance coverage and consumer protections created under the law — especially those with preexisting medical conditions, whom President Trump has vowed to protect even as his administration tries to eliminate the law.

The Post analysis figures a Trump victory would be a political win for Democrats. I’m not so sure. We have a rich tradition in Arkansas of voting against self-interest. Could claiming destruction of a health care safety net propel Rutledge into the govenror’s office (whether she’d want the wrecked state budget her “victory” would produce is another matter.) Stranger things have happened.