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Trump Says no to Obamacare Again Leaving the Oval Office Door Ajar…

Are the Republicans risking of losing a sure thing 2020 election win? It is looking dicier now. as the administration fails to handle COVID-19 and its spread.
Bob Mason
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On Wednesday, the U.S equity markets took a hit in response to Trump’s COVID-19 warning.

The warning came in the wake of some quite dire coronavirus forecasts of between 100,000 to 240,000 deaths forecasted.

For the U.S President and the Republicans, the grim outlook couldn’t have come at a worse time. For the needy, Trump’s allure may have just evaporated.

One of Trump’s campaign pledges back in 2016 was to reverse Obamacare and just about every other move that his predecessor had made.

Obviously the U.S President had no idea that such a deadly virus would spread across the world and more importantly make the U.S the epicenter.

U.S Impact

Just this week, the U.S President rejected calls to reopen Obamacare enrollment, which left the healthcare system out of the reach of millions.

When considering the impact of the coronavirus on the older generation and those with preexisting health issues, the decision could become quite damming for the Republicans.

One key consideration here is that there is no way to reverse the effects of the decision. If there is, in fact, a sharp increase in coronavirus cases and related deaths, the Democrats will certainly highlight this as a route cause.

In fact, the Democrats and front runner Biden have already called Trump’s decision callous and likely to cost lives. This may not be too surprising but what is surprising is that Republicans have not pushed for an urgent review…

Unemployment surged by more than 3m in the week ending 20th March and another surge is expected in the final week of March. That will leave an even larger number of people, not only out of work but uninsured.

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Obamacare?

The U.S administration’s handling of the coronavirus in the early days and the decision not to open Obamacare raises plenty of questions.

For the Democrats, Trump’s Achilles Heel would have to be farmers and blue-collar and employees under zero-hour contracts.

Late March’s $2tn Stimulus Bill may be substantial but it doesn’t cut it from a healthcare perspective.

ICU beds were reportedly as much as $4,300 per day back in 2010. That number is likely to be far higher now. $1,200 to each and every American certainly doesn’t cover the shortfall for those in need of insurance cover and treatment.

The Democrats may not have done too much better but that doesn’t really matter as they are not running the show.

The Numbers

Obamacare had given 20m more Americans health insurance. In the 1st half of 2018, 28.5 Americans were uninsured, 20.1m less than in 2010.

2010 was the year that Obama signed the Affordable Healthcare Act into law.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of uninsured increased for the 1st time in a decade back in 2018.

When you throw in the latest surge in the unemployed and upward trend in the uninsured, 28.5m could be back up to around the 50m level.

According to Worldometer, the combined population of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain currently stands at approximately 256.27m.

With the total number of coronavirus cases as at 1st April standing at 349,662, that is an infection rate of 0.14% of the population.

We are taking averages, as across the 4 member states there is also a spread in terms of median age and urban population.

For instance, France and Spain have the highest urban population percentages of 82% and 80% respectively. The demographic is significantly different, however. Spain’s median age sits at 45 versus 42 in France.

Italy’s urban population percentage sits at 69% but has the highest med. Age of 47. That explains the fact that both Italy and Spain have seen a larger number of COVID-19 cases.

Looking at the U.S, the med. age sits at just 38%, while the urban population sits at 83%. If we take the EU’s median numbers, with a U.S population of 331,002,651, that would mean 451,622 infections.

As at 1st April, the total number of infected had reached 215,344, with a mortality rate of 2.4%. The speed of the spread suggests that EU numbers are not comparable. One reason for this is the median age. An unwillingness to follow social distancing and containment measures will also drive up forecasted cases and deaths…

This is where the U.S administration failed at the outset in giving the coronavirus the attention it warranted. This is also where the U.S administration will likely fail in handling a surge in cases that are anywhere near the numbers forecast.

For the U.S economy, such an outcome will be debilitating. For U.S President Trump, a legacy would be left but not the one that he would have wished for…

2020 Presidential

Unsurprisingly, the U.S President and the Republicans have realized the errors of their ways. Trump hinted at taking advantage of federal programs to provide healthcare services in place of Obamacare.

It is, however, yet another example of a Republican Party well behind the curve.

At some point, the administration will not be able to play catch up. VP Pence is running the Coronavirus team, so it is not just Trump’s political career on the line. In fact, Republicans across the U.S could be tarnished with this brush…

As the virus spreads, it should no longer be about the election but about the people. The U.S President had been so concerned with blue-collar workers that he waged a trade war with China for 2-years… Surely he should be even more energized to deliver healthcare for the very people that he fought so valiantly for…

Looking at Trump’s odds of winning a 2nd term…

According to Oddschecker, Trump remains odds on favorite to win the 2020 Presidential Election. It is no longer a sure thing, however.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has seen his odds of winning jump from 250/1 to just 14/1. The improved odds are as a result of the governor’s handling of the coronavirus spread in NY.

Joe Biden has odds of 11/8, with Bernie Sanders and Mike Pence sitting back at 33/1 and 50/1.

The odds suggest that Pence is considered the fall guy in the administration’s handling of the virus. That has supported Trump but has also given Cuomo an eye on the Oval Office.

If Biden plays the Republican handling of the COVID-19 spread in the right way, however, he should see odds improve.

The markets are somewhat distracted by the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy. Expect attention to shift to the U.S Presidential Election, however. It is certainly not as cut and dry as many had anticipated.

Equity markets and the U.S Dollar will certainly respond in kind once the time is right…

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