By Jason Taylor
Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and the vast majority of Republicans are once again doing their best to strip 23 million Americans of healthcare. And while Trump seems to believe that the pre-existing conditions clause of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would remain, that is certainly not the case.
Representative Billy Long, Republican of Missouri, said on Monday: “I have always stated that one of the few good things about Obamacare is that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered.” The Republicans’ latest version “strips away any guarantee that pre-existing conditions would be covered and affordable,” he said.
It seems there is far more division in the Republican Party than what appeared during the Obama years. Now that they have real power to make real legislation, Republicans cannot come together on the core of their six-year opposition to the reviled ACA which they infamously dubbed Obamacare. If the bill passes, the Freedom Caucus will get what it’s always yearned for — getting the federal government out of the healthcare business and shifting the burden back to the states (under the guise of empowering states to make decisions about people’s health care needs). Of course, it may be that no states decide to opt out of the federally subsidized plans, which then means this revision is pointless.
However, even if that turns out to be the case, the original version of the proposed bill remains intact; that is, in redefining, reducing Medicaid funding, changing tax credits to an age-based system (no allowance for income), allowing insurers to charge older people at almost twice the rate they can now charge and eliminating taxes that helped support the ACA. This bill only goes further in passing the buck back to the states, with false promises about high-risk pools which would be only partly funded by the feds. The promise of throwing $130 billion into the pot over 10 years isn’t much when you figure it has to be divided by 50 states, even with some adjustment for population density.
Right-wing media spreads propaganda to support mainstream Republican policies. Their idea is to get their audience to perceive reality through a carefully curated selection of misleading half-truths. This strategy, however, requires savvy politicians who understand how to use the lexicon properly; it is minorities, immigrants and liberals who are making you poor, not our policies of transferring wealth from the poor to the rich. On the contrary, we need tax cuts for job creators so that the poor can experience the dignity of work. And we’ll pay for them by eliminating handouts so people don’t get lazy.
And now we have a true believer sitting in the Oval Office; a man whose entire worldview seems to have been shaped by right-wing propaganda. When the President says he is going to replace failing Obamacare with something better and cheaper, Ryan and McConnell parse it through the Conservative Rosetta Stone and hear “We need to kill Obamacare because it raised taxes on the rich.” But the President is apparently speaking literally; like the House Freedom Caucus, he really does not seem to understand the propaganda shell game.
Trump “Seems Unclear on Its Details.” Isn’t this just a euphemism for “he has no idea what he’s doing; hasn’t studied the issue at all; hasn’t worked on it with specialists and experts in the field; and delegates that work to other loyal incompetents”?
The most pathetic thing about this continuing saga over healthcare is that we have real problems that are not being addressed as Trump and the GOP meddle with something too complicated for them to understand. They want to murder Americans with pre-existing conditions and those who honestly want to get affordable healthcare and will take months to do so.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is still happening. Trump still has relatively few positions filled after being in office for 100 days and he has no direction. As Samuel Adams found, it is much easier to be an agitator than a legislator. Legislators must think and deal with complex issues that balance the needs of competing groups, while agitators just have to stir things up emotionally. If we survive Trump and the GOP, we will be decades digging out of this hole.
Let them pass it. Then, let’s watch the cheers and smiles turn to jeers.
Let the people see what the GOP stands for: a president so lazy he doesn’t know or even care to know the difference between a risk pool and a risky game of pool, and a congress so brazen they will throw millions off health insurance in order to give the finger to the Black President.
Maybe Trump should appoint Frederick Douglass, or Andrew Jackson to provide him the details on the health care bill. Or, better yet, have Luciano Pavarotti sing them to him.
The incompetence and ignorance of this administration and this President is simply stunning and beyond comprehension.