During his run for president, Donald Trump promised Americans he would give them “better” and “cheaper” healthcare than they are offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.
Like every other Trump promise, though, that was a lie.
The only thing the GOP did for healthcare the first two years of the Trump presidency when Republicans had full control of Congress was to try to revoke it, which would have left millions uninsured.
Republicans have no replacement for the ACA.
They never have.
2018, though, was a banner year for Democrats when they took control of the House of Representatives in mid-term elections.
Much of this success was due primarily to Republicans’ assault on healthcare.
Now Trump is poised to help Democrats again.
While Trump was preening and posturing over Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Special Council Robert Mueller’s report into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that dismissed collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, the president unwittingly re-opened the proverbial healthcare can of worms.
Now all the talk is about healthcare again, and Democrats couldn’t be happier.
Republicans leadership immediately tried to distance itself from the president.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy apparently expressed to Trump his disagreement.
In addition, attorneys general from Ohio and Montana submitted amicus briefs to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals expressing concern that striking down the ACA would be disastrous for patients, doctors, insurers, and employers.
Barely 24 hours later, the president tweeted an apparent volte-face, tweeting:
“[Republicans are developing] a really great HealthCare Plan [sic] with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than Obamacare. Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win back the House.”
This prompted Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to respond:
“Last night the president tweeted that they will come up with their plan in 2021. Translation: they have no healthcare plan. They are for repeal, they have no replace.”
In a Politico interview, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added:
“When the president has instructed his Department of Justice to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, them’s fighting words.”
So the president did what he often does–double down.
He announced, if re-elected, he will leave millions uninsured.
In a series of tweets, Trump stated:
“Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work. Premiums & deductibles are far too high–Really bad HealthCare! Even the Dems want to replace it, but with Medicare for all, which would cause 180 million Americans to lose their beloved private health insurance. The Republicans…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2019
“….are developing a really great HealthCare Plan with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare. In other words it will be far less expensive & much more usable than ObamaCare. Vote will be taken right after the Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2019
“….back the House. It will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America. Also, Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions. The Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great HealtCare. Meantime, the USA is doing better than ever & is respected again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2019“
Everybody agrees Obamacare doesn’t work?
Quoting Glenn Kessler and Salvador Rizzo from the Washington Post:
“Democrats would firmly disagree that the Affordable Care Act does not work, given that the number of people without health insurance has sharply declined since it was passed in 2010. Some Democrats have proposed ways to reduce out-of-pocket costs, mainly by bolstering subsidies and extending the pool of people who would qualify for them.
“Democrats running for president have proposed Medicare-for-all, essentially a single-payer plan, or making Medicare (a government plan for people over 65) available to people younger than retirement age. The version proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would eliminate private insurance and offer insurance instead through the federal government.
“Trump’s numbers for private insurance are a little off. The Census Bureau says that in 2017, 217 million Americans had private insurance, with 181 million covered through an employer and 52 million directly purchasing it. Meanwhile, 123 million Americans are covered already through a government plan, such as Medicare, Medicaid or the military health system.”
If Trump wants this fight again, he will have it.
Vowing to imperil millions of Americans destroyed Republicans in November.
It will destroy them next year as well.
Image credit: Max Pixel