Trumpcare: the Freedom to Die in the Streets
Candidate Trump ran as the only Republican who wouldn’t ‘let people die in the street.’ But that’s exactly what the plan of he and Paul Ryan does.
Take him seriously but not literally.
Sean Spicer tried to explain when you can take Trump literally and when you can’t yesterday. His answer: accept when he’s joking. Like, evidently Trump was joking about saying Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
What a knee slapper.
“With Trumpcare he’s reneging on promises he made to some of his top supporters-low income elderly. Soon low income 60 year olds will have the ‘freedom’ Paul Ryan is always crowing about to pay $7,000 more per year on health insurance, just like 24 million Americans will have the freedom not to have health insurance-or ‘die in the streets.’
“Trump’s Backing a Health Care Plan That Breaks His Promises.”
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody”— Donald Trump, Washington Post interview, 01/15/2017
Just 24 million short of everybody. As Paul Waldman argues the GOP is in bad shape politically for 2018 if they fail to pass this but even more if they do.
“Trying and failing to do what you said you would isn’t exactly “breaking your word,” but you get the point. Ryan’s main concern, at least as he expresses it here, is with the people who deeply want to see the ACA repealed: the Republican base. He and the rest of his party have been terrified of them for the past eight years, so it’s no surprise that the base’s wrath is still foremost in their minds.”
“But there’s a problem: 2018 is probably going to be a bloodbath for Republicans whether they pass repeal or not.”
Waldman lays out two scenarios: bloodbath scenario one and bloodbath scenario two:
“To understand why, let’s quickly run through the possible scenarios for the midterm elections as they relate to this effort, which will be the most dramatic and vividly emotional of all the legislative battles of the next few years. Ryan is almost certainly right that if they fail to pass repeal, the GOP base will be disgusted with its leaders. For eight years, Republican candidates told them, “Turn out to vote, and then as soon as we get the chance we’ll destroy this law that Barack Obama cast forth from the very fires of hell.” The base responded, delivering Republicans the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.”
“And yet, 60 or so repeal votes notwithstanding, the law remained in place. Donald Trump became the party’s presidential nominee largely because of the base’s dissatisfaction with a Republican establishment it saw as ineffectual. And now, if they can’t pass it with complete control of government, it would be even worse. You’d likely see depressed turnout among Republicans who saw no reason to rush to the polls to reelect representatives who can’t seem to do what they promised.”
“That’s Bloodbath Version No. 1.”
This actually goes to something I’ve long thought: Paul Ryan in some ways would have been better off if Comey hadn’t put out that letter and elected Trump.
If Hillary were President, I think it’s possible Ryan may have decided-in light of losing the WH five times in seven tries-it was time to be a little more constructive. It’s not impossible in my estimation that they could have come to some agreements where they met in the middle.
Ryan then would have seen his stock rise as a constructive GOP leader and maybe he’d be a good chance for 2020. To be sure in that case, the defeated Trumpsters would have been furious and the GOP party might well have split into two or three pieces.
But Ryan and his ideology in this case would not have been unmasked as a joke. And it’s true-if he is unable to end Obamacare now, then this means everything he and his fellow GOPers have said for seven years has been an illusion.
If you can’t pass your agenda with total power, then maybe your agenda doesn’t add up.
Bloodbath Version No. 2:
“Version No. 2 is just as dangerous, if not more so.”
“In this scenario, they pass the bill, and what everyone who knows anything about health care is predicting does indeed come true. Millions lose their coverage, out-of-pocket costs rise, premiums go up, the individual market is destabilized, and the kind of security the ACA has offered to those with preexisting conditions vanishes. Not only is the broader public angry, but Democratic voters in particular are enraged. The surge of grassroots energy we’ve seen on the left gains even more momentum. We know that what drives turnout in off-year elections is anger, and most of the anger is going to be on the left.”
“Not only that, the Republican base won’t be so happy about the promise that was kept once they see the results. One of the things that’s becoming increasingly clear is that the GOP reform bill is going to hit many of their key constituencies especially hard. The bill allows insurance companies to charge older patients more, while giving them a tax credit that in many cases will be worth far less than the ACA subsidies they’re getting now. Working-class voters will find it harder to afford insurance. The suffering will be particularly acute in rural areas.”
“The president’s party almost always loses seats in Congress in midterm elections. That’s the baseline from which Republicans start. Add in a catastrophic rollout of their repeal, and it could get much worse.”
Unlike Trump, Ryan isn’t promising everyone is going to be covered and no one will lose their insurance:
“Unlike some Republicans, Ryan isn’t promising that no one will lose their coverage. He’s saying that when they do, it will only be because they chose to go without it, once they were led into the glorious light of liberty. As he put it, “You get it if you want it. That’s freedom.” And if you want it but you can’t afford it? Hey, freedom isn’t free.”
“Of course, Trump didn’t win by running on freedom isn’t free but on ‘Health insurance for everybody’ and ‘nobody is going to die in the streets.’
“There’s a theory going around that Republicans actually want their bill to fail, so they can avoid the disaster that will come with implementing it and just move on to cutting taxes, which is their top priority anyway. I can’t say if that’s what they’re thinking, but they may come to realize that while the scenario in which they fail to repeal the ACA could produce a bad result in 2018, the real bloodbath will come if they succeed.”
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