Affordable Care Act, Donald Trump — May 14, 2017

How Trump’s mayhem and corruption will help him take 24 million Americans’ insurance


Here’s why I worry about the idea that some secret investigation is going to save us

Jonathan Cohn has a can’t miss post you need to read right now because it clearly explains how the Senate GOP’s plan could end up looking very much like the House GOP’s plan to uninsure 24, gut Medicaid, rob Medicare, drive up costs for the aging and weaken coverage for all Americans. And it could be passed in the same quick, quiet and purposely underhanded way Paul Ryan slid his bill through the House.

Cohn’s key conclusion:

The deciding factor could be public reaction, but the public can’t react to a bill unless it gets a good look at it. It appears Republican leaders are trying not to let that happen.

Focus is our greatest asset. TrumpCare was batted down by the focus of our attention, twice. But focus wanes and can be manipulated.

Trump’s calculated chaos creates a constant state of anxiety in both his underlings and his opponents. We all suffer but the more vulnerable you are, the higher the costs.

People argue that if Trump is a tyrant, he’s a terrible one who can’t even tyrannize competently. Ask the undocumented if he isn’t good at both summoning the power of the executive branch, the spite of scapegoating and collective rage of a Republican Party that dominates state and local governments in a way the GOP hasn’t since at least before the Great Depression.

Some relief for this state of anxiety may come from imagining that even now forces of good are gathering in secret courts or grand juries to summon the great powers of our institutions to put a check on Trump and his cronies.

I fear this is a dangerous fantasy.

Our system, our checks and balances, require some conflict between the branches of the government. The rotted fish heads in the executive, legislative and judicial branches all agree that the greatest dangers to America right now are poor people having health insurance and voting being too easy.

Republicans are more afraid of identifying Trump’s corruption than what he’s actually done or is doing to betray or rip off taxpayers — because uncovering what he’s done might require they take a stand.

Instead, they’ll focus on the things they agree on — uninsuring people to pay for tax breaks for the rich.

Your anxiety is terrible and I wish it weren’t happening. But relieving it with fantasies of things we can’t control may help Trump.

We do not have the power to stop Trump or the GOP right now. They have the votes to pass something as cruel and horrific as TrumpCare. But we do have the focus, and that’s what they’re afraid of.

[Image by the great Anne Savage.]

  • judyms9

    It is the M.O. of the Republican Party to do their deeds in the dark of night, to attach weird riders to legislation that make it referendum-proof and/or effective immediately or retroactively, or to bait and switch, with all three being likely with the Senate version of a health care bill. Keep your eye on the word ACCESS, as in you have access to a Maserati–if you can come up with enough money. If not, it’s the bus for you.

    Senator Charles Grassley gave the game away at a town hall a few years back when a constituent wondered what would happen to him and his family if the GOP repealed Obamacare because the man did not have employer-provided health care insurance. Grassley told him to go get a good government job like Grassley has and then he would have health care coverage. In other words, the GOP has theirs, and the rest of you folks are on your own. Be happy to see your tax dollar paying for Grassley’s health care while your family does without.

    • BurinMRB

      The type of health insurance that Grassley and all other nationally elected official get–paid for, at least in part by us taxpayers–is better than anything the rest of us can afford.
      It’s so good that it’s almost worth ‘running’ for national office, You only have to serve one (1) term in Congress to get this exceptional health insurance for the rest of your life!
      If our Congressmen and women had to use what is provided for in the ‘new’ GOP healthcare plan–they would make sure, it would be good!
      The fact that this is going on is mostly a well-kept secret.
      [Question: Do all members of the Trump family get this ‘platinum’ type of healthcare?]

  • Shehab Hk


  • gaspare

    It is disgusting and a total betrayal of everything constitutional that our Democratic representatives methodically and carefully crafted a landmark bill, followed the process and passed the law with 60 votes( for cloture) in the Senate While Republicans plan to do the exact opposite. To pass their health care bill by intentionally short-circuiting the entire legislative process is yet one more example of the conservatives complete disdain and hostility to democracy.
    Additionally, through our insurance payments(which by the way I have employer based insurance and pay over $5000/year for “deductibles”, co-pays and employee premium “sharing”) we are subsidizing health care for the rich. Because, without us paying, all these super expensive heart procedures and cancer treatments would be impossible. The rich alone can not sustain the miracle of modern medicine nor push it forward. The “changes” proposed, otherwise known as tax cuts will suck over $800 billion dollars out of the health care system. So, either hospitals and doctors will not get paid, people will not get health care, a viscous combination of both or worse. Macro-economically, Americans will become sicker, less productive and less competitive. Meanwhile, people and companies will be moving money that would have gone to other parts of the economy into health care. None of the predictions about the ACA hurting the economy have come true, instead millions of jobs have been created, Americans are healthier, lives have been saved and the long term cost curve of health was bent down. The one part that has not worked well is that individual insurers had a hard time making money in certain states. This occurred through sabotage by failing to expand medicaid in those states and deliberate attempts to block state support in those states. One thing is for sure, I do not trust anything the conservatives plan to do with health care, they are deceitful and dishonest and could care less about how the affordability of insurance. I would like to end with a main concern of mine, especially for the dead-enders to think about, what happens when you lose your job? I, we, have all been paying hundreds of thousands in premiums all these years and poof, it’s all gone in a second. Then what? We all seem to be looking at two different sides of a rotten deal.