This is why we have to focus on killing TrumpCare before it kills us


Trump just gave us a chance to save health insurance for 24 million Americans

Thanks to Donald Trump’s decision to step on every available rake in front of him, there is now a special counsel investigating the president’s possible collusion with Russian meddling in our election, which obviously happened because you watched much of it happen on TV.

Now someone with some possible integrity has subpoena power over the Trump Administration. And he may even use it. I honestly didn’t think this would happen until 2019 AT THE EARLIEST.

This gives us a huge opportunity to use our greatest asset.

Our focus killed TrumpCare and it’s the only thing that can kill it again.

Last week, in my typically pedantic fashion, I tried to warn you that Trump’s cavalcade of chaos was helping keep our eyes off the Senate’s effort to pass Trumpcare in much the same way the House did. And this is effort is definitely ongoing, despite the three-dumpster fire that is the Trump presidency.

The Washington Post reports:

“We’re working on it as a Senate, not working with the president,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Other Republicans worry the high drama is distracting Americans from the efforts to replace Obamacare, especially at a time when marketplace insurers are again seeking big rate hikes for next year. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said senators are focusing on health care in “nearly every meeting” lately, but fears that’s getting lost on the public.

“That really gets waylaid by the day-to-day issue of the hour,” Rounds said.

He sounds so worried! If Republican Senators wanted this process to be seen by the public, they COULD DO IT IN PUBLIC — the way Democrats did with the Affordable Care Act.

We cannot not let TrumpCare become law. You know that.

You know we can’t reverse the biggest improvement to our health care system in 50 years with a bill that ends Medicaid as we know it, cutting the program beyond the quick endangering seniors, the disabled, rural hospitals, special education and more. All to fund a giant giveaway to the rich.

And if we don’t kill it, lots of us will die — 26,000 in the year 2026 along, according to an estimate from ThinkProgress.

Here are the best two ways to kill TrumpCare.

1. Democrats need to win one or both of the special House elections in safe Republican districts. The election of Rob Quist and/or Jon Ossoff will send a shudder down the area that used to house Republicans spines.

2. Find people who are represented by these “swing” Senators:

Ask them to call and ask these questions suggested by Topher Spiro, Vice President, Health Policy, Center for American progress:

1. Will *anyone* lose their health insurance coverage? If you repeal the financing, how can you possibly avoid coverage losses?

2. If you just *delay* the end of Medicaid expansion, how is it possible that no one will be harmed?

3. Will *anyone* pay more for health insurance because of their age, income, health, or where they live?

4. Will average deductibles increase? Will financial protections or benefits be watered down?

5. Will state “flexibility” to “customize” or “tailor” Medicaid result in any benefit cuts or eligibility restrictions?

6. Would tax cuts for people with income greater than $200,000 be possible without corresponding cuts to Medicaid? Aren’t they linked?

7. Will *anyone* who has a pre-existing condition pay more for health insurance or lose their coverage?

8. Will *anyone* with employer coverage lose their coverage? Will *anyone* with employer coverage have weaker financial protections?

9. Will the Senate bill defund Planned Parenthood or otherwise restrict choice of health care providers?

You may think there are bigger fires to fight than this. I get it. Godspeed.

We need to do what ever we can support the undocumented and push back on the panoply of assaults on voting rights, education and good governance we face.

But this fight, I argue, is the most important strategically and symbolically. Trump is uninsuring his own voters to pay off his donors.

And if he’s able to to do that, Democrats will have that betrayal to build on to not only reclaim the achievements of the ACA but build on them with true universal health care.

Plus, we know this fight is winnable — because we’ve done it before. So let’s do it again.

[Image by Ted Eytan | Flickr]