Don’t Read This Without a Helmet

Helmet on? Okay, this happened today:

President Donald Trump told a bipartisan group of governors at a White House reception Monday morning that GOP tax reform would have to wait for lawmakers to move on repealing Obamacare, cautioning that, “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

“I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said.

I’ll pause to let you pound your head on the desk for a while.

I take it somebody attempted to explain to Trump why Republicans just couldn’t kill the mandate but leave the pre-existing condition coverage.

This also tells me he is just now finding out what the issues are with health care. I’m sure he assumed anybody could write a health care bill that gave everybody what they wanted. What was the big deal?

Right now, the Republicans seem to be dividing between the kill-Obamacare-and-let-the-chips-fall crowd and those who suspect that suddenly depriving millions of people of health care might hurt their re-election chances.

And it has to be said that Trump pre-screwed the pooch for them by promising that no one currently covered would lose coverage. Republicans can come up with all kinds of great plans as long as people don’t actually have to be covered. The coverage thing, though, is an impossible hurdle. Jonathan Chait wrote,

Health-care reform is extremely complicated even under the best of circumstances. But when you combine the inherent complexities of the subject with the ideological rigidities of the conservative movement, the problem goes from hard to prohibitively impossible. Providing access to medical care to the tens of millions of Americans who can’t afford it on their own, because they’re too poor or too sick, is arithmetically futile if you’re bound by a dogma that opposes redistribution from the rich and healthy to the poor and sick.

But we know what’s really important, don’t we?

House Republicans have decided to resolve the contradiction between party dogma and the promise not to harm the public in favor of the former. A study prepared by the National Governors Association, and which leaked to the media Saturday evening, finds that the House Republicans leadership’s formative plan to replace Obamacare will deprive millions of people of their insurance.

Repealing Obamacare is more important to these people than finding ways to deliver health care to the American people. Many would prefer to repeal the law and blow up the health care system than to dedicate even one tax dollar to helping a poor person see a doctor. They have principles, you know.

But Trump promised better and less expensive coverage. Back when he was still pretending to be developing a plan himself, he promised this. This is from January 15:

President-elect Donald Trump said in a weekend interview that he is nearing completion of a plan to replace President Obama’s signature health-care law with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” while also vowing to force drug companies to negotiate directly with the government on prices in Medicare and Medicaid. …

…Trump’s declaration that his replacement plan is ready comes after many Republicans — moderates and conservatives — expressed anxiety last week about the party’s lack of a formal proposal as they held votes on repealing the law. Once his plan is made public, Trump said, he is confident that it could get enough votes to pass in both chambers. He declined to discuss how he would court wary Democrats….

…As he has developed a replacement package, Trump said he has paid attention to critics who say that repealing Obamacare would put coverage at risk for more than 20 million Americans covered under the law’s insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” People covered under the law “can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”

Republican leaders have said that they will not strand people who gained insurance under the ACA without coverage. But it remains unclear from either Trump’s comments in the interview or recent remarks by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill how they intend to accomplish that.

For conservative Republicans dubious about his pledge to ensure coverage for millions, Trump pointed to several interviews he gave during the campaign in which he promised to “not have people dying on the street.”

“It’s not going to be their plan,” he said of people covered under the current law. “It’ll be another plan. But they’ll be beautifully covered. I don’t want single-payer. What I do want is to be able to take care of people,” he said Saturday.

Here’s a television news story from about the same time. So we’ve got him both in print and in video.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Very smart people who have been wrestling with the health care issue for a long time understand that cost-effective, universal coverage can’t be done without going to a taxpayer-funded national health care system that includes price controls of all sorts. Short of that, there’s Obamacare or something like it, mandate and all.

But Trump promised everybody rainbows and ponies. People could get terrific, affordable coverage, and Republicans could nix the mandate and cut taxes. Everybody wins. Back to Jonathan Chait:

Trump held together the contradiction by simply pretending the solution would reveal itself over time and would be extremely easy. Quite likely Trump believed this himself — as a committed nonreader, and a narcissistic devotee of his own negotiating prowess, he surely believed that he could broker a deal that would satisfy both the moral objective of universal coverage and the specific ideological hang-ups that had prevented his party from ever supporting a plan that would accomplish it in the past.

The only thing that held Trump’s position together was a refusal to engage with the substance of the issue, and a magical belief that it could all be waved away. At best, he will keep either his promise to the Republican elite or his promise to the electorate. At worst he will keep neither. His offhand comment that the issue is hard is a window into the mind of a man who realizes the jig is almost up.

Maybe. Maybe he thinks that if he throws bigger tantrums someone will come up with the solution for him. I predict that eventually he will cave on his promise to voters and will blame them for it.

15 thoughts on “Don’t Read This Without a Helmet

  1. One way to repeal Obamacare would be repeal it, then put it all back with Trumps name on it. Financed with Japanese investors of course (ba-dump).

    I remember when Jon Stewart used to play videos of politicians statements, one directly contradicting the next. Our orange neo-nero is a gold mine.

  2. Well he did stay and in DC all weekend! So there’s that.
    I’m wondering when we close all the rural hospital’s if the Trump voter will venture into the big cities to receive medical care close to “those” people? Or dear lord let one provide care…

  3. Well said. The talking point in vogue says “Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight.”

    Great, says the republican voter who did not like the out-of-pocket of the subsidized plan he was forced to buy. Trump promised the moon in no uncertain terms. Time to put your cards on the table. Trump has reversed the claim he has a plan. He did have it and now he doesn’t. That excuse would work if he found out that Congress has a better plan – but they don’t. With no mandate (and the GOP has promised the mandate will not be enforced) insurers are pulling out of the exchanges, and the GOP screams louder, “Look! It’s collapsing!”

    And again, the republican with a family and medical needs looks to Trump to come up with the better plan. And there is NOTHING. The Ryan proposal offers tax credits that are far less than Obamacare subsidies. Health savings plans are a joke and Trump can sell the list of people in High Risk Pools to mortuary companies.

    Repeal is going to happen and replace won’t. I don’t think a “replace” bill will ever exit the House, even if it would die in the Senate.

    The GOP Congress is going to say, “It’s not out fault – Obamacare just collapsed.” And the voters are going to look to Trump and the master plan he promised to replace Obamacare and realize it was all a scam. They will suffer – their parents will suffer (unless they can make it to 65) Kids will suffer. The GOP will try to blame the democrats, and the GOP voters will say, “No – we beat the democrats and gave you the power. You promised me.” And they are going to be angry.

  4. So they’ll kill tens of thousands of Americans per year… for what exactly? To keep their promise to kill Americans?
    Why do Republicans hate America?

  5. Oh no no, that’s not fair. The Republicans plan to kill-by-malign-neglect myriads of Americans per year, to keep their promise to stop their own plan (to _save_ myriads of Americans per year) from being implemented by a certain dark-brown-skinned American. He has dark-brown-skin cooties, and he touched the plan, so it isn’t theirs anymore, and if they can’t have it then nobody can.

    Also, saving myriads per year is valuable, but it would cost money, and Republicans do not believe in paying for anything valuable.

    That explains why the Republicans plan to kill-by-malign-neglect myriads of Americans per year. Many of those myriads are their own voters. This, even the Republicans admit, is a problem. Their solution is to not listen.

  6. I predict that eventually he will cave on his promise to voters and will blame them for it.
    Well, Maha, you’re exactly being Nostradamus with that prediction. I mean, we’re talking about Trump here. I don’t know that he’ll blame the voters or who he’ll blame, but I do know that he’ll never admit any fault on his part. He’s just not capable of seeing any fault in himself. He has no anchor in reality. And what I find most disturbing is not the sickness that inhabits Trump.. it’s the sickness in the people who can’t see or won’t acknowledge how sick Trump is.
    I keep referring back in my mind to the repuglican primary campaign where guys like Cruz and Rubio pegged Trump for who he is and called him a con artist and a pathological liar..And then turned around and publicly licked his boots like their words had no meaning. Maybe it’s me, but if I determine that someone is a con artist or a pathological liar, then that determination is pretty well fixed and I’m not going to abandon that determination to any cause. It shows me that those who stand behind Trump as enablers have no principles or integrity. An honest look at who Trump is makes clear that he can’t be defended. And anybody who stands behind him is defending a shortcoming in their own psyche.

  7. “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said.

    It’s a completely believably complex problem.

    And the part where I disagree with all of you is the part where any Republican voter gets mad about anything that happens from here on out.

    If they lose their insurance Trump will tell them they would have lost it soon anyway. And they’ll believe him. He and the Republicans will explain that you just can’t have health insurance in America, uniquely among all industrialized nations, and they’ll believe him.

    They’ll believe anything rather than admit the mistake they made. They’ll believe anything rather than admit a Democrat helped them, and more Democrats could have helped them more. Anything.

  8. Waspuppet,

    And as they take Obamacare out back to shoot it, they’ll also take Medicare and Medicaid, and cut them – blaming Obamacare. Badly.

    Having taken care of The Great Society programs, and with the environmental protections of The Progressive movement already under siege as Republican-led states look to sell-off National Parks to corporations, the conservatives/Republicans will go after the ultimate prize:
    The New Deal.

    Social Security is too social – aka: inclusive – and too secure, for the tastes of conservatives.
    They want security only in their own social circles.
    The rest of us can starve, if we haven’t already died from disease.

    I don’t know what seperates conservatives from serial killers – but I don’t think it’s all that much.

  9. When reality and truth are things one manipulates, illness, pain, suffering, death and the cost of treatment are complicated.  When your followers tend to thing that doctors only preach to them and preachers cure them, you might find the politics a bit difficult.  When tricks often compete successfully with proven treatments, this crowd is in way over their heads.  I remember when America was “great”.  Many got treated out of country for cancer with peach pits not approved by our government.  This administration refuses to accept research showing no link between vaccinations and autism.  I am not sure how they come to “know the real truth”, but I agree it must follow the tenets of the shell game.  This illness has a very poor prognosis and no apparent effective treatment.  Who was it that said you just can’t cure stupid.  You can, and we did, elect stupid.  A bit of an idiot savant on the huckster side though. A good placebo will be prescribed I am sure. 

  10. Here in my neck of the woods, we had a rightous trump voter demand that two darker people leave his country then pull out his second amendment and gun them down.
    One died and two were wounded, including a bystander that tried to intervene.
    A couple of years ago we had three people killed by another racist looking to kill him some jews…who knew that methodists and catholics went to Jewish community centers and nursing homes?
    The lady gunned down at the nursing home was my dentist’s wife. Going to visit her mom on a Sunday after mass.
    It’s a sick world we live in, and the next few years are going to get worse…

  11. Apparent he’s bypassing the usual intelligence and law enforcement entities to get all his national security information from Breitbart.

  12. Pingback: Mike's Blog Round Up - Liberal Progressive Democrat News

  13. “You can’t cure stupid.” — Ron White

    “Baka ni tsukeru kusuri wa nai.” — Japanese proverb
    Translation: “There’s no medicine for a fool.”

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