Thursday, March 9, 2017

Trump's Big CON: ObamaCare vs. TrumpCareCon (© (AKA TrumpConCare or TrumpCon (©

UPDATE VII:  "[H]ealth-care experts across the political spectrum agree that the new House GOP health-care plan, which Trump has now endorsed, falls short of his promises:

    The bill, experts said, falls far short of the goals President Donald Trump laid out: Affordable coverage for everyone; lower deductibles and health care costs; better care; and zero cuts to Medicaid. Instead, the bill is almost certain to reduce overall coverage, result in deductibles increasing, and will phase out Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

The American Medical Association came out against the GOP bill on Wednesday morning, arguing that its subsidy scheme and rollback of Medicaid expansion would produce a “decline in health insurance coverage,” instead calling on Republicans to “ensure that those who are currently covered do not become uninsured.” The GOP bill would likely result in millions losing insurance, even though Trump himself recently promised that the GOP replacement would mean “insurance for everybody.”

It’s plausible that the GOP bill would hit a lot of Trump voters. A new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis concludes that older, lower-income people will likely see a loss of financial support for insurance — many of whom are probably Trump voters. Non-college whites in the Rust Belt states that flipped to Trump saw a big drop in the uninsured rate under the ACA. Meanwhile, the GOP bill would mean cuts to Medicaid over time and potentially a phasing-out of the expansion, something that might also hit many Trump voters. . .

[T]here is an irreconcilable split among Republicans over the specific outcome they envision for a post-Obamacare health-care system.

The split was obscured for years, because Republicans could call for repeal, secure in the knowledge that it wouldn’t happen. It is between two camps. There are conservatives (mostly in the House) who actually want repeal, because they don’t think the government should be spending and regulating to expand coverage to poor and sick people, and instead want free markets to fulfill this goal. And there are other Republicans (mostly senators and governors) who want to say they’re repealing Obamacare (since they’ve railed against it for years in the abstract) while actually minimizing just how much of the coverage expansion gets rolled back in their states. Trump is more or less in the second camp, since he doesn’t want to be the guy who kicks millions off insurance or shatter Trumpism’s aura of ideological heterodoxy.

The result is a kind of kludge solution, which tries to give both camps a way to argue that they are getting their way. But the practical result is that it doesn’t actually give either what they want. And there is simply no way of pretending it comes anywhere near what Trump explicitly promised or vaguely signaled in ideological terms. This has left Trump spewing outright gibberish as he tries to sell the plan".

Read the Washington Post, Trumpism is now getting exposed as a monumental fraud.

UPDATE VI:  Congratulation Trump supporters, you've been conned.

TrumpCareCon (©  is "especially harmful to Trump’s lower-income, older Rust Belt supporters.

The Kaiser Foundation has a user-friendly map and calculator which shows which states (most of them) and which counties specifically would pay more under the GOP American Health Care Act and which pay more under the Affordable Care Act. In almost every single county in Iowa, Michigan and Ohio, a 60-year-old with $30,000 in income would pay more for coverage. In some counties that would amount to more than $1,000. As Kaiser puts it, 'Generally, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) receive larger tax credits under the ACA than they would under the American Health Care Act replacement. Conversely, some people who are younger, higher-income, or live in low-premium areas (like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington) may receive larger assistance under the replacement plan.' Congratulations, House Republicans and Trump, you’re on the side of rich New England millennials. Seriously, this would be a tragedy for the 'forgotten' Americans and hence a political disaster for Trump. . . 

[It appears Trump's health care] plan all along was to reward the rich, cover fewer people, enact painful cuts at the expense of the poor and repeal taxes for the upper-income taxpayers who’ve footed a large share of the cost of Obamacare."

Read the Washington Post, How Trump blew it on health care.

UPDATE V:  For a specific comparison of ObamaCare vs. TrumpCareCon (©, read the Washington Post, How the House Republicans’ proposed Obamacare replacement compares.

UPDATE IV:  "It only took seven years, but Republicans have finally decided how they want to replace Obamacare: with a much, much less generous version of it that almost seems designed to push individual insurance markets into death spirals.

I guess that's freedom?

Before we get to that, though, let's recap what it is that Obamacare actually does. At the most general level, it just taxes the rich to subsidize health insurance for the poor and sick. . .

It's no surprise, then, that Republicans have acted like this is the gravest threat to the republic since the 16th Amendment. (That's the one that made the income tax legal). After all, the GOP has made reversing redistribution its raison d'ĂȘtre the past 40 years, and in the past 40 years there hasn't been a bigger piece of redistribution than Obamacare. Still, they've run into a problem when they've tried to come up with a plan of their own. There isn't a conservative alternative to Obamacare, you see, because Obamacare is the conservative alternative. It's pretty close to what conservatives proposed in 1993, and what Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts. If you buy into the idea of universal coverage (or at least not yanking it away from too many people), then you either need the government to do it directly or use the same kind of three-legged stool Obamacare has. So it's even less of a surprise that the Republican replacement plan is more or less a stingier version of Obamacare that cuts taxes on the rich, cuts Medicaid, and cuts subsidies for lower earners while introducing them for some higher ones. . .

If this sounds like a plan that's designed to please no one and infuriate everyone, that's because it is. House conservatives don't like that it enshrines what they think is a “new entitlement” in tax-credit subsidies; Republican governors won't like the way it cuts Medicaid; and Senate Republicans are leery of anything that could make anywhere from 6 to 10 million people lose their health insurance, as S&P estimates this could. Indeed, conservative groups such as FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, and Americans for Prosperity are already rallying against it.

The only question is whether it will take seven years for Republicans to replace their Obamacare replacement."

Read the Washington Post, Republicans’ ready-to-fail Obamacare replacement.

Emphasis added above. This is key to understanding that Obama tried to compromise with Republi-CONs, and give them the health care plan they wanted. Which is why their proposal will fail and Democrats will eventually get single-payer health care, their preferred option.

UPDATE III:  "Republicans' new health-care bill is a mass transfer of income that cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans while cutting federal benefits for the middle and working class.

Just two provisions in the Republican plan would allow the richest households to pay an average of nearly $200,000 less under the GOP plan, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center."

Read the Washington Post, The massive tax cuts for the rich inside the GOP health-care plan.

UPDATE II:  "Conservative health-care guru and Obamacare critic Avik Roy bluntly criticizes 'the bill’s stubborn desire to make health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans, and trap millions more in poverty.' He notes the 'critical' flaw in the bill, namely 'its insistence on flat, non-means-tested tax credits. The flat credit will price many poor and vulnerable people out of the health insurance market.' The bill is far more generous to upper-income people than the ACA is . .

Another conservative commentator agrees that the House bill will look horrible upon closer inspection, including: 'significant erosion of up to 10-20 million individuals with employer-provided health coverage; a new entitlement — the refundable tax credits — that by and large wouldn’t expand coverage, but instead cause individuals currently in employer plans to switch to the credits; more federal spending via the refundable tax credits; a tax increase — a cap on the current exclusion for employer-provided health coverage — to pay for the new spending on the credits; and an increase in the uninsured (compared to Obamacare) of at least 15 million — nearly as much as repealing the law outright.' He speculates that 10 million to 20 million could lose coverage."

Read the Washington Post, ACA repeal: House Republicans’ breathtaking recklessness.

UPDATE:  "There are so many awful things about this bill that it’s hard to fit them all into one post, so I’ll try to be as brief as I can. Let’s review the carnage:

The Republican bill undoes the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. An estimated 14 million more Americans are insured due to the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. . .

It replaces the ACA’s insurance subsidies with a tax credit. This is a far less efficient and effective way to help people afford insurance . .

It does away with the individual mandate, in a way that could lead the individual market to collapse. . .

If you’re healthy, and especially if you’re young and healthy, this system actually incentivizes you to wait until you get sick before getting insurance. . .

The Medicare trust fund will be drained sooner. . .

It allows insurance companies to charge older people a lot more. . .

It gives a huge tax cut to the wealthy. . .

Planned Parenthood is barred from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for a year. . .

So in sum, the Republican bill makes coverage more expensive and less comprehensive, will inevitably lead to fewer people with insurance, is particularly cruel to those with low incomes, and destabilizes the insurance market, all to give a tax break to the wealthy. That’s why Avik Roy, perhaps the leading conservative health care wonk and a fierce critic of the ACA, wrote that the Republican bill reflects a 'stubborn desire to make health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans, and trap millions more in poverty.'"

Read the Washington Post, The new Republican health care plan is awe-inspiringly awful.

Kids love sugar, so imagine a parent who fed his kids only sugar and you have TrumpCareCon (© (AKA  TrumpConCare or TrumpCon (©

Read the Washington Post, The most popular (and unpopular) parts of House Republicans’ health-care plan. The article included this table which highlighted the provisions kept, changed/scaled back, and repealed, as well as the percent of adults who favor each provision:

Republican health care plan retains some of the most popular parts of Obamacare
    Provisions kept in GOP plan                Adults who favor each provision
    Eliminate costs for preventative services                77%
    Allow kids to stay on parent's plan until 26            73
    Coverage for pre-existing conditions                     69
    Require insurance to cover birth ctrl costs             60
    Provisions changed/scaled back           
    Financial help for low/middle income ppl*             72
    Expand Medicaid to cover more people               66
    Provisions repealed                   
    Employers w/50+ ppl must offer insurance            62
    Increase taxes for wealthy to fund Medicaid         53
    Mandate to buy insurance                                    33

Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man

UPDATE II:  "With a lot of pretentious talk about the “deconstruction of the administrative state” and political fantasies (tariffs that don’t provoke retaliation, for example), Stephen K. Bannon and President Trump hoped to transform the GOP into an ethno-nationalist, pro-Russia party akin to the Alternative for Germany (AfD), the National Front in France and the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (headed by Geert Wilders). We will see how the European counterparts do in elections throughout the year, but so far the Trumpist GOP and its hodgepodge of ill-conceived ideas gleaned from Fox News (with its obsession over illegal immigration for which it provides oodles of incorrect data) have fallen flat. . .

Trump’s emotion-laden campaign promises turn to dust when he actually tries to implement them. In the real world, populism has few concrete, viable solutions to offer the United States. Not surprisingly, when Americans see how it works in practice, they recoil against the mean-spirited anti-immigrant measures, an alliance with anti-democratic kleptocrats and the reverse Robin Hood schemes that widen the inequality gap. Bannon’s mumbo-jumbo about 'deconstruction of the administrative state' apparently means a healthcare scheme which keeps much of Obamacare’s architecture (but favors rich people), enhanced police powers to go after hard-working immigrants and refusal to touch Medicare and Social Security. Populism hence becomes Robber Baron-ism.

Perhaps it took Trump to discredit the whole grab bag of ideas and remind us that putting 'America first' means maintaining leadership in the world, keeping markets open and staying true to our values."

Read the Washington Post, A populist agenda based on Fox News hooey fizzles.

Just remember, don't interrupt him, Trump is doing a great job of destroying  the Republi-CON party.

UPDATE:  "We shouldn’t blithely move on to other matters until we deal with the institutional carnage inflicted upon us by President Trump.

The current president of the United States has accused former president Barack Obama of committing a felony by having him wiretapped. But Trump refuses to offer a shred of evidence for perhaps the most incendiary charge one president has ever leveled against another. Trump recklessly set off a mighty explosion and his spokespeople duck and dodge, hoping we’ll pretend nothing happened.

If our republic had a responsible Congress, its leaders would accept their duty to demand that a president who shakes his country and the world with such an outlandish allegation either put up proof or apologize. . .

No one should act as if Trump didn’t warn us about his negotiable relationship with the truth. He laid it out in his 1987 bestseller, 'The Art of the Deal.' Trump wrote: 'I play to people’s fantasies. . . . People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.' . .

It is sad, to paraphrase the tweeter in chief himself, that Washington is now a city of avoidance, denial and deception. Whether he’s talking about policy or his political adversaries, Trump is simply not believable. And his friends in Congress are proving themselves no more trustworthy. Welcome to Fantasyland."

Read the Washington Post, Welcome to Trump’s Fantasyland.

As stated before, Trump is a psycho-narcissistic con man.

If you have any doubt, watch his press conference on February 16, 2017, where he "aired his grievances against the news media, the intelligence community and his detractors generally in a sprawling, stream-of-consciousness news conference that alternated between claims that he had 'inherited a mess' and the assertion that his fledgling administration 'is running like a fine-tuned machine.'"

Read the Washington Post, Trump says ‘I inherited a mess,’ blasts media and detractors at combative news conference.