Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Health Care Edition

UPDATE II:  "Republicans have fanned across the talk shows to defend the bill, but what they have really revealed is that they can’t defend it without spewing all sorts of lies and distortions about what’s actually in it. . .

Republicans are broadly sidestepping any defense of what their bill actually does. . .

Untold numbers of people with preexisting conditions will be more vulnerable to losing coverage, financial ruin and, in certain cases, possibly death. Millions of lower-income people will lose coverage. Instead of arguing that these things are worth the trade-off of doing away with the mandate and the high-end taxes, Republicans who support the bill continue to deny that those things will happen at all, in the face of all evidence and expert analysis to the contrary."

Read the Washington Post, The health bill is a total disaster. That’s why Republicans keep lying about it.

Read also The New York Times, Republicans Party Like It’s 1984, which notes:

"[T]he Orwell-level dishonesty of the whole effort. As far as I can tell, every word Republicans, from Trump on down, have said about their bill — about why they want to replace Obamacare, about what their replacement would do, and about how it would work — is a lie . .

Trumpcare breaks every promise Republicans ever made about health. Deductibles will rise, not fall, as insurers are set free to offer lower-quality coverage. Premiums may fall for a handful of young, healthy, affluent people, but will rise and in many cases soar for those who are older (because age spreads will rise), sicker (because protection against discrimination based on medical history will be taken away), and poorer (because subsidies will go down).

Many people with pre-existing conditions will find insurance either completely unavailable or totally out of their financial reach.

And Medicaid will be cut back, with the damage worsening over time.

The really important thing, however, is not just to realize that Republicans are breaking their promises, but to realize that they are doing so with intent. This isn’t one of those cases where people try to do what they said they would, but fall short in the execution. This is an act of deliberate betrayal: Everything about Trumpcare is specifically designed to do exactly the opposite of what Trump, Paul Ryan and other Republicans said it would." 

UPDATE:  "House Republicans have been so fixated on passing anything that they now find it hard to defend their handiwork without resort to exaggeration, deflection and flat-out dishonesty. There is a surefire way to tell they are not accurately representing the bill: Fellow GOP senators want no part of it."

Read the Washington Post, GOP grownups debunk fake AHCA defenses

"There have been a slew of stories about Trump’s indifference to what was in the health-care bill. What he said he wanted repeatedly on the campaign trail isn’t what was passed, but that didn’t keep Trump from telling a Rose Garden audience on Thursday afternoon that the legislation would do things that outside analysis made clear that it wouldn’t. Of all the things we should have foreseen from a Trump presidency, this, in hindsight, is among the most obvious: Trump was more consistent about his desire to win than he was about what those wins would entail. His policy specifics are generally things championed by others: immigration by Stephen K. Bannon, child-care by Ivanka Trump. The thing Trump wanted to accomplish was to win. . .

There seems to have been a collective sense among the caucus, powered in no small part by the White House, that the win was the important thing. The New York Times reports that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was twisting every arm in sight in an effort to secure a passing majority, so much so that his famously warm relationship with fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan was strained. Kane reports that the positions of the House speaker and other Republican leaders were perceived as being in jeopardy if they couldn’t close the deal. With stakes like that, 217 becomes more important than 24 million — 217 votes was a stronger motivation than the 24 million people who would be uninsured in 2026 thanks to the bill’s passage. . .

It’s certainly not a coincidence that this episode occurred in a moment of unprecedented partisanship. A lot of Republicans across the country likely shared Trump’s attitude: The win was more important than what was won, especially since the win was a victory over the hated Obamacare.

The broader point can be made more simply. Why did Republicans have a Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate a bill moving out of one of the two chambers of Congress? Because the bill wasn’t the point. The passage was."

Read the Washington Post, It’s easy to win if you don’t care what you’ve won