Trump promised “insurance for everybody,” and, instead, slashed coverage to fund tax breaks for the wealthy

Back in 2015, at the outset of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump told the American people that, as President, he would replace Obamacare with something better, “something terrific.”

I am going to take care of everybody.” Trump told 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley. “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

And he continued to make such claims right through the election, and up until he took office.

Just two months ago, in fact, Trump promised the American people, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.”

In reality, though, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Far from it.

People all around the country woke up this morning to headlines like this one on the front page of the Arizona Republic, announcing that TrumpCare, if implemented, would mean that millions of Americans would lose the health insurance they currently enjoy.

And it’s not just a few million people. According to the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), TrumpCare would “increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million” over the next decade. And, not only that, but it would make health care more expensive for the elderly and the non-wealthy. It’s so bad, in fact, that the Brookings Institution today referred to the legislation as an act of “class warfare.” Here’s a clip.

…The Republican plan, released this week, would, if enacted… would cut off Medicaid coverage altogether to millions of low-income households. It would encourage states to cut Medicaid benefits for those who remain covered by eliminating federal cost sharing on additional outlays. It would reduce financial help to the old and the sick — those who have most difficulty affording health insurance. Meanwhile, it would extend subsidies to higher-income households, who need little or no help in affording insurance coverage…

The Republican plan would eliminate assistance with deductibles and copayments for low-income households. It would reduce the refundable tax credits ObamaCare provides to available to comparatively old and poor households to help them afford health insurance premiums. In contrast, the plan would increase credits available to most comparatively young and middle-income households. In addition, It would extend full assistance to higher income households most of whom can afford health insurance without assistance — by providing tax credits of as much as $8,000 to couples with incomes as high as $150,000 a year, two-and-one-half times the current limits under ObamaCare…

The Republican plan would also repeal a series of taxes that fall exclusively on high-earners and the wealthy. One of those taxes helps support Medicare. Its repeal would hasten depletion of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.

Overall, the plan would boost the number of uninsured and shift federal assistance away from some of the most vulnerable people in this nation, while cutting taxes for the richest. Exact estimates of each of these effects must await official reports from the Congressional Budget Office and other research organizations…

And that’s why the Republicans wanted to rush this to a vote, before people had an opportunity to read the bill, and before the CBO had an opportunity to weigh in. And it’s likely also why Trump has been so adamant about not wanting to refer to the legislation as TrumpCare. [As someone else pointed out, it’s telling that a man who puts his name on everything from tap water to second rate steak would turn down an opportunity to have an ambitious piece of legislation like this named after him.] He knows that, the more the American people know about it, the more they’ll hold it against him.

So, today, we’ve got Republicans everywhere trying to cast doubt on the CBO’s numbers, neglecting to mention, of course, that the CBO Director got his start in government as a Bush nominee, and took the job at the CBO with Paul Ryan’s support. This isn’t a Democratic “hit” job. These are just facts. But the Republicans know that the facts won’t help get this passed, so they’re spinning another narrative. Trump is calling the CBO numbers “unbelievable,” and Newt Gingrich is declaring that the “corrupt” CBO should be abolished. And that’s really all they’ve got. They can’t defend it on the merits. They can’t answer the American people who ask why, after eight years of promises, the Republicans have given them a plan that sees 24 million losing their health insurance. And those are the facts. 24 million Americans, mostly in red states, will be loseing their health care if this bill passes. And the rich will get richer.

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  1. Jcp2
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that calling somebody’s baby ugly, even if it is, is going to persuade that person to agree with you.

  2. Max
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Jcp2, this isn’t your run of the mill ugly baby, it has horns and a tail and takes joy in your plight. WTF are they thinking? It’s been said for years and year now, but how much more can the ‘middle class’ and poor folk take? Thinking about the end result if all of what’s being proposed by the Trump administration gets rammed through is some scary shit. I keep thinking of the future in the Terminator movies, with skulls being crushed under tank treads and drones chucking laser beams…or the fenced in regions in the Hunger Games. I know that these are paranoid elusions, but what power do the vast majority of people have? The days of armed militias having any sort of impact are over. They aren’t even masking their agenda. It’s almost like they’ve made up their mind that it’s too late to provide for everybody, so might as well start the war.

  3. Kat
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    How would you suggest we approach it, Jcp2? Should we ignore the fact that 24 million Americans will lose their coverage and focus instead on the good parts? What’s your strategy?

  4. Dan Blakeney
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Maybe he meant “everybody who’s anybody.”

  5. Jcp2
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I am assuming that you are referring to the voter component that moved from traditional Democratic to full-blown Trump. My guess is that they felt left out because of who they were and switched to somebody who acknowledged them, even though objectively they end up worse off. Identity, personal pride, and humiliation is a powerful thing.

  6. M
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Yeah, and maybe when he said “I’ll take care of you” he meant it in the same kind of way a mobster means it in the movies.

  7. Jcp2
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I obviously have no strategy for this. If I did, then somebody smarter than me would have a better one, and we would have a different president. I think focusing on the potential loss of coverage is useful, so long as it is removed from other messaging that implies that Trump supporters affected in a materially negative way are either stupid, foolish, deserving of their fate, or all three. I also don’t think that bringing up the rich getting richer trope will be helpful either. Just focus on the potential loss and what can be done to avert it and improve healthcare coverage in a nonpartisan manner. People want help and support, not condescending snark. But that’s just me, a rank political amateur talking.

  8. 88
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I must have missed the “condescending snark” Jcp2. Mark shared two quotes from Trump in which he said that he’d cover every American with his plan. He then shared the CBO analysis which said that approximately 24 million would lose their insurance with the Trump plan. Where was the condescending snark that you are objecting to? Is it condescending to mention facts now?

  9. Merrill
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Really I have little hope that the Trumper’s are going to pull their heads out of their collective ass at anything. I doubt Fox News and Breitbart are saying anything other than the lies that are spewing out of Trump, Spicer, Ryan, et al.

  10. Teacher Patti
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, Merrill. They a) think it won’t happen to them, b) don’t care as long as the non-whites don’t have something they don’t.

  11. Lynne
    Posted March 15, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I think that while there probably are some Trump voters who can be reasoned with, probably most of them…not so much. I agree that shaming them is about the worst strategy if that is one’s goal. However, pointing out how specific policies will affect them personally will. In fact, in general, most people (but especially conservatives), need things to get personal before they change their minds. Things will get personal for many of them but really most people and most Trump voters dont get their insurance from ACA so I am not counting on this issue changing enough minds.

    I think focusing on the people who didn’t vote may be a better strategy but not sure how to accomplish that without shaming them either other than to just generally encourage people to vote. Group dynamics being what they are, if you can get people to perceive that others in whatever group they identify with are voting, they will feel pressure to vote and will vote. I read someplace that if people read posts on FB about their friends voting, they are much more likely to vote. So that is the question. How do we get that 50% who doesn’t vote in presidential elections and the even greater number who don’t vote in midterms to vote? Difficult since most people are unable to connect the dots from the 2010 midterms to where we are now.

  12. Susan Gilchrist
    Posted March 16, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I think how they will spin it is that the newly uninsured are those who “chose” to not get insurance. It’s freedom of choice according to Paul Ryan.

  13. Meta
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Trump Budget Chief Says Obama Deep State May Be Behind Horrendous CBO Numbers for Trumpcare.

    From Talking Points Memo:

    It’s become the knee-jerk reaction for Republicans, in light of an ugly Congressional Budget Office analysis of their Obamacare repeal bill, to point the finger at the non-partisan research agency instead.

    Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney took it a step further this week, by questioning the abilities of Holly Harvey, the head of its health analysis division, to be non-partisan.

    “At some point, you’ve got to ask yourself, has the day of the CBO come and gone?” Mulvaney told the Washington Examiner Wednesday. “How much power do we give to the CBO under the 1974 Budget Act? We’re hearing now that the person in charge of the Affordable Health Care Act methodology is an alum of the Hillarycare program in the 1990s who was brought in by Democrats to score the ACA.”

    Read more:

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  1. […] So, having failed to bring this to a vote two times in the past, as they knew they didn’t have the votes, it looks as though the Republicans are going to try once again to push through tax breaks for the wealthy disguised as healthcare reform. […]

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