aside Dear President-Elect, Please Don’t Pull A Bait And Switch, Part II (Obamacare)

Signing of Obamacare
Signing of Obamacare

Here is what the republican President-elite Donald Trump has promised his followers on numerous occasions on the campaign trail regarding “Obamacare, (We’ll) “Get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something “terrific” that is “so much better, so much better, so much better.” This pledge would be consistent with his two all-encompassing  commitments to his followers that he would always act to make America safer and that he would not do anything to harm the American average worker and family.

But, here is where “we the people” have to ensure that the conservative republicans follow-up in the spirit of these promises. I find it incredulous that when the republicans take steps to repeal “Obamacare,” that they will be replacing it with something “terrific” that is “so much better, so much better, so much better.

Image result for photo of price hhs
GA. republican Tom Price is Trump’s pick to be HHS secretary./ He has a record of vowing to repeal Obamacare.

Dana Milbank talks about this in his 12/20/16 Washington Post report, “Trump voters didn’t take him literally on Obamacare. Oops?” The following is what he wrote:

Donald Trump’s supporters, in conservative writer Salena Zito’s memorable formulation, take him seriously but not literally.

“They will be forgiving if, say, he doesn’t literally get Mexico to pay for a border wall, or if he doesn’t literally ban all Muslims from entering the United States.”

“But in other areas, Trump’s supporters perhaps should have taken him literally — because they now may have a serious problem.”

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“Vox senior editor Sarah Kliff wrote a poignant account last week of her visit to Whitley County, Ky., where the uninsured rate declined 60 percent under Obamacare but 82 percent of voters supported Trump. There, Kliff, a former Post colleague, found Trump voters who were downright frightened that the president-elect would do exactly — literally — what he and Republicans promised: repeal Obamacare.”

“Among those she found was Trump voter Debbie Mills, a store owner whose husband awaits a lifesaving liver transplant; they got insurance through Obamacare, and Mills is hoping the law won’t be repealed.”Image result for democratic cartoons about republicans on obamacare

“I don’t know what we’ll do if it does go away,” Mills said. “I guess I thought that, you know, [Trump] would not do this. That they would not do this, would not take the insurance away. Knowing that it’s affecting so many people’s lives. I mean, what are you to do then if you cannot . . . purchase, cannot pay for the insurance?”

“Mills, who supported Trump for other reasons, figured Obamacare repeal was just talk. “I guess we really didn’t think about that, that he was going to cancel that or change that or take it away,” she said. “I guess I always just thought that it would be there. I was thinking that once it was made into a law that it could not be changed.”

“Others who didn’t take Trump literally may soon face the same dilemma. The Urban Institute estimated this month that under the partial repeal plan previously passed by Republicans in Congress, 30 million people would lose insurance, 82 percent of them would be in working families and 56 percent would be white. Among adults who would lose insurance, 80 percent don’t have college degrees.”Related image

“The people hit the hardest are a lot of the demographics that went heavily for Trump,” observes Bob Greenstein, who runs the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal number-crunching group.

“And it’s not just Obamacare. Take — literally — Trump’s “Penny Plan,” which would reduce non-defense discretionary spending by 1 percent each year for 10 years. It’s one of the more modest of Trump’s promises, yet Greenstein’s group calculates that, once inflation is factored in, it would require the government to cut by a third what it spends on such things as cancer and medical research, highways, air traffic, the Coast Guard, job training, education, Pell Grants, housing, energy, child care and food assistance, the administration of Social Security and Medicare, national parks, NASA, the IRS, Congress and the courts, disaster assistance, global health and diplomatic protection (remember Benghazi?).”Related image

“Take literally Trump’s promise to exempt public safety (the FBI, border control and the like), and other cuts would have to be even deeper. If you suspend credulity and take literally Trump’s promise to eliminate the entire federal debt in eight years, “you would have to eliminate very large parts of the federal government,” Greenstein says. Who needs a military, anyway?”

“Many of the functions that would necessarily face the ax under Trump’s promises — job training, education, child-care assistance and the like — benefit groups that were Trump’s strongest supporters. The cuts would disproportionately hurt red states in the South, mountains and plains that receive far more in federal spending than they pay in taxes.”

“Such actions, undertaken by Trump and his Cabinet of billionaires, bankers and business tycoons, could cause some of those working-class Trump supporters to regret that they didn’t take Trump’s campaign utterances literally.”Image result for democratic cartoons about republicans on obamacare

“Already, GOP lawmakers are trying to soften the blow. The current GOP plan to eliminate Obamacare is repeal and delay: postponing implementation of the repeal by as long as three years.”

How would things work after repeal? As a preview of post-Obamacare treatment, Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga offered a personal example to the Michigan news site Mlive: When his son injured his arm, he saved money by not taking him to an emergency room, instead visiting a doctor the next day and discovering that it was broken.

Delaying treatment of a broken arm? Trump backers such as those Kliff met in Kentucky may have reason to regret they didn’t take Trump literally before. Mills, the woman whose husband awaits a liver transplant, said she was frightened to learn Obamacare could be repealed without a replacement in hand: “I’m afraid now that the insurance is going to go away and we’re going to be up a creek.”

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6 comments

  1. Gronda, great post. From a Kaiser Health survey a large majority of Americans want the ACA kept, but improved. Even a slight majority of Republicans feel the same way. We need to consider the risk corridors to aid with adverse selection fully funded, a public option where choices are few or only one, and an expansion of Medicaid in the 19 remaining states. The dilemma for my old party is the ACA is largely a Republican idea borrowing heavily from Romneycare, which was supported by the Tea Party leadership for the whole country. When people don’t believe me when I mention this, I ask them to Google Senator Jim DeMint and Romneycare and just read as much or little as they want to.

    People cannot show up at their doctor with an ID Card that says “Something Terrific.” From the outset, our President=elect has shown a terrible lack of understanding of what the ACA is and does.

    Keith

    • Dear Keith, Our president-elect just resorts to popular republican talking points, like “repeal Obamacare.” You are so right when you say, he doesn’t know what he is talking about on this subject. He talks about medical costs soaring. The U.S. has seen the least rate of inflation regarding medical costs in years, which is due to Obamacare. The problem is that medical insurance rates are rising.

      Obamacare does need fixing. But one solution would be to tackle the pharmaceutical companies that need to be brought to task for charging exorbitant pricing. There are other steps like the public option that you mentioned.

      Ciao, Gronda

      • Gronda, that is a key factor. Other countries forbid passing along R&D costs, so America absorbs the R&D costs which is one reason the same drug costs more here. Plus, we are the most obese country in the world and are getting older. Plus, we over-utilize services with some hospitals incenting greater use. Finally, the ACA is seeing higher costs due to defunding of the risk corridors and adverse selection.

        That is why we need to carefully explore options of fixing the ACA. To say it has been a disaster is a misnomer. Yet, it needs improving. Keith

  2. I’m going to sound judgemental and heartless:

    Mills says: “I don’t know what we’ll do if it does go away,” Mills said. “I guess I thought that, you know, [Trump] would not do this. That they would not do this, would not take the insurance away. Knowing that it’s affecting so many people’s lives. I mean, what are you to do then if you cannot . . . purchase, cannot pay for the insurance?”

    What Mills is not saying is that she thought that ‘Whites’ would be safe from the GOP vendetta against using the government to provide essential services to people who can’t afford them.

    The racists of the South having pulled this stunt on themselves for over 40 years and for over forty years
    they’ve blamed ‘liberals’ for the drop in the quality of their lives.

    Forgive me if I reserve my pity for one of the many children of color who had Christmas in a homeless shelter this year.

    I have never voted to deprive Mills of her rights as a citizen. She can’t say the same about me.

  3. Dear Rob,

    Mrs. Mills is in for a rude awakening. DT promised his followers over and over again while he was campaigning, that he would repeal Obamacare, but he would substitute another plan that was a lot more terrific.

    Let’s see what happens. Fact is that so many now depend on Obamacare. I know conservatives who have family on Obamacare.

    Hugs, Gronda

Comments are closed.