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[dc]“H[/dc]e’s only doing what he said he would do,” is the refrain of Trump supporters as the rest of us bemoan the damage. That has been the case on many fronts to this point: most notably with the wrecking ball applied to the EPA, the budget that trashes most domestic programs in order to finance a huge increase in the military budget, an Education Secretary committed to undermining public schools, a Housing and Urban Development Secretary who doesn’t believe in public housing, and the list goes on, and on.

Will Trumpcare Pass

#TrumpCare #EmergencyRoom—John Peeler

But with the rollout of the plan to replace Obamacare, the first major legislative initiative under Trump, the pattern is decisively broken. The bill being rammed through the House of Representatives is a complete betrayal of Trump’s promises and a stab in the backs of his working class supporters, who won’t be able to afford insurance to cover treatment of the stab wound. Back to the Emergency Room!

The bill being rammed through the House of Representatives is a complete betrayal of Trump’s promises and a stab in the backs of his working class supporters, who won’t be able to afford insurance to cover treatment of the stab wound. Back to the Emergency Room!

Trump famously promised that there would be coverage for everyone, at a fraction of the cost under Obamacare. The reality of this bill is the opposite. By abolishing the mandate for everyone to have insurance, the young and healthy are let off the hook, while insurance companies are allowed to raise rates, as they will have to do to cover an older, less healthy insured population. While Obamacare permitted insurers to charge older customers up to three times more than younger ones, this bill lets them charge up to five times more. So those over 60 will pay more.

And while the mandate is eliminated, there is a new, substantial penalty if you have access to an employer-provided health care plan and fail to enroll, or if you let your coverage lapse and then try to regain coverage.

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The overall pattern is that virtually everyone will pay more for health care, except those with incomes over $75,000.

Moreover, the process by which this monstrosity is being imposed is shamefully cynical. The bill was developed in secret by the House Republican leadership (it’s not clear how much the White House was involved), and pushed through the relevant committees with no public hearings where those affected could provide input. Thus, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and several other organizations from the health care sector have publicly opposed the bill, but have to date had no opportunity to testify about it. The AARP, whose opposition doomed the Clinton plan in the 1990s, and whose support helped the Obama plan in 2010, has come out in opposition to this one.

A bill that will transform the health care options of virtually everyone is to be adopted essentially without data, without input from those affected. The Republicans, Trump included, have boxed themselves into a commitment to abolish Obamacare immediately, and this bill does that, but without putting forward a serious replacement plan. Trump apparently has no plan himself; he is publicly supporting the House bill and apparently doesn’t care that it transparently fails to fulfill the promises he made in the campaign, and even since taking office.

Passage of this version is quite uncertain. With unified Democratic opposition, Trump and the GOP leadership also face rebellion among conservatives who deride the bill as Obamacare Lite. Republican moderates in the Senate have enough votes to deny the bill a majority, and there are also conservatives in the Senate (like Rand Paul) who agree with the House conservatives. So this bill is probably an opening gambit.

But what if it actually passes in something like this form? His supporters have been convinced by years of propaganda that Obamacare must be repealed, so they would be pleased, initially. But how will they feel next year when their premiums double? This is not what Trump said he would do.

john peeler

John Peeler