Let’s do a little compare-and-contrast.
Today, Senate Republicans released their health-care proposal, which apparently is almost, but not quite, entirely like the abominable House plan:
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, who have promised a repeal of the Affordable Care Act for seven years, took a major step on Thursday toward that goal, unveiling a bill to make deep cuts in Medicaid and end the law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance.
The 142-page bill would create a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance, while offering states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment…
Anyone checking to see what the president of the United States had to say about it via his favored mode of communication was disappointed. He didn’t address it. Here are his last two Tweets as of this posting:
…whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017
How do you like that? He went into depth! Two whole Tweets on one topic! His other Tweets today were more or less in the usual “it’s all about me, and everybody else is to blame” mode.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who no longer gets paid to do this stuff, had this to say on Facebook:
Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.
I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.
We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.
Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.
And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.
We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.
At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.
That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.
But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.
The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.
I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?
To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.
That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.
After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.
See which you find more valuable…
What are the chances that Trump DID tape Comey, and is simply lying about it?
Maybe they have tapes and the attempts at doctoring them just wouldn’t pass scrutiny. Nah. I think it was just another Trump blustery bluff.
What Would Rachael Maddow Do? That’s what liberals want to know.
I agree 50-50, but taping takes forethought and preparation, so that might push the scale to the “they don’t exist” side, but then again he did ask everybody else to leave the room, so …… yea, probably 50-50.
I just did a test with my iPhone and recorde the ambient sounds in the room. This only required a few clicks. The TV was about 10 feet away with the volume about medium level. The playback was a bit low but clearly audible. A fancy recording system doesn’t seem necessary. Further the device does not use tape so saying their are no “tapes” is technically correct.
Interesting. Very good point.
Aw, that Obama ‘n all them, ya know, words ‘n such…sounds like one of them “lefty college professors,” which, as we know from your post on beards, is a terrible thing. Trump gets right to the point. MAGA! (More ailing, gasping Americans!)
Barack Obama was always too smart to go before the voters without shaving…
If anyone recalls, at this same point in Obama’s presidency, Fox News was making vicious fun of Obama’s uppity ways — he was caught using Dijon mustard on a hot dog! (Gasp!)
Wow, complex sentences expressing connected thoughts that relate care and concern for people.
I’ve missed that.
Sometime after I posted this, Trump got around to the Senate healthcare bill. Here’s everything he had to say:
In other news more insurance companies continue to pull out of states under Obamacare. I’ll even throw in a liberal-media CNN website article for those who refuse to believe it.
How do the brainwashed left continue to support Obamacare when in some states they’re down to only one insurance company that will provide coverage in that state? Isn’t a monopoly against what Democrats stand for?
I don’t know about the left, but I’m for a sort of monopoly — it’s called “single-payer.”
I’m not sure being against a monopoly is a Democratic thing, either. Seems more like a Teddy Roosevelt Republican thing. Do you have examples in mind?
So what about all of this competition Obamacare was supposed to bring? Companies would be fighting for your business… turns out you end up with the last company willing to stay in the state. Oh joy!!!
Like Obama said up there, “while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts”
There are things that could be tweaked to help more companies be competitive and stay in the marketplaces. Republicans have refused to work on fixing it, but instead of actively worked to sabotage the markets and hasten the situation which makes companies have to pull out.
Because you know, they have the best interest of Americans in mind, apparently.
They are actively trying to make Obamacare fail so they can push their far inferior reverse robin hood tax plan veiled as healthcare.
You identified exactly what the core of their plan is – a tax cut for high earners and very high passive income folks. The rest of the bill(s) is just dressing to try to get it passed without admitting the $1 trillion (over ten years) tax shift.
So let’s do the right thing, make a flat tax… or better yet a national sales tax. Everyone pays the same percentage of their income or spending.
Now let’s address why if you don’t work you get free health insurance, yet if you work you don’t qualify for any subsidies and your premiums, co-pay, out of pocket expenses skyrocket and your coverage decreases. There’s a point where it’s a better option financially to just take the penalty for not carrying health coverage.
That’s right. What’s your point?
By the way, my understanding is that one big factor in these decisions by these companies is that they expect the ACA to disappear with the GOP in charge. So they’re not investing effort in it.
In any case, the proper response to such a situation is to fix it so that companies aren’t abandoning it — get the situation back to when they were eager to sign on. Or going to single-payer. I vote for the latter.
By the way, the best way to fix the imperfect ACA would be to switch to a real mandate. Nobody opts out. (People who would chose to opt out are the very ones who need to be in so that the system is viable.) The penalty for doing so should be at least as much as what the individual’s premium would have been, and that fine should go into the system…
How about the government subsidies?
You don’t work… you qualify for 100% in subsidies. Nothing out of pocket.
You do work… sorry, you don’t qualify for any subsidies and your premiums will go up 300%, your co-pay will go up 400%, your out of pocket will go up 200%, and your coverage will drop to 50%.
And Brad wonders why people opt out.
So what was the factor in the years prior to this that caused companies to drop out? They were losing millions of dollars because Obamacare was poorly designed and poorly implemented.
Why aren’t Democrats calling for single payer? Who is taking the lead on that? It could even take the form of just dropping the Medicare age to 55 and bumping up the Medicare tax to compensate. Insurance companies should LOVE that as it removes a large segment of people who are more likely to require more healthcare. This is what is dumb about politicians… they can’t think incrementally. Has to be a major overhaul of everything at once trying to appease all the factions. Do ONE thing. Then do another. Then another. Over time, the system should improve. If Obamacare had just started with no denial of insurance and a single national plan that anyone could purchase, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
“So what was the factor in the years prior to this that caused companies to drop out?” I don’t know. I don’t even know if the repeal is because of Trumpcare. I just heard somebody saying that on the radio, and it stuck. (Now that I think of it, I should have explained that above. Anyway, that’s the source of “my understanding.”)
“Why aren’t Democrats calling for single payer?” Because they lack the guts. You know me; I’ve been complaining about that since 2007.
“This is what is dumb about politicians… they can’t think incrementally.” That seems to contradict what you said before. This IS doing it incrementally, if you want to have single-payer. Calling for single-payer is trying to do it all at once…
But doing single payer for everyone is very hard. Moving the Medicare age down to 55 is relatively easy and begins the process. Businesses would LOVE it. Insurance companies likely would be fine.
But trying to replace the entire insurance industry in one move isn’t incremental.
Bernie has advocated just such an approach for decades. But it’s a mute point Democrats have zero power. ALL problems with our healthcare system are the responsibility of the GOP at this point. They could have passed a suitable fix 3 months ago. So EVERYTHING wrong going forward is on them.
Bush’s fault… it’s always his fault.
Ha ha ha… After eight years of Obama Care, Republicans own health care. You understand that nothing can happen until next year, right?
Damn right the GOP owns it lock, stock and barrel now. They’ve obstructed in congress for 6 years and now they’re pushing this monstrosity of a plan that has insurers spooked. Obamacare was never given a full opportunity. Even so millions more are insured and in many states it’s working fine. The death spiral meme is nonsense.
How long does it take you to come up with this nonsense? Obamacare is failing because it was a bad bill just like the Republicans bill will be. Each is a flawed piece of garbage. Each was created by a majority with no compromise. At least the Republicans won’t create a website that is a laughingstock of government ineptitude.
If you vote for a Democrat who doesn’t support single payer, you’re part of the problem.
“Why aren’t Democrats calling for single payer?”
Democrats in CA tried, then scuttled their own efforts because of “fatal flaws” and because it “does not address serious issues such as financing”.