The people who voted for Trump were, in the main, decent, hard-working family people. They are not bigots. They are not selfish. They really do care about the poor and the downtrodden. They were simply looking for someone to take care of their basic needs. Trump promised to do that. Specifically with respect to health care, he promised these good people that he would replace Obamacare with a health care program that would do three things: 1) [provide health care for more people, 2) provide coverage of more services, and 3) make it cheaper.
As I said long ago, and as everyone now seems to agree, the only way we can judge Trump is by his actions. His, and his legislature’s, first significant action has now taken place with the introduction of Trumpcare, the health care program otherwise titled the American Health Care Plan. In capsule, what Trumpcare does is 1) provide health care for far fewer people (with twelve million people likely to lose health insurance, 2) limit the services covered, and 3) raise the cost of medical care for most people. Oh, and there is a bonus feature: it provides substantial tax cuts for people making over $200,000 per year.
True conservatism, rational conservatism, has enormous merit. It seeks to cut waste, to promote efficiency, and to encourage all citizens to contribute to the best of their abilities. Trumpism, and the oligarchic right most perfectly characterized by House Republican leader Paul Ryan, wants none of that. Rather they essentially promote the interests of those with sufficient funds to support the re-election of those already in power. By offering Trumpcare, those presently in power have said to those solid, hard-working folks who voted them In that they really don’t give a damn about them. They have shown that disregard for those good-hearted votes in many ways — getting rid of safety regulations, taking steps to worsen rather than improve the environment for us and for our children and grandchildren, slashing funds for education, and more. What they are proposing to do with health care is a direct slap in the face of the people who voted them in.
Trump apparently made a discovery recently that health care is a complicated issue. He comes to that insight a little later than, say, the entire rest of the nation. However, there are some simple things about it. First, there are only two ways to cut the cost of health care: cut the cost of that care and spread that cost across more people. Second, health care cost gets cut only by having the power of collective bargaining with health care providers. Third, to get these things done we must have universal care. Obamacare was only a start in that direction. So the real problem with Obamacare is not that it wasn’t going in the right direction but rather that it didn’t go far enough.
Those presently in power got there by making some serious promises to the hard-working people who pay most of America’s bills. Their first actions show that they lied to those good folk. Our only recourse is to get them out of there as fast as we can.