Section: OpinionsMarch 24, 2017
The new Republican health care plan will make sure all Americans are covered—unfortunately for many, that will be beneath enormous medical debt, and for still others it will be beneath six feet of soil. Trump was content to promise his voters the world before the realities of office set in. He boasted that “no one will lose coverage,” and further that “everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” Then when this feckless outside maverick with new insight to Washington ends up the supposed leader of the free world he says, “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
Aside from the delusions of grandeur that he would show up with some miraculous insight for an obvious fix, and beyond the egocentrism that pertinent realities only exist if he is privy to them (ahem, climate change), this is a profoundly moronic comment. That’s fine, though; we have come to set a low bar for the intellectual caliber of the most recent Republican presidents. In many ways this is not horribly unexpected.
Trump’s special sauce is that he is told the reality of the situation and persists nonetheless. He is not deterred by reason, save his own false rhetoric which he internalizes and believes. Trump said that Obamacare was a disaster and witnessed his constituents go wild with approval. Generally speaking, he makes up a “fact,” his audience cheers and ipso facto, the Affordable Care Act is in shambles, and he must replace it by any means.
The Republican Party is ill-equipped to combat the public’s feelings on this because, despite their mutterings about Obamacare since its conception, they have come up with no viable alternative. They have publicly endorsed reform while shying away from any discussion in which it was involved. The current iteration of health care in this country is not so far removed from Republican principles, considering it was a co-opted form of Governor Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts. Again, the political posturing and disapproval of the then-minority party is not particularly egregious, all things considered. Nor is it surprising that the Republican Party encouraged reform when it had no such intentions save political objection to the Obama administration.
The big issue currently is that the party of reform has been given their chance at the plate, and despite years of advocating for change, they have little more than vague platitudes and slogans to provide. Now the Trump plan that has been hobbled together is a disastrous downgrade that has left those at Republican town hall meetings rightfully enraged. What is Trump’s response to the public disapproval? Denial. He will do all in his power to ram his bill through Congress because he is a child who was never told no.
The final irony to all of this is his plan to get congressional approval. Trump has made uncashable promises to Congress as well, claiming that the Republicans will gain 10 Senate seats in the midterm elections if they vote with him on health care—which is about as likely as him upholding his election promises to the people.