Big Lie – Everyone Will Be Covered

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President Trump rode a populist wave into the White House.  He was embraced by those who felt that both parties and were ignoring their pain.  He promised to pay attention to their problems and get government working again for them.  He promised healthcare insurance for everyone that would cover more and cost less.  He also promised to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

His actions don’t reflect his promises.

His healthcare proposal is a tax cut for the rich disguised as a healthcare reform bill.  It repeals a Medicare tax on those with high incomes.  The loss of $117B over ten years accelerates Medicare insolvency by four years.

The bill does lower costs for the young and healthy at the expense of the most vulnerable older population who really need affordable insurance.  In its first version, it reduces the deficit more than Obamacare, but does so by driving older sicker people out of the subsidized insurance market.  While the latest version hasn’t been scored by the CBO yet, the math suggests that additional tax supports for older sicker people may keep more of them in the insurance pool.  That could easily bring the total saving down below those projected for Obamacare.  If that’s the case, Republicans are offering a plan that is more expensive AND covers fewer people.

The plan also caps Medicaid funding.  More uninsured will turn to expensive emergency rooms for care.  That drives healthcare costs back up.  If passed along with additional proposed budget cuts, it would be the largest social welfare cut in our history.

Republicans tout increased competition across state lines as the missing ingredient to lower insurance costs.  But Obamacare also encouraged selling insurance across state lines.  Six states implemented it.  No insurance companies chose to participate.  That’s because the barrier to entry is not state regulation, it’s the cost for insurance companies to setup provider networks.  The reasons why sparsely populated areas have few insurance providers is simple math.  The same counties that Trump said are currently underserved, will continue to be underserved in this proposed plan.

If you are still unconvinced, Medicare Advantage programs are federally regulated effectively providing the national economies of scale that Republicans tout.  97% of the counties in this country have limited choices for Medicare Advantage plans because of sparse population, not state regulation. 

Insurance premiums are driven primarily by costs of care.  Utah and Colorado have young healthy populations and low insurance costs.  An identical plan sold in Michigan costs more because of an older sicker population.

Expanding coverage to more people improves health and drives down costs.  That’s because those with insurance are treated by primary care physicians rather than in the emergency room.  They receive preventative care to keep them healthy rather than remediation when they are ill.  This plan doesn’t to that.  It’s regressive – punishing the poor, sick, and elderly in order to reward the wealthy.  Please tell your representatives that they have to do better if they want your vote.

3 Responses to “Big Lie – Everyone Will Be Covered”

  1. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Perhaps it is just coincidence, but last week Trump’s job approval ratings on Gallup hit new lows.

    What happened this week?

    1. Comey testified that there IS an ongoing investigation into relationships between the Trump campaign and Russia during the recent election.

    2. All claims that Trump was wiretapped by Obama during the election have been debunked.

    3. Information is coming out the Paul Manafort WAS in fact involved with Russians closely associated with Putin on a campaign to improve relationships with the US press and Congress. Manafort never submitted the proper registrations to conduct that activity.

    4. Trump and Ryan are perilously close to losing a vote to pass healthcare reform out of the House. If they can’t get it out of the House, there is no way that they are going to get is passed in the Senate. New CBO scoring will reflect the changes that were made to the original legislation to make it more palatable to moderates. Trump has put his credibility on the line in an effort to get Conservative members of the House in line.

    5. The WSJ published a blistering editorial describing the damage that Trump is doing to the credibility of the office of the President.

    If President Trump announces that North Korea launched a missile that landed within 100 miles of Hawaii, would most Americans believe him? Would the rest of the world? We’re not sure, which speaks to the damage that Mr. Trump is doing to his Presidency with his seemingly endless stream of exaggerations, evidence-free accusations, implausible denials and other falsehoods.

    6. Oh and that travel ban? Even more judges rejected it than the first one.

    7. And double oh, Devin Nunes, the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee who famously said “There’s no evidence of anything” regarding Trump and Russia has had to walk back his earlier statement. Now he says that there is a “gray cloud” of suspicion over the White House. They have begun investigations.

    IMHO, we are starting to see the effects of low job approval ratings that I predicted.

    Members of his own party are willing to hand him a public defeat rather than take a hard vote that may cost them with voters in their own district.

    Healthcare has proven far more difficult that Trump ever expected. His failure to keep his promise to those who voted for him will drive his approval ratings even lower. His failure to govern will start to erode the facade that he is some special person. Instead his lack of government experience coupled with his impulsive narcissism are proving to be a barrier rather than and asset to advancing his legislative agenda.

    The WSJ editorial will only be the first of a number of defections from the conservative press suggesting that it is now acceptable to hold Trump accountable to the same standard we’ve had for every other President. He has to tell the truth.

    Trump REALLY needs a win or this could all turn on him very quickly.

    It is still possible that he will get the win that he needs with healthcare, and that’s the reason he is pushing it so hard. Failure to get it passed, however, will reinforce the narrative that Trump is an ineffective executive as well as a liar. Not a good combination for an elected official.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    This NYT article is a great summary of the thin ice that Trump has created for himself.

    But it’s the obsessiveness and ferocity of Mr. Trump’s pushback against the Russian allegations, often untethered from fact or tact, that is making an uncertain situation worse.

    Mr. Trump’s allies have begun to wonder if his need for self-expression, often on social media, will exceed his instinct for self-preservation, with disastrous results both for the president and for a party whose fate is now tightly tied to his.

    “The tweets make it much more difficult for us as we try to build a case against these leakers,” said Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican who sits on the Intelligence Committee. “We always have to be answering questions about the tweets — it puts us on defense all the time when we could be building a case for the president.”

    And Mr. Trump’s fixation on fighting is undermining his credibility at a time when he needs to toggle from go-it-alone executive action to collaborative congressional action on ambitious health care, budget and infrastructure legislation.

    “I don’t always like what the president is saying,” the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, told The Washington Examiner last month. “I do think he frequently, by wading into other matters, takes attention away” from “the very substantial things we’re already accomplishing.”


    Over the past several weeks, Republicans in Congress and members of their staffs have privately complained that Mr. Trump’s Twitter comment on March 4 — the one where he called Barack Obama “sick” and suggested that the former president had ordered a “tapp” on his phone — had done more to undermine anything he’s done as president because it called into question his seriousness about governing.

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, weren’t you the guy who wanted to give Trump a pat on the back for the post election rally?

    Then you had better be prepared to give him a kick in the butt for how his policy fumbles have affected the market recently.

    Bank stocks have acted as the leader during the post-election rally but were the biggest drag during Tuesday’s market sell-off. One analyst thinks the trend has only just started.

    Bursting higher on a belief that stronger growth would boost interest rates while regulations would be rolled back, the industry has been on a tear. The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index is up more than 25 percent since Donald Trump won the presidency Nov. 8.

    However, analyst Dick Bove believes banks — he mentioned JPMorgan Chase specifically in a note to clients — have been rising for “the wrong reasons” and are in for a sell-off now that some realities have begun to sink in.

    Specifically, he sees the Trump agenda getting blocked as the White House remains mired in a fight over a new health-care plan and multiple other clashes and controversies on Capitol Hill.

    “There’s a reason why all these bank stocks are cratering. It’s because of the belief that none of the Trump programs will be put into effect,” Bove, vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, said in a phone interview. “There won’t be enough money in the government to allow for a tax cut and fiscal stimulus program if in effect the government can’t even pay the interest on the debt without borrowing the money.”

    Just curious if you are going to hold Trump accountable.

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