Zombie ‘Trumpcare’ is not the health care Trump promised his voters


Here are two good breakdowns on how the Zombie “Trumpcare” bill is not at all the health care that our egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief and pathological liar Donald Trump promised voters during the campaign.

First, Phillip Bump at the Washington Post reports,  This is not the health-care bill that Trump promised (excerpt):

How does the American Health Care Act aka Zombie “Trumpcare” stack up to Trump’s January pledge?

Trump promised insurance for everybody.
The AHCA would probably result in 24 million more uninsured people by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the original GOP bill.

Trump promised lower “numbers” and lower deductibles.
The AHCA would probably have higher deductibles. The CBO anticipates that they will be higher under the AHCA than they would have been if the ACA were kept, thanks to a change in the actuarial values used in determining plan costs.

Trump promised “much less expensive” coverage.
The AHCA would probably mean that customers would eventually see lower premiums — after premiums increased, pricing more-expensive patients out of the market.

Trump promised that people who can’t pay for coverage would still receive coverage.
The AHCA would probably reduce the number of lower-income people with coverage. This is in part because they will receive less government support to pay premiums. It’s also in part because the Republican bill cuts funding to Medicaid, meaning that millions fewer people would be covered under the program.

Trump promised that policies would be “much better” and that people could expect to have “great health care.”
The AHCA would probably reduce the quality of insurance plans, thanks to late amendments that would allow states to get waivers so that insurers could separate coverage items out of the default package. The cost of plans would go down — but people who find themselves needing coverage for something that had been removed would end up paying much more.

This is only the set of promises Trump made to The Post in January. He made other commitments even after inauguration that haven’t been met. He pledged repeatedly to protect funding for Medicaid, which is threatened under the AHCA. Just last week, he made another explicit promise.

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Trump promised that the plan would take “care of preexisting conditions.”
The AHCA would probably increase costs for a substantial number of people who have preexisting conditions, as our fact-checkers noted Thursday.

Trump’s promise to cover everyone more broadly and for less money was always an impossibility, akin to saying that you were going to have your cake, eat your cake — and give everyone in America the same cake, which would feed them forever. But based on the comments he made at the unusual Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate the passage of the House bill, it’s still not clear that he admits that what was passed diverges from what he promised.

Next, Steve Benen writes, Republicans betray those who believed their health care promises:

While most Republican rhetoric about health acre has been vague and unhelpful, at various points in recent months leading GOP officials have made a variety of specific promises. Today, with the passage of their regressive and unpopular American Health Care Act, those promises have been blithely cast aside.

1. Donald Trump vowed, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody…. Everybody’s going to be taken care of.” The Congressional Budget Office, scrutinizing an earlier version of the GOP legislation, projected that the ranks of the uninsured would grow by 14 million by next year, and that number would expand to 24 million by 2026. There’s no new CBO score, but by most estimates, the new total is expected to be even higher.

2. Trump promised, “I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” The Republican slashes Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars.

3. Trump insisted the Republican plan would cover consumers with “much lower deductibles.” While the CBO report points to a range of cost changes, based largely on age, it also found millions of Americans would pay higher deductibles.

4. Trump vowed the GOP policy would offer “lower premiums” for consumers. The Republican plan would actually raise premiums considerably.

5. The House Republican leadership assured the public, in writing, “Americans should never be denied coverage or charged more because of a pre-existing condition.” The version of the GOP bill that passed today would gut protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

6. Trump “guaranteed” that pre-existing-conditions protections “are in the bill,” because he personally “mandated” it. The protections aren’t in the bill.

7. Paul Ryan vowed the Republican approach will make sure that “no one is left out in the cold” and “no one is worse off.” Tens of millions of Americans will be worse off if the GOP plan becomes law.

8. HHS Secretary Tom Price vowed that “nobody will be worse off financially” as a result of the Republican plan. That might be funnier now if it weren’t so sad.

9. Price said the GOP plan “will, in fact, cover more individuals than are currently covered.” This is, of course, the opposite of the truth, and even most Republicans have backed away from this kind of rhetoric.

10. Trump said his approach to health care would “end [the] opioid epidemic in America” and “dramatically expand access to treatment slots.” The opposite appears to be true.

If you’re one of those Americans who took the Republican promises seriously, and were counting on GOP leaders to keep their word, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you.

It’s plainly obvious that Republicans have betrayed those who believed their health care promises. To date, GOP leaders – including Trump and Ryan – haven’t even tried to defend these broken commitments.

Will Trump and Tea-Publicans ever pay the price for their lying to voters to get elected, and purposefully harming them with the American Health Care Act aka Zombie “Trumpcare” (if  it is enacted)?

Or as Thomas Edsell of the New York Times reframes the question, “Is Trump’s ability to give voice to the anger and resentment of his constituents adequate to offset his broken promises and what his enemies trumpet as his failure to improve the lives of those who voted for him?” President Trump Is the Enemy of Their Enemies:

[T]there are a number of ways for Trump to maintain support among his voters without delivering the tangible economic or social benefits he promised.

First of all, the bulk of Trump’s supporters have nowhere else to go, nor do they want to go anywhere. They experience themselves as living in a different world from liberals and Democrats.

Their animosity toward the left, and the left’s animosity toward them, is entrenched.

Trump’s basic approach — speaking the unspeakable — is expressive, not substantive. His inflammatory, aggressive language captures and channels the grievances of red America, but the specific grievances often feel less important than the primordial, mocking incivility with which they are expressed. In this way, Trump does not necessarily need to deliver concrete goods because he is saying with electric intensity what his supporters have long wanted to say themselves.

The same as they hear from the GOPropagandists on hate talk radio every day.

In other words, Trump can go either left or right as he betrays his campaign promises — as long as his followers believe that he is standing with them and is against what they’re against.

It is a political movement built on anger and hatred towards “others.” As Trump would tweet: “Sad!”

UPDATE: Charles Pierce at Esquire agrees with Thomas Edsell’s assessment of Trump voters. The Resistance Cannot Wait Until 2018:

[A]s much as I hate to doubt the good heartland people who voted for this guy [Trump], I think they’d react worse to losing an illusory victory over “Them” than they will to losing their actual healthcare. For the foreseeable future, Republican politicians, House and Senate, remain more threatened by the wrath of The Base than they are by any unfortunate mother and child who pop up on the local news. Whatever emerges from this process will be a Republican bill, thickly coated in banalities about freedom and marketplace solutions, but with nothing resembling a commitment to the same goals that animated the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

And about putting your faith in Senate GOP “moderates” to stop this terrible bill:

And, no, I don’t have any faith in Republican “moderates” in the Senate. They fold like cardboard in a downpour. They vote as moderates when given permission to do so, and only if there’s a safe one in the bag. I have seen the film, Susan Collins: Prisoner of Conscience, so often I can recite the dialogue. The third act is always predictable.

This is what Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo calls the Iron Law of Republican Politics: the ‘GOP moderates’ will always cave. Always.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. You are correct, AzBM, it is not the plan he promised. But he keeps his supporters in his corner by convincing them that it kills Obamacare and that is sufficient to keep them satisfied.

    • Low information voters won’t react until they’ve lost something that they need, something very basic like a job or their house or healthcare they’ve had for the first time with the ACA. In the interim, Trump can lie and they will believe him or let him get away with it lying. But apparently, they need to see the wolf at the door before they finally believe they have voted against themselves. And even then, it doesn’t mean they would vote for a Democrat.

      • So I guess it would be interesting to hear them now. All they can hope for is that the Senate will save them.

  2. still in the latest poll when asked if the 2016 election were held today who would you vote for trump 43% clinton 40% johnson4% stein 4% 95% of trump voters say they still support him.

    • They haven’t lost anything yet. When it comes, the ones who lose might feel differently. But right now, Trump lies and they believe it. Then comes that day when the insurance card doesn’t work anymore, and if they finally understand what they did to themselves, it will be too late. They’ll die quietly and no one will notice. Then, in the next presidential election, they’ll vote for the GOP candidate, and so goes the cycle of their lives.

      • “Then, in the next presidential election, they’ll vote for the GOP candidate…”

        I meant the ones who aren’t already dead although maybe some of them will vote too.

  3. I certainly can’t quarrel with what you have said but I think we all are missing the fundamental question.
    The U.S. spends something like 17% of GDP on health care while all the other developed countries spend 11% or less. If we are going to get anywhere on making healthcare universal and affordable we have to reduce that 17%. The question is—Where will the money come from? Our system currently spends on people (doctors, nurses, etc.), pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, hospitals, insurance companies and other ancillary cost-centers. Which ones are going to get less?
    I have yet to see any reasonable discussion of this question.

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