Now that the GOP’s ACA “replacement” has slouched forth from Paul Ryan’s office, it’s already passed one important test: Donald Trump LOVES it! Yeah, sure, he said he wouldn’t support any plan that didn’t cover everybody, but surely you people don’t really expect the man to tell the truth ever, do you? Besides, there are lots of different ways to define “everybody,” and this plan will definitely cover everybody it covers, Mr. or Ms. SmartyPants!
Trump is already breaking his campaign promises right there, because when he originally said he would replace the Affordable Care Act, he was very specific that the new plan would be terrific, not wonderful. And those, along with “great” and “beautiful,” are the only positive adjectives the man knows. SAD!
Mind you, the RyanCare/Trumpcare/WeDon’tCare plan released Monday only addresses parts of the ACA that can be passed through the filibuster-proof budget resolution process, so assuming the R’s find 51 votes in the Senate to pass it and eliminate the ACA, they may or may not actually pass anything else at all, ever, because why would they go and do that? HHS Secretary Tom Price explained in a presser Tuesday that the whole thing is a “work in progress,” a starting point for further work in Congress. Who knows what final form it’ll take? Maybe single payer, maybe Death Panels for all. He also had this very reassuring answer to a question about whether people would lose coverage under TrumpCare:
Holy crap, listen to how Price ignores the very important second part of this question, will millions lose insurance? pic.twitter.com/ubjQdnBX8p
— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) March 7, 2017
That’s what you get for asking a two-part question. Can Price guarantee the plan won’t explode the deficit or leave millions without healthcare? Answer: “What I can say is that the goal and the desire — I know — of the individuals on the Hill is to make certain that this does not increase the cost to the Federal government.” So there you go! Nice to see someone in Washington believes in giving a straight answer.
Apparently, nobody told Sean Spicer the House plan is a first draft, as he’s certain it’s perfect as it is, though in 24 hours we’re certain he’ll say he never said this, right here:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 7, 2017
This is the Obamacare replacement plan that everyone has been asking for, the plan that the president ran on, and the plan that will ultimately save the system.
Or maybe it’s Phase One of that plan, said Trump several hours earlier:
Maybe the “covering everybody” part will be rolled out in part 8 or 9, to be introduced in 2022. Or Never.dead set against TrumpCare, because it’s not their true free-market dream of a wholesale immediate repeal of the ACA. Utah Rep. Jim Jordan, head of the House Freedom Caucus, repeated his objection to anything other than ACA repeal and nothing more, calling the AHCA “Obamacare in a different format” and complaining the plan created “a new entitlement.” Justin Amash, another member of the Teabagger Caucus, won points for succinctness, tweeting that RyTrumpCare was “Obamacare 2.0.” The Atlantic points out that with over 30 members, the Brain-Free Caucus could sink the plan all by themselves, since no Democrats will vote for it, either. At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Jordan and the Freedom Caucus, along with Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee, promised to immediately introduce a clean repeal bill only.
And then there were the rightwing think tanks! FreedomWorks complained TrumpCare’s provision to let insurance companies raise rates 30% on anyone who goes without insurance for two months is “the Republican Individual Mandate.” Even before the proposal was released, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity insisted House Leaders et al. need to “go back to the drawing board” and do something really conservative. The president of Heritage Action, Michael Needham, seemed to think there was some kind of contest to see who could hate the proposal most, issuing a press release with a headline complaining the GOP plan had failed to “move past Obamacare’s Progressive Promise,” although the text made it clear they meant “premise” — Promise is entirely too positive:
“Many Americans seeking health insurance on the individual market will notice no significant difference between the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare) and the American Health Care Act. That is bad politics and, more importantly, bad policy.
“Rather than accept the flawed premises of Obamacare, congressional Republicans should fully repeal the failed law and begin a genuine effort to deliver on longstanding campaign promises that create a free market health care system that empowers patients and doctors.”
What would such a plan look like? THAT’S SECRET! It would be free-market and cheaper, OK? It just would. The Club for Growth not only condemned the proposal, dubbing it “RyanCare” because real conservatives hate that progressive RINO bastard, but went a step further and threatened to give any Republican voting for the AHCA a bad score on their annual conservative report card. Mark Levin’s dumb website is calling the Ryan proposal “RINOcare,” because a truly conservative plan would reinstate indentured servitude as a form of payment for health care, probably.
And then there are the four really evil Senate RINOs who are against the House proposal because they have this crazy idea that it might be politically risky for Republicans to push millions of people off Medicaid, which seems almost progressive by comparison. What’s up with those guys?
On Monday, four Republican senators — Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — signed a letter saying a House draft that they had reviewed did not adequately protect people in states like theirs that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
So in addition to condemning TrumpCare, FreedomWorks had to prove it’s got the biggest conservative balls of all by labeling the four “turncoats” and suggesting in a press release they may belong in jail, or at least be called cucks or something:
“Sens. Portman, Capito, Gardner, and Murkowski would be in jail with Bernie Madoff if they had orchestrated such a fraud in the private sector. They have scammed the American people.
“They supported a strong repeal bill when they knew President Obama would never sign it, and now they won’t support the same language because President Trump might sign it,” [national director of campaigns] Noah Wall said.
And how about Democratic condemnation of the proposals? Yeah, Democrats all say it sucks. For the moment, though, it’s looking like the Republicans may be too busy sniping at each other to need any help from Democrats in leaving the ACA in place.
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