Paul Berger: Latest in a long list of suckers
April 16, 2017
Remember when, on the campaign trail, Donald Trump bragged that he was the only Republican candidate who pledged not to cut Medicaid?
A few short weeks ago, he said this: "We're going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us." People covered under the law "can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better" (Washington Post, Jan. 15).
So now Paul Ryan reveals his health care plan and it features massive cuts to Medicaid. Rather than covering "everybody," the plan will result in 24 million fewer Americans having health coverage by 2026, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Ryan's bill unabashedly guts health coverage for millions of poor and underemployed while giving a huge tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy.
A "presidential" Trump would have told Ryan, "wait a minute, Paul. I promised America that everyone will be covered and that it would be better coverage at lower cost. I said no cuts to Medicaid. What the hell is this turkey? Go back and rewrite the bill."
But Trump didn't. Instead, he backed the bill.
Should we be surprised? Remember, this is the same guy who pushed the Big Lie that the President was born in Africa, then dropped it when it no longer suited him. This was the only person in the country who saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheer when the twin towers came down. This was the man who vowed to sue every one of the 12 women who came forward to say he sexually assaulted them, after he bragged that he did just that (we are still waiting). This is the president who, based on no evidence, asserted that 3 to 5 million illegal immigrants came out to vote for his opponent and that his predecessor wiretapped his home (can you believe he misspelled the word "tap"?). No one who voted for this man should be surprised when his promises turn out to be as worthless as a degree from his fake university.
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Now, the word is out that Trump plans to hang the label "Ryancare" on the bill and watch it go down in flames along with Ryan, who would become a convenient scapegoat.
It is a fact that tens of thousands of people previously covered by Obamacare's health care subsidies will die needlessly if Ryan's bill passes. If that's the case, Ryan could arguably go down as one of the worst mass murderers in American history.
On the other hand, if Ryan's bill sinks, he will become just the latest in Trump's long list of suckers.
Paul S. Berger lives in Nevada City.