It’s impossible to fully understand policy wank Donald Trump’s stance on health care by viewing it through a rational prism. To really get it, you have to look to nature, red in tooth and claw.
Trump doesn’t like Obamacare because it has the word “Obama” in it. Full stop.
And it never mattered how awful the Republicans’ replacement bill was so long as it had Trump’s imprimatur. That automatically made it brilliant — just as a low-rent real estate seminar scam magically became a “university” by dint of Trump’s name and endorsement.
Trump doesn’t care about good government policy. He doesn’t care about helping the vulnerable. He doesn’t even really care that much about comforting the comfortable. That’s Paul Ryan’s shtick.
He cares about one-upping Barack Obama — the guy who (justifiably) left Trump’s guts on the floor at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He’s like a silverback gorilla who kills the offspring of his predecessor after taking over leadership of a new troop. His only game is dominance over everyone he views as his inferior — which amounts to everyone but him.
As has been obvious all along, Trump doesn’t really know what Obamacare is, nor does he understand health care policy as a whole. For example, in October he said, “All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare.” Almost all of Trump’s employees are covered through an employer-sponsored plan, and average employer-plan premiums have increased at a significantly slower rate since Obamacare went into effect.
And just a few months after promising Trumpcare would provide “insurance for everybody,” he touted the Senate and House ACA repeal-and-replace bills, which would have ripped health care away from more than 20 million Americans.
Then again, asking Trump to understand or care about health care policy is a little like expecting Sarah Palin to isolate the Higgs boson in her hot tub. Policy isn’t his thing. Yelling at the TV is his thing.
But Trump’s and the Republicans’ bumbling over the past few months has led to at least one concrete accomplishment: It’s made Obamacare more popular than ever. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll revealed that Americans prefer the ACA to the Republicans’ plan by a more than 2-to-1 margin. And with every idiotic, unworkable detail GOP lawmakers unveiled, Obamacare looked better and better. The ACA’s polling hasn’t been underwater since December.
So where are we now, after electing the more-cartoonish version of Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, and spending the past six months watching him fly into cliffs in an Acme Batman outfit?
Well, we’ve realized that not only did the clear majority of Americans want Hillary Clinton as their president, they also want her health care plan: i.e., keep Obamacare in place and build on it, fixing it where needed while enhancing care and affordability for everyone.
That’s what Congress should have been working on all along, but Republicans have wasted years undermining the ACA with political stunts. It took a callow billionaire dunce to reveal just how hollow their efforts were.
Donald Trump claims Obamacare is dead.
Long live Obamacare.