May 8, 2017
Trump’s latest health care bill passed the U.S. House. Trump celebrated by busing House Republicans to the White House rose garden for a victory lap.
Despite all of Trump’s blustering about what a great bill this was, the passage had nothing to do with improving medical care. It would make medical care in the U.S. more restrictive and 20 times more complicated. Even a Republican paper like the Chicago Tribune called Obamacare’s provisions on pre-existing conditions “simple” compared with the latest Trump plan.
With this bill, Trump and the Republicans are pandering to their right-wing base. It eliminates tax increases included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on higher-income people and health insurers. It cuts funding for the Medicaid expansion included in the ACA. It removes penalties on individuals and employers for not having or not providing health insurance.
It would defund Planned Parenthood by prohibiting states from direct spending of money from the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the new name for “Trumpcare”, on “prohibited entities” that are “primarily engaged in family planning, reproductive health, and related medical care” or “provide for abortions”. This would likely mean the closure of many clinics in rural areas that are the only available providers of medical care for women.
Trump’s plan still has to pass the Senate, where even the Republicans are not anxious to take the blame for it in its current form.
Trump knows that, but he just played an enormous game to give himself something to crow about. He needed some kind of victory after virtually every one of the many promises he made during his election campaign about the “great” things he was going to get done in his first 100 days in office fell completely flat.
Demonstrating the mentality of the dictator of a 23rd rate country in the 17th century, Trump maneuvered to finally give himself something to show a few days after his first 100 days were up. As far as the health of the population is concerned, Trump declares, “Let them use band-aids!”