Donald Trump has at least one supporter who believes his ridiculous claim that Mexico will reimburse the United States for his multi-billion dollar wall (that will probably be a fence).
On last night’s Hannity show, a totally fair and balanced panel of three conservative Trump supporters, not counting host Sean Hannity, first enthused about having taken steps to repeal Obamacare.
“The most important thing, Sean, is we actually repeal it,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said excitedly.
But while Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) glowingly insisted there is a Republican plan for replacing it, the only feature in it she mentioned is removing blocks from buying health insurance across state lines. She insisted the upcoming GOP plan would ensure health care “in a more cost-effective manner” but she said nothing about it being less costly for patients.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) was another Republican who seemed more interested in repealing Obamacare than in replacing it. He thought repeal should be done “first and foremost.” He said nothing about what should take its place.
Gohmert was just as enthusiastic about the wall along the Mexico border that would probably cost between $15-25 billion. Even though the “wall” will more likely be a fence, that cost will still be many billions. Trump's promise to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it was a signature campaign promise and he has stuck with it even though Mexico's president has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of ponying up for a wall he considers insulting to his people.
Gohmert, however, insisted Mexico will not only pay but will “want to pay us” for the cost because a wall will be so wonderful for the country.
GOHMERT: We can go ahead and let a wall start being built and I do think that Mexico is ultimately gonna realize that once we cut off the flow of drugs back and forth and the people that are paying the drug cartels to come across, then Mexico quits being such a corrupt country with all the drug cartels and they’re gonna want to pay us. They’ll zoom up to being not 62nd in the number…
Hannity probably knew that was crazy. But rather than challenge a fellow Trumpster, he interrupted and changed the subject. And, in a bad sign for the GOP to come, Hannity changed the subject to challenge the Republicans for running up the debt in their budget.
See for yourself how the Republican priorities have little to do with helping ordinary Americans below, from the January 13, 2017 Hannity.
And check out what Rand Paul proudly announced today – his new version of Health Care (one of the various options the GOP will spend the next two years arguing about). Heavy on the HSA idea. Heavy on the idea of small businesses all trying to band together and somehow form a group plan together – which is great if you believe all these guys are going to work together on their own to do this. Bearish on the idea of expanded Medicaid – Paul knows this was a popular part of the ACA, so his idea is to defund it and demand the states raise taxes to pay for it themselves. (He helpfully leaves out the fact that GOP legislators all sign this Grover Norquist pledge to never raise taxes, so in fact that’s not an option)
And Paul is trying to present this as a humane and workable alternative to the ACA. It is anything but. It’s basically a “You’re on your own, pal” plan. Essentially the same thing as where we were before the ACA, only with an option for these fictional group plans. I predict it’s dead on arrival, and Paul knows that. He just wants to be able to say that he had a plan he was proposing that “could have taken care of everyone” when all of this gets mired in the internal debates the GOP is going to have for some time to come.
In the meantime, the ACA will be gone, and its participants should be thinking about what actions they will take for their health care for the next four years. There is no way this train is stopping at this point. They all have spent the past 6 years campaigning on getting rid of it – they HAVE to do that. So they will. The “Repealing is Replacing” argument will work for some of them when they’re challenged about what they’ve done. For the rest, they’ll just blame the Dems for not helping them. I’m really hoping the people who had ACA coverage will remember how angry they are when the next round of elections happen in 2018.
The speed with which the GOP is moving tells me that undocumented immigrants should be watching their rear ends – they’re next in the crosshairs.
And I heard a law professor point out this morning that Jeff Sessions’ dodging answer that he would “follow the law” when dealing with the instructions from the Pence White House is actually a meaningless statement. If “the law” was crystal clear on everything, we would not need courts to decide anything. The key to the Justice Dept and to the Judiciary is the INTERPRETATION of the law. That’s why it’s crucial to get judges who aren’t so wildly biased in fringe ideas like “originalism” and why it makes a difference if the Attorney General is someone like Loretta Lynch or someone like Jeff Sessions.
First and foremost, no matter how hard a person doc shops they’ll never get a cheaper rate than health insurance companies with their huge buying power will be able to negotiate on behalf of the insured.
Next, try to negotiate with your local pharmacy over prescription drug prices.
Then, of course, the assumption with HSAs is you’ve got to have savings to build them up. Read the reports on the pitiful amount of money many Americans have saved. How many are the rust belt Trump voters? ACA subsidies were a godsend to low income folks.
All these idiotic ideas were discussed at a summit Obama held with Republicans while ACA was under development. If I recall, optimistically it was projected to cover 3 million.
It’s a big goddamn border.
Just a few days ago, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newson announced that California could stop the wall in our state citing environmental laws that could be tied up in the courts for years. Wouldn’t that be a pisser, Donald?
Doesn’t that guy realize that’s why his stupid ass got elected, to represent his constituents? Jeez. Dumb as a box of rocks.
And watch, if republicans discover that infrastructure spending is good, they are gonna act like they split the atom.
I did enjoy Gohmert again making a fool of himself with his fun predictions of Mexico suddenly wanting to pay for Trump’s wall idea. It’s more than clear that Mexico will never do any such thing, and it’s also clear that such a thing would have to be paid for by us – and that’s exactly what the GOP Congress intends to make happen. And by really pushing this, the GOP and the Pence White House’s spokesman are turning this into a matter of national pride for Mexico. It will be interesting to see what happens when Mexico flat out refuses this nonsense and dares Trump to retaliate.
But the juiciest part of this vicious group bullying session was Jim Jordan’s admission that the GOP actually has no intention of replacing the ACA. As we’ve noted, they simply want to get rid of it, so they can retroactively declare the Obama Presidency a failure. Jordan was particularly helpful when he noted that you don’t need to replace the ACA – as he put it, the repeal itself is the replacement – meaning that you just get rid of the ACA and let the market take over and everything will be just great. Right. Tell that to the people who will all lose their policies and who insurers will once again refuse to cover for whatever reason.
Someone in there of course mentioned the idea of Health Savings Accounts, which is of course where the “replace” idea is really going to go – meaning that it’s up to you by yourself to save up thousands of dollars in a savings account, and up to you to hope that you don’t have any other medical needs than a basic checkup or a catastrophic illness (for which your new plan would have such a high deductible that you’d find the plan itself catastrophic). I’ve particularly enjoyed how these guys play the game that if you use a Health Savings Account, you can shop for the doctor who offers the better rate. Sure. So you can try to haggle with your doctor about whether or not that chemo treatment really should cost that amount, or you can go look for another doctor and hope the cancer doesn’t do anything further while you’re “shopping”.
Based on both the Senate and the House ramming their bills through in spite of the Dems’ feeble opposition, the destruction of the ACA is actually ahead of the schedule I was thinking. I had thought they’d have the budget reconciliation idea ready only just in time for the inauguration – they’re a week ahead of schedule. Not sure how they’re intending to present it to Trump, but the GOP is happily unified about getting rid of the ACA as soon as possible.
I predict all the replacement talk will get mired in the confirmation hearing for Tom Price, and that the upcoming disaster scenario will simply be blamed on the Dems for having put these people in this situation in the first place. There is now a steady drumbeat of Right Wing media coverage, which started recently with Limbaugh and is now spreading much wider, trying a new meme: Why do we need to Repeal AND Replace? Just Repeal. We’re hearing that about the ACA and now we’re hearing it about Obama’s DACA program.
By the way, note how Hannity slyly got in the bit about Paul Ryan being wrong to tell an undocumented woman who would have qualified as part of the DACA program that he wouldn’t be pressing to deport her. Because Hannity wants to make sure that Trump and Pence are listening, and that they will in fact deport anyone and everyone they can. Remember that the Right Wing never accepts the easy win if they can reach for a lot more. There are Right Wingers who are definitely salivating over the fact that after they deport the low hanging fruit in the criminal justice system, they will be able to expand their deportations and intimidation of this population. The sad part of this is that the DACA participants willingly signed up for it and gave their addresses and information to what they thought would be a friendly and sympathetic group. They’re about to learn that this was an extremely foolish decision. I don’t believe that the Pence White House will actually go so far as a “deportation force” for those people, but I do think they’ll be encouraging all of the participants to leave the country of their own will before it is taken care of for them. Remember Rick Santorum’s vicious comments to a DACA participant last month – the intention is to have these people leave the country, theoretically to make sure they’re following the law, but in reality to both make their families’ lives impossible (thus encouraging the whole family unit to leave) and to make whatever jobs they were holding available to someone else.
The tone of this discussion indicates that The Year of the Bully is off to quite a roaring start.
Claiming ‘he knew nobody who liked it’ he bitched the federal government should not be providing health insurance but gave no further reason and never touched on Medicare – huge surprise there. Further, though he said anyone on expanded Medicaid should never have gotten it, he didn’t directly call for the elimination of traditional Medicaid just block granting the program under the standard meme the states are closer to the people so do a better job (having worked for state government over a decade I question that assumption). Finally, he was opposed to anyone getting insurance on the exchanges because it’s subsidized by the federal government.
Given all that background, when asked about replacing it for the 20 or so million on Obamacare he saw no need even when it was pointed out some Republicans like Kellyanne Conway were promising a simulataneous replacement. He claimed they were cowards without principles. Why? Because they were caving into constituent pressure. Hmmmm… meet those who like it, liar. 👍
In any case, regardless of consequence, he was adamant ACA be abolished immediately. He even argued against preserving the provision on preexisting conditions claiming that was a violation of sound insurance practice. Ah, not if you’ve got a diverse risk pool, moron!
Regarding Gohmert (coincidentally rhymes with “Gomer” as in Pyle) and Mexico paying for Trump’s fence, many Republicans’ answer is to place penalties on Mexico like massive tariffs to force their hand. Is America’s dumbest Congressman for that? Would seem his cup of tea. Is Fox News onboard? Time will tell. 🤔