If the outrage in the streets and town halls is matched by a stunning electoral defeat in Tom Price’s Georgia district, it could put the fear of getting gnawed at the polls in the mind of the Republicans who represent swing states.
The Senate voted 52-47 on Friday to confirm Representative Tom Price as the top U.S. healthcare official, putting a determined opponent of Obamacare in position to help President Donald Trump dismantle the healthcare law. Price, in his new job, will have authority to rewrite rules implementing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
As researchers David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler explain, “The biggest and most definitive study of what happens to death rates when Medicaid coverage is expanded found that for every 455 people who gained coverage across several states, one life was saved per year. Applying that figure to even a conservative estimate of 20 million losing coverage in the event of an ACA repeal yields an estimate of 43,956 deaths annually.”
Early optimism among business lobbyists and executives that Donald Trump’s election heralded better days has slowly given way to uncertainty as the president-elect fires off mixed and sometimes confusing messages on healthcare, taxes, and trade.
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump told the Washington Post. “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.” Trump was also quoted as saying in the interview that he would target pharmaceutical companies over drug pricing and insist they negotiate directly with the Medicare and Medicaid government health plans for the elderly and poor.
Republicans already knew that Obamacare was not a job killer. It was not “government-run” health insurance. There never were “death panels.” It was all a big play to win elections.
Obamacare is a modern miracle that has expanded coverage to record levels, cut the federal deficit and expanded the life of Medicare, while adding benefits and protections for every insured American. Yet the GOP has managed to make it an entirely polarized issue, with voters who rely on the law voting against Democrats out of spite.
Media outlets must contextualize the impact of repealing Obamacare in terms of the gains that have already been achieved and how those improvements will be affected or reversed by Republican policies.
Seizing Trump’s campaign slogan, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer sternly signaled Republicans on their plans to repeal Obamacare and cut Medicare and Medicaid.
Back when the president’s health reform plan first passed, Republicans and their media echoes warned loudly about mythical “death panels” embedded in his legislation. Now, the voters who believed that nonsense are about to meet the real death panel — led by Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate leader Mitch McConnell, and Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican slated to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
What if Republicans abruptly repealed Obamacare, chaos ensued and Democrats sat on their hands and watched? Democrats would be doing the right thing, both for the American people and for themselves.
It’s beginning to look like Donald Trump does not know how this whole president-ing thing works. And since he has the curiosity level of a pet rock, chances don’t seem great that he’ll be learning anytime soon.
Jeff Danziger’s award-winning drawings, syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group, are published by more than 600 newspapers and websites. He has been a cartoonist for the Rutland Herald, the New York Daily News and the Christian Science Monitor; his work has appeared in newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to Le Monde and Izvestia. He […]
In tapping Rep. Tom Price to be his Health and Human Services secretary, Trump has elevated one of the most aggressive proponents of dramatically overhauling the government safety net for seniors and low-income Americans.
How to defeat a master of self-promotion like Trump? Start by pointing out that he is the biggest popular vote loser ever to win the Electoral College.
Trump possesses a totalitarian genius for occupying our political discourse with the sort of bullshit that feeds his fame and appeals to Americans who feel victimized by change.
I doubt I’ll ever forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, but — like you — now all I can do is fight back against Trump. Here is what I think we need to do next.
To be fair, Obamacare is far from perfect. Still, its implementation has provided access to medical care for many, and that’s a big deal. Before Obamacare, about 16 percent of Americans had no health insurance of any kind. Now, that’s down to less than 9 percent — a record low.