At President Donald Trump’s rally in Louisville Monday night, he gave attendees a history lesson that came off as rather ironic.
“It’s important to realize how we got to Obamacare in the first place,” the president said. “Back in 2009 and 2010, House and Senate Democrats forced through a 2,700-page health care bill that no one read and no one understood.”
He continued: “They ignored the public, they ignored the voters, and they jammed a massive failed health care takeover right through Congress.”
It’s amazing that Trump would make this comparison, since this actually describes very well what Republicans are doing right now. (Democrats, meanwhile, debated and revised Obamacare for nearly a year through 2009 and 2010.)
Speaker Paul Ryan has drafted a massive health reform bill in secret, with hardly any public hearings or open deliberation, and is trying to jam it through the House as quickly as possible.
Not only is the GOP bill poorly understood, but there’s also reportedly one provision in the newest version that isn’t even really written. House Republicans have essentially thrown in a block sum of $75 billion to improve subsidies for older, low-income Americans to buy insurance on the individual marketplaces, but told the Senate to figure out how that would actually work.
And, yes, Republicans appear to be ignoring the public — more than half the country opposes the Republican bill, compared with only 34 percent who support it, according to a recent Fox News poll — and Trump specifically is selling out his own voters, to whom he promised “insurance for everybody,” even those who “can’t pay for it.”
Trump is rushing through health care to get it off his to-do list
Trump is promising that this isn’t the final version of the bill. “Remember, we’re gonna go to the Senate and we’re gonna go back and forth and we’re gonna negotiate and it’s gonna be wonderful,” he said during the rally.
But at other points, he sounded like his main desire was to just scratch health care off his to-do list, so he could focus on the things he was really excited about.
“We’re gonna do some trade deals, as soon as I get this health care finished. Ooh, I’m looking forward to those trade deals,” he said at one point.
For complicated legislative and procedural reasons, Republican leaders have concluded they’d prefer to do health care before tax reform, as Dylan Matthews explains. And Trump seems to have concluded that they’re right.
“I look forward to working with [holdout Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)] so we can get this bill passed — in some form — so that we can pass massive tax reform, which we can’t do until this happens,” he said.
What would the form be? Who knows!
Trump went on: “We gotta get this done before we can do the other. In other words, we gotta know what this is before we can do the big tax cuts. We gotta get this done for a lot of reasons, but that’s one of them.”
So, yes, take it from the president himself: Republicans are rushing to ram through a massive overhaul of the American health care system in part because they want to meet an arbitrary legislative deadline, so they can pass a tax cut bill.
But don’t worry. “The end result,” Trump said, “is gonna be great.”