Trump Breaks Promise to Provide "Insurance for Everybody"
After almost seven years, House Republicans have unveiled their Obamacare "replacement" plan, such as it. But because the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet scored the so-called "American Health Care Act," we don't yet know how many people it will cover and how much it will cost. Already, analysts from S&P and Brookings are warning between six and 15 million Americans could lose their health insurance. Those who are older and poorer will see substantial increases in premiums and out of pockets costs, even as the younger, healthier and wealthier pocket new savings and tax cuts. And by eliminating almost $600 billion in tax Obamacare tax revenue, it's not clear how Republicans will pay for it.
Nevertheless, President Trump has already tweeted his support for "our wonderful new Healthcare Bill." Tom Price, his Secretary of Health and Human Services, wrote a letter to Congressional leaders praising "your proposals represent a necessary and important first step toward fulfilling our promises to the American people."
Unfortunately for the White House, Donald Trump made a lot of promises to the American people on replacing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. And among them were these his past pledges to promises of "insurance for everybody" and to "take care of everybody."
In a January 14th telephone interview with the Washington Post, President-elect Trump described his imminent Obamacare replacement plan this way:
"We're going to have insurance for everybody," Trump said. "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." People covered under the law "can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better."
In a September 2015 interview with Scott Pelley of CBS 60 Minutes, Trump guaranteed that "everybody's got to be covered."
PELLEY: Universal health care?
TRUMP: I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now.
PELLEY: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of how?
TRUMP: They're going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably--
PELLEY: Make a deal? Who pays for it?
TRUMP: --the government's gonna pay for it. But we're going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it's going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.
"This is," Trump boasted, "an un-Republican thing for me to say."
It was also a false thing for him to say. Of course, by now that should come as no surprise. After all, last August Donald Trump made another commitment to the American people:
"One thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth."
Always tell you the truth, that is, about 30 percent of the time.