How do you defend the indefensible? By calling the accusation of indefensibility indefensible.
With practice you’ll get the hang of it. For a hint, just ask Rep. Raúl R. Labrador, the conservative republican from Idaho. At a recent town hall meeting this exchange took place:
“You are mandating people on Medicaid to accept dying,” a woman said.
“That line is so indefensible,” said Rep. Raúl R. Labrador, a member of the influential House Freedom Caucus. “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”
The audience erupted in a chorus of boos, after which Labrador could do little but fall back on the Trump/Fox News talking point that Obamacare was failing. But of course, it wasn’t, and it especially was not failing people who relied on Medicaid.
Labrador’s newly espoused American Health Care Act is a mess, rammed through without thought or oversight to gain a temporary political victory. Even the name is a specious rallying cry to some sort of jingoistic mania that Trump exhumed during the campaign. It’s American as opposed to affordable, which in Trumpspeak is un-American.
By now you know the details:
•At least 24 million more uninsured Americans by 2026
•Higher deductibles (according to the CBO)
•Lower premiums—yes lower, but only after patients with higher costs have been priced out of the market
•Less government support for lower income people—cuts in funding to Medicaid will mean millions fewer people would be covered
•State waivers allowing for poorer quality plans that will cover less. The result, a patient will pay for services that were previously covered.
The other night Bill Maher put a spin on this I had never thought of. To most of the world and to our former president, Maher said, health care is a right; but to Trump and his money-grubbing cabal, it’s a commodity—one that can be sold for government profit.
And yet this idiot posing as president (yes, I’ve resorted to name-calling: it feels kinda good) stood in the Rose Garden Friday and said “As far I’m concerned, your premiums, they’re going to start to come down.” And later, “Yes, deductibles will be coming down.”
“Make no mistake,” the president said at one point, “this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare, make no mistake about it. Make no mistake.”
Well it’s not, your royal idiocy. It’s Obamacare from which you removed the humanity, converted it into cash, and divvied it up among the wealthiest of the wealthy. It’s cynical and sadistic, but it’s you, Mr. Trump. On that point we’ll make no mistake.