On January 15th, he told the Washington Post: “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. … 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.”
On September 27th of 2016, while campaigning against Hillary Clinton he told CBS “60 Minutes”: “Donald Trump: By the way. Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, “No, no, the lower 25 percent that can’t afford private.” But — Scott Pelley: Universal health care? Donald 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. Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of how? Donald 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 — Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it? Donald Trump: — The government’s gonna pay for it.”
But on CBS’s “Face the Nation, on Sunday, March 19th, Mick Mulvaney, Director of the White House Budget Office, said that Trump had lied on both occasions there:
DICKERSON: You mentioned getting care. The president has said as a candidate, he said about health care, “there was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it,” meaning health care, “that’s not going to happen with us.” He’s talking about universal care there. That’s not — you’re not going to have universal care after these changes.
MULVANEY: We don’t have universal — the only way to have universal care, if you stop to think about it, is to force people to buy it under penalty of law. So with this —
DICKERSON: So was he mistaken when he said there should be —
MULVANEY: OK, but keep in mind what we’re replacing. What you’ve got now is, we’re forcing people to buy it under Obamacare under penalty of law and people are still looking for a way not to buy it. So clearly the government mandate doesn’t work. The better process, the better function is exactly what we’re trying to do now, which is to encourage people and enable them to buy a policy they want and can afford.
DICKERSON: But with that — but universal care was not really a promise he could made.
MULVANEY: Again, universal — the only way to get truly universal care is to throw people in jail if they don’t have it.
MULVANEY: And we are not going to do that.
DICKERSON: Let me switch to the budget.
Dickerson, there, having just begun to get deep enough into this crucial matter so as to be breaking major national news about what Trumpcare will provide — that Donald Trump had promised universal care before becoming President and abandoned it immediately when he became President — just proceeded to the next question on his list, as if there weren’t reason to explore further and dig deeper here, such as, for example, “And what was Trump talking about on January 15th and on September 27th, when he promised universal care?”
The next question on Dickerson’s list was about Trump’s many trips to his Mar-a-Lago vacation resort: “What does a coal miner or a single mom say about these trips down to Florida?” After all, Dickerson is a ‘news’ person, so he has a list he must read from, and get all the questions done before going home to dinner.
Besides, Dickerson already had accepted Mulvaney’s PR for the White House, that “universal care was not really a promse he could made … right.” He thinks his viewers are that stupid. (After all, every other OECD nation has it, plus higher lifespans, and far less expensive healthcare — 100% universal, and it’s better, and far cheaper, than what we have — but ‘news’ persons aren’t interested in such trivia as policy-realities — nor, apparently, is the President of the United States (even if he knows what the realities are).
But the public are interested in it — and Trump’s lies like this, will eat away inexorably at his approval-rating. At the start of his Presidency, only people who hadn’t voted for him were noticing, and gloating, over his lies — after all, they were mainly about his taxes and other personal details, not about the policies he’ll pursue as President. But now, when the government rubber actually hits the policy road, even people who voted for him are noticing, because it’s real public policies he’s getting into — and they’re not gloating.
The failure of the Trump Presidency will thus become evident far faster than the failure of the Obama Presidency did, and the failure of the G.W. Bush Presidency did. Of course, there still are people who would vote for Bush (Republicans) or for Obama (Democrats), but at this rate, Trump soon won’t even have many Republican supporters remaining: his lies on policy will start embarrassing his Party, after Republicans can no longer deny that he’s not the man, and doesn’t support the policies, that he had said he was and does. Trump’s Presidency is heading off into a ditch. If there is a policy road, then the driver here, Donald Trump, cannot even see it.
Sooner or later, incessant lying about major public-policy issues depresses even the voters in that politician’s own Party. He has lied himself into a corner, and now will get eaten up by the creatures who are waiting for him there.
One by one, the policy-lies — about not only health care, but negotiating with Russia, ending America’s invasions, and placing the interests of the public above the interests of Goldman Sachs, Exxon/Mobil, Lockheed Martin, and etc. — will become evident, as they pile up higher and higher. Even Republicans will start to see that he’s just a big bluffing nothing-burger, a puffy bun with nothing inside it except, maybe, ketchup and mustard.
Perhaps he’s more afraid of being called a ‘socialist’ (dread, dread: but it’s normal in Europe), or even ‘Putin’s puppet’ (shiver, shiver), than he’s afraid of doing a lousy job as the U.S. President. Maybe, he’s so afraid of his enemies, that he’s even handing them the White House. The worst things about Hillary Clinton, which made her clearly unacceptable for me to vote for, Trump is turning out to be, himself. And the voters widely despised both candidates. This is a ‘democracy’?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.