What type of Presidential candidate, now become the President, would assert and (via his agents, do) all of the following things:
The Hill, By Peter Sullivan – Mon. 3 April 2017, 04/03/17 09:33 PM EDT
White House officials presented an offer to the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Monday night as they seek to revive the ObamaCare replacement bill.
Vice President Pence and other White House officials presented an idea at the Freedom Caucus meeting to allow states to choose to apply for waivers to repeal two ObamaCare regulations that conservatives argue are driving up premiums.
Those two regulations detail ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which mandate which health services insurers must cover, and “community rating,” which prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums. …
On September 27th of 2016, while campaigning against Hillary Clinton, Trump 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 we’re going to save so much money on the other side.” [FACTUAL NOTE: The countries with for-profit healthcare have the highest costs and the lowest quality of healthcare; so, paying healthcare via taxes is vastly more efficient than paying for it via profit-making corporations — Trump was correct there.]
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.”
So, he knows that “The government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side.” He knows, in other words, that socialized healthcare is far more efficient than free-market healthcare. He knows that publicly provided healthcare that’s made available as a right to all citizens, instead of being charged as a privilege that’s available only to people who are wealthy enough and healthy enough to be able to afford it, provides a nation with better healthcare at lower costs, better and cheaper, than in the United States. And here are two visuals which show this fact very starkly:
See “Life expectancy vs. health expenditure over time, 1970-2014” displaying that the U.S. has by far the world’s most inefficient healthcare — enormous economic wastage.
See “9.1. Health expenditure per capita, 2013 (or nearest year)” displaying that of all industrialized nations, only the U.S. spends more “Private” money than “Public” money on healthcare, and it’s also by far the costliest-healthcare in the entire world.
So, he knows that “charging sick people higher premiums” adds to the cost and decreases the effectiveness of a nation’s healthcare. He even said, straight-out: “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.” But he’s willing, nonetheless, “to allow states to choose to” do that — to eliminate Obamacare’s requirement that it not be done. He’s willing to replace Obamacare with something he knows to be even worse. He’s willing to be what even he knows to be a rotten President.
Earlier, on March 7th, when the Republicans’ first Obamacare-replacement bill was introduced (only to collapse almost immediately), Trump had said: “I am proud to support” it. That plan collapsed because it was ridiculously atrocious.
He knew that he was endorsing something that would make America’s rotten healthcare system even costlier and worse — even more free-market — than it already is (which is already the world’s costliest and also the worst among all developed countries), but he wanted it to become law anyway.
As I have noted previously, Trump is a nationalist but he also is a libertarian, and so his backing Republicans’ efforts to make healthcare in America even more libertarian than it already is, fits the libertarianism of his ideology. But what is so stark here, to me, is that even when he knows the facts which indicate that healthcare has been overwhelmingly demonstrated in the statistics, to be better and to cost far less in a socialized than in a free-market way, he adheres to libertarianism on it.
Some people might say that this just proves he’s stupid. What I think is that it indicates he’s not primarly concerned with improving the lives of the American people — and, for any U.S. President, that’s a knowing violation of his oath of office. I can’t see that as being anything but psychopathic, no matter how stupid he might (or might not) be. The problem with Donald Trump is that he’s a psychopath. His Vice President is probaby at least as bad, so that any replacement of Trump by Pence would be making a bad situation even worse (and Hillary Clinton clearly was a psychopath), but let’s at least acknowledge the reality, that the U.S. government doesn’t represent the American people.
Incidentally: consider the proposal that was made by the Republican Party’s House Freedom Caucus on Monday —
to repeal two ObamaCare regulations that conservatives argue are driving up premiums.
Those two regulations detail ObamaCare’s essential health benefits, which mandate which health services insurers must cover, and “community rating,” which prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums.
Whose “Freedom” was the House Freedom Caucus actually so concerned about there? It wasn’t the freedom of the American people — their freedom from sickness, and from medical bankruptcy, etc. — but solely the freedom of healthcare investors to wrangle more out of them, by gaming their insurance companies’ contracts so as to just ignore the people who need the insurance the most, and to deceive the people who need it the least to think they need it enough to pay what would actually be inflated (higher-profit) prices for it. In other words, their “Freedom” — otherwise generally called “libertarianism” — is actually nothing but the investors’ freedom (liberty) to rip off the consumer, and the worker, and the environment, etc.; it is nothing more than freedom for corporations, not freedom (but instead lack of protections) for people (except the owners of corporations). In other words: it’s an elite scam.
The problem isn’t Donald Trump; it’s the entire fraudulent system that now controls the United States of America.
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.