As of the moment I write this, the Republican Congress cannot agree to pass its own health care bill. There are a lot of reasons for this, it’s a failure with many, many fathers.
The most interesting point about the Republican health care law, however, was that in the negotiations between congressional Republicans and the White House to try to find a bill that would pass, they ended up taking their original bill and making it cost more to insure fewer people. That’s according to the Congressional Budget Office, which runs the numbers. And it was only after they made those changes that they decided they had a bill that might pass.
Do you see it? They made the bill cost more to insure fewer people and thought that would be more appealing to their caucus than what had come before.
They weren’t proposing to insure fewer people in order to save money, and they weren’t spending more money to insure more people. They wanted to spend more money so that fewer people would having access to health insurance, compared not only to “Obamacare,” but to their own plan.
Why? Why would anyone do that?
There is literally no advantage to that. At all. At least if your goal is to try to improve health care for Americans.
But if your goal is actually to take health care away from Americans, well then it makes a lot of sense. You’re spending more money to get more of what you want — which is fewer people getting assistance of any kind.
I know that sounds harsh to say that Republicans are designing their law to take health care away from as many Americans as possible — but at the end of the day, that is what they’re willing to pay a premium to do. So really, how else can we talk about this? What else can we say when neither Donald Trump nor Paul Ryan nor a majority of congressional Republicans say “you know what, if we’re going to spend all this money anyway, how about we use it to insure more people? Give them better health care? Why don’t we do that?”
No, that’s not what they do. They’re willing to spend billions more in taxpayer dollars to hurt more taxpayers. Ultimately, congressional Republicans have become the political equivalent of Trump University — a marketing scam on the people who invest in them. The more we give, the more they take.
That’s why the health care bill funnels billions of taxpayer subsidies to those with incomes of over a million dollars annually — and actually penalizes households making under $50,000. Really, how else does that make sense?
You can see it elsewhere too; it’s going to cost the American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually for Melania and Barron Trump to stay in New York. Hundreds of millions — at a time when Trump wants to cut Meals on Wheels and Sesame Street and worker safety programs.
Now I don’t want to say that Trump’s family should have to live up to the American people’s expectations — they deserve a private life. But as the Republicans propose a budget that will literally take food out of the mouths of the elderly and eliminate job training programs for people who need new skills to find work, is it too much to ask our president to sacrifice a second home so that the people he’s supposed to serve don’t starve?
What about his golf vacations? He’s taken one at Mar-a-Lago almost every weekend since being sworn in, and it costs taxpayers millions of dollars each time. Could the president give up a few weekends of golf to save some of the programs Congress is cutting?
If not, then the president who is refusing to subsidize Americans’ health care, education or safety net is saying that Americans need to subsidize his vacations and New York condo.
Trump and the Republican congress have no trouble taking tax dollars and funneling it into their own pockets — but they’ll be damned if they let any of it go to pay for the health care or education of the people whose money it is in the first place.
It’s not an accident that their bills are designed to do terrible things to the American people. It’s the point.