In an interview with The Washington Post yesterday, President-elect Donald Trump stated that he was putting the finishing touches on his plan to replace Obamacare, and that it would provide “insurance for everybody.” He also said that deductibles would be much lower.
“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.”
Trump declined to offer specific details on his plan, or how he plans to pay for it, but if everyone is covered and the deductibles are cheaper, it sounds great! And also like something that Republicans wouldn’t go along with, but don’t you worry, America, Donald Trump has a Twitter account and he plans to use it to push through his health care plan.
“I think we will get approval. I won’t tell you how, but we will get approval. You see what’s happened in the House in recent weeks,” Trump said, referencing his tweet during a House Republican move to gut their independent ethics office, which along with widespread constituent outrage was cited by some members as a reason the gambit failed.
The man is going to use his Twitter account to apply pressure. Should be a fun four years.
What his plan actually sounds like is single-payer healthcare, a liberal fantasy that Trump could shove down the Republican’s throats using Twitter.
That’s almost certainly not what it is.
What could it be, instead?
1) He has no fucking plan, and as usual, he’s bullshitting all of us.
2) It’s similar to the Trumpcare plan he’s already vaguely outlined (Vox has a great summary), which would basically give us all tax deductions for our healthcare premiums and allow us to buy plans across state lines, creating more competition and lowering the overall costs of health care. It would not, however, cover pre-existing illnesses, it would cost billions more than Obamacare, and it would leave 21 million more people uninsured. It will almost certainly never get through.
3) It’s a plan similar to what his Health and Human Services nominee, Tom Price proposed, which forms the basis of Paul Ryan’s healthcare plan, which is basically Health Savings Accounts and high-risk pools. It would not cover pre-existing conditions, and while it’s a good deal for wealthier taxpayers, it doesn’t do much for poor people who need subsidies rather than tax credits or deductions to afford healthcare. (If you don’t make enough money to pay taxes, then a tax deduction doesn’t do you any damn good, does it?)
4) He signaled that his Twitter account is more powerful than he thinks it is, and he could use it to negotiate prices. For instance, he thinks he can get drug companies to lower the prices of their drugs by yelling at them on Twitter (which, in turn, hurts their stock prices) and maybe he can do the same thing to health insurance companies. Like, “Lower your premiums or I will make fun of you on Twitter. Sad!” I mean, sure, he can elevate John Lewis’ book to number one on Amazon by criticizing him, but I’m not so sure that Trump’s Twitter account has enough power to completely change the healthcare industry.
When asked how exactly he would force drug manufacturers to comply, Trump said part of his approach would be public pressure “just like on the airplane,” a nod to his tweets about Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, which Trump said was too costly.
So, basically Trump thinks he can negotiate using the threat of his Twitter account as leverage.
Good luck with that!
Trump believes that he will be able to repeal and replace quickly, even though he’s not even finished formulating his plan. It should be noted that it took Obama — who had majority control in both Houses — 14 months and a shitton of compromises to push his plan through, and he only barely got it through then. Meanwhile, it will be much harder to repeal Obamacare if thousands of people with terminal illnesses start showing up on social media and in local newscasts talking about how their health insurance will be taken away.
Also, not for nothing, but if Trump continues to abuse his Twitter account, there may be one countervailing force arriving to offset him in the near future:
How amazing would that be, if Obama — with 80 million followers to Trump’s 20 million followers — rebutted every single one of Trump’s tweets, essentially nullifying him? “Hey dickhead! Take your puny 20 million follower count and go fuck yourself. Leave Obamacare alone!”
Every once in a while, don’t you wish Obama weren’t as classy as he is?
Today’s header photo is of Kristen Bell in The Good Place. How is it possible that the two-part season finale is already approaching? It airs on Thursday.