Now that the GOP controls the White House and both branches of Congress they can carry out their plan to pick off the remaining Democratic reforms and institutions one by one like tin cans on a fence. Starting with the most recent, The Affordable Care Act. The Neocons in Congress tried 80+ times to repeal Obama’s signature legislation, now that Trump is headed to town they can finally fulfill their dream of dismantling everything he fought to accomplish. Paul Ryan was practically spitting with glee today over his big happy-faced press event where he detailed the plan to unravel Obamacare.
Does it need reform? Sure it does. It’s not working for everyone, but it was working for enough people that repealing it outright is going to create a new class of health-care impoverished. 20 million Americans are now insured, some for the first time. How, exactly, is that a bad thing? Now we are to return to the dark days of disqualifying preexisting conditions, kids kicked off their parent’s plans at 18, cancer patients denied experimental treatment plans, and corporations cutting coverage or eliminating it altogether for the 99%-ers who work for them.
While Pence and Ryan and their buddies slapped each other on the back with hearty congratulations for the telescreens, they failed to detail their replacement health care plan. Oh they say they have one – and it’s a doozy – but the details are like Trump’s tax returns . . . they’re out there somewhere, but the public will never see them. These GOP geniuses had plenty of time while ACA was in debate to come up with their own alternative and they couldn’t draft as much as a paragraph, so what’s changed? Why should we believe they’ve suddenly had some kind of legislative epiphany and have devised a health care plan that will be better than the one they are going to trash? If it’s so elegant, why not reveal it? Why not put it out there in its glory to show America what true conservative leadership can do for the people?
The Washington Post reported on today’s Pence-Ryan love fest:
Pence told reporters that he and Trump would pursue a “two-track approach” to chip away at the ACA through executive powers and legislation. Trump is “working on a series of executive orders that will enable that orderly transition to take place,” Pence said, and is eyeing other policies that can be reversed.
While Pence did not identify other policy targets, Republicans from Western states urged him Wednesday to undo some of the public land protections Obama has created through the 1906 Antiquities Act. Other executive actions, including those providing new safeguards for LGBT Americans and curbing greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, also could come under fire.
According to a lobbyist in touch with congressional aides on the ACA issue, the Trump transition team has been considering ways to strip down the health benefits that insurers must provide in plans that they sell to individuals and small businesses.This list of “essential health benefits” was envisioned by the law but was defined in a regulation written by the Department of Health and Human Services. As a result, the incoming administration could alter it without help from Congress.
Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to urge Republicans to “be careful in that the Dems own the failed Obamacare disaster.” In a dig at Schumer and his allies, Trump added: “Don’t let the Schumer clowns out of this web.”
Less than half an hour after Trump’s social media messages, Schumer tweeted: “Republicans should stop clowning around with America’s health care. Don’t #MakeAmericaSickAgain.”
Schumer and other Democrats echoed Obama, saying they did not feel any responsibility to craft a substitute health-care bill.
“If you are repealing, show us what you’ll replace it with. Then we’ll look at what you have and see what you can do,” said Schumer, who met briefly with Pence on Wednesday.
Pence, who was greeted by applause as he entered the House GOP meeting with Reince Priebus, Kelly Anne Conway and several other future White House aides, made it clear that Trump, starting on the first day of his presidency, intended to embark on an aggressive campaign to reverse executive actions made by Obama.
“They didn’t enumerate a list, just that which came by the pen can die by the pen,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.).
And there it is – their map for destruction. Step one – eliminate health care. Step two? Environmental protections? Marriage equality? Roe v. Wade? Guess they’re And just wait until Trump starts with the Supreme Court. What will McConnell do if Senate Democrats try to block whatever corporate toady Trump tosses up for nomination? Well, he’s threatened to suspend the 60-vote rule in favor or simple majority vote on high court nominees. Why not? Why even maintain a pretense of democracy anymore?
The closer we get to January 20th the more nauseated I become. More like a dead feeling deep inside my gut. We had a chance with Bernie Sanders to elect an honest president. An actual fighter for the people. One who genuinely cared about the working class, not just pay lip service like this billionaire crooked Oompa Loopah. We could’ve had a shot at honest-to-God affordable health care, single payer like the rest of western civilization. College education for everyone who wants it and an end to crushing student debt. A $15 per hour livable wage. Ending welfare for billionaires with fair tax policies. Decent paying jobs with guaranteed benefits to restore the middle class. Ending the game of lobbyists buying legislation from their pet representatives. Racial equality, affordable housing, women’s rights, LGBT rights, care for our veterans, combating climate change, and humane immigration policies.
That’s what we could have had. Almost had. What our younger generations wanted to secure their future and build their families and society. It was the brass ring right there – waiting for us to grasp. But no. Debbie said no, Donna said no, perhaps Russia said no, the corporations said no, all the gun-totin’ fear-mongerers said no, and the “Christian” right said no. And that’s a real puzzler, isn’t it? Look at Trump and look at Sanders – who seems more Christ-like to you?
So here we are with less than two weeks to the first Trump Day. Better take your vitamin C and bank those social security checks while you can, there’s no stopping the juggernaut now.