Trump Sabotaging Obamacare

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, Donald Trump threatened to cancel key Obamacare payments that the federal government makes to insurance companies.

These payments are called "cost-sharing reductions" and they help insurers cover low-income working Americans.

If Trump follows through on his threat to cancel them, many insurance companies would probably pull out of Obamacare altogether - and that's the point.

This is all part of a mobster-style ploy to get Democrats to the negotiating table.

As Trump told the Journal, "I don't want people to get hurt.... [But] What I think should happen-- and will happen -- is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating."

Democrats are already playing hardball over this -- they now say they want a guarantee to cover the cost-sharing reductions in the government spending bill to that's due at the end of the month.

So will this threat backfire on Trump or will Democrats surrender?


mitche51's picture
mitche51 6 years 6 weeks ago

Trump goes on television and harps about "little babies....beautiful little babiessss!" -being harmed in another he sends $200,000 bombs. He and the republican party don't seem to care about "beautiful little babies" they die by errant gunfire from readily available arms....or if they die of a preventable medical condition IF their folks can't afford the insurance...or it they die in a car wreck, or dirty water, or any other myriad of causes that will be more frequent as Trump and his GOP raiders ruin healthcare, relax firearms laws and eschew safety legislations. It seems that DEATH doesn't bother them....but the METHOD does.

johnbest's picture
johnbest 6 years 6 weeks ago

Trump, Pence, the Cabinet, and all Republkkkans need to be charged with genocide and sent to the Hague for trial and hanging when they cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, school lunches and any other program that will cause the death of Americans by suicide, starvation or disease caused by their utter disdain for the American people.

Outback 6 years 6 weeks ago

Republicans? Democrats? They are each just players in the same kubuki theater put on for the benefit of the great unwashed. They both feed at the same corporate trough and, on the bottom line, have become indistinguishable in their actions. We need single payer or nothing. Neither of these sociopathic parties will survive the backlash if one of them doesn't deliver at least this much.

Old Kel's picture
Old Kel 6 years 6 weeks ago

I agree on single-payer. And I agree that both parties have been out of step for a time. If only there had been a bit more realistic cooperation during just the past eight years...who knew starting over was so complicated...besides all of us watching and screaming from the sidelines?

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 6 years 6 weeks ago

There is already a long record of Republicans using threats, and Democrats doing what they're told, whining, "We had no choice... would have been worse..." During this administration, there has been little evidence of a second party in government, anyway.

Of course universal health care (by any other name) isn't going to happen. The US has moved far in the opposite direction, embracing the "You're On Your Own" agenda. And, of course, there would be no logic in providing more than emergency room services to our poor, just to dump them back on the streets, since lack of adequare food and shelter take a heavy toll on human health.

ErinRose's picture
ErinRose 6 years 6 weeks ago

I think the Democrats will surrender, but only after some political theater to try and make us think that they are really fighting for us. But in the end, the Right will get what they want. The leopard does not change his spots; and Democrats don't suddenly grow a spine. We have, for decades, watched as the Democrats lean, bend, and fold to the Right. As long as palms are getting greased and the campaign contributions keep rolling in, little will change; nothing changes if nothing changes.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 6 weeks ago

Healthcare is about life -- preserving it for as long as possible. Material wealth is meaningless when facing death; consequently, most people would gladly trade all of their earthly goods to keep on living for just a little while longer. In fact, millions of our fellow Americans are forced to make that Hobbesian choice every day, without hesitation. Those who don't have much to trade simply die.

This type of money-or-your-life thievery is easy pickings for soulless predators. That's why the insurance industry has become the most powerful lobby of all. With their grubby hands in everyone's pockets, the sleaziest swindlers on Wall Street have bribed nearly every politician and have convinced their gullible constituents that healthcare is a privilege, not a right, and that the less fortunate should be sacrificed to keep our privatized system flush with cash, which will ensure a longer and healthier life for those who can afford to pay high premiums at the expense of those who can't.

Like any good business model, the more you take in, the less you pay out, the more you make. Insurance tycoons make out like bandits ... because that is exactly what they are! By denying claims, they steal life itself. Their well-heeled clients who invest in America's exclusive health insurance markets, who only worry about their expensive automobiles, fancy homes, and fat portfolios, play by the same hard-nosed rules. All proponents of profitized healthcare are fiery zealots of a literal death cult and could care less about the suffering of others. They will fight against a universal, single payer, Medicare-for-all system with every fiber of their greedy, selfish little beings until their dying breaths.

The poor generally have less access to a healthy lifestyle and will likely get sick more often. They must work physically and emotionally demanding jobs; they must live in less desirable, more polluted areas; they must endure the terrible stress of insecurity and poverty, which leads to higher rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, violent crime, and all the other life-threatening ills of society inherent to extreme wealth disparity.

"...where every man is enemy to every man ... And the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." (Thomas Hobbes)

Keeping the unwashed, unhealthy masses out of the elitist pools and denying them fewer government subsidies means the rich pay lower premiums and lower taxes, maximizing their benefits by abrogating their responsibility to the same working poor who helped create their wealth in the first place. Undertakers, gravediggers, and insurance agents are licking their chops in this new dark age of Trumpian/Republican dystopia.

The United States is alone among modern Western democracies in elevating the endless greed of the privileged few above even the physical lives of the struggling many. In his great battle to raise the minimum wage, the late Senator Ted Kennedy spelled it out in straightforward language when he roared from the Senate floor, "When does the greed stop?!"

Kend's picture
Kend 6 years 6 weeks ago

Both Dems and Rep. have a real serious problem here. The truth about the cost of healthcare has been told when average middle class tax payers healthcare cost skyrocketed as a result of Obamacare. To have single payer the middle class has to subsidize the lower income or no income Americans. I don't think they want to. I think in their hearts they do but when their premiums go from $300 to$1,200 a month it is a different story. They simply can't afford it. This makes it impossible for a politician to sell it to voters. The only solution is to start a single payer system in one state. When the smoke clears the rest will follow with a version that fits them. You can eat a elephant, but you have to do it one bite at a time. Trump is sitting pretty good as he knows The AHA is owned by the Dems and will collapse under its own wait.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 6 weeks ago

Hi Kend. You have repeated several false Republican talking points and have left out important elements.

Costs "skyrocketed" primarily because Republicans screwed the pooch with poison-pill sabotage, such as dumping the "risk corridors" and, now, with threats to withhold " cost-sharing reductions," as Thom explained above. Furthermore, other underhanded tactics were deliberately intended to derail key components of the ACA, such as a 5-4, right-wing Supreme Court decision that allowed Republican governors not to expand Medicaid in red states, forcing really sick people into really expensive emergency rooms, which drives up the costs for everyone else. Also, you forgot to mention that ridiculous premium hikes by private insurance cartels were massively more severe before the ACA, when greed-mongers had free rein.

Unfortunately, the original bill did not include anti-monopolistic legislation to inspire real competition, effective price-gouging controls, or the "public option" -- all serious flaws pushed by industry lobbyists, all of which, along with other more minor problems, can be easily corrected by Republicans if they so choose, since they are the ones who now have all the power.

Even given all that, every objective private and public actuary, including the CBO, has emphatically stated repeatedly that, once markets reach equilibrium, the ACA is not destined to fail over the long term, as long as Republicans honor the law and play by the rules. So, the ACA is not any longer "owned by the Dems" and will not "collapse under its own wait [sic]."

And, no, premiums will not "go from $300 to$1,200 a month" under a single payer system run by the government. That's another disgusting lie put out by right-wing think tanks to scare low-information voters.

First, a single-payer system won't even have any "premiums" at all because private insurance companies won't operate in the primary care market, ripping people off. Second, Medicare-for-all "graduated taxes" (probably deducted from paychecks, much like Medicare FICA taxes are now) will be a fraction of the monthly cost of for-profit premiums, because most everyone in working America will be paying their fair share into an ocean-size pool, and the government can run the program quite efficiently at only a 2-3 percent overhead.

"To have single payer the middle class has to subsidize the lower income or no income Americans." You seem afflicted with the same fundamental misunderstanding that has infected Paul Ryan's blood-brain barrier of how a graduated tax works fairly for everyone and how an insurance pool works to lower the costs.

See, all insurance programs follow the same basic formula: the people whose houses do not burn down subsidize those whose houses do; the people who do not wreck their automobiles subsidize those who do; the people who do not get sick (yet) subsidize those who do.

More pointedly, the rich who benefit the most from our economy -- by leaps and bounds -- should subsidize low-paid wage slaves who benefit the least! About 96 percent of Americans derive some sort of income and will pay their fair share, as previously stated. We are a very rich nation and can surely pick up the tab for the least among us. Besides, from a wider perspective, morality and empathy are actually the most cost effective way to run an economy, because a healthy workforce is a more productive workforce, and a society that cares for everyone, no matter their status, enjoys far less social ills.

Many do agree with you that if one state -- perhaps a big one like California, the world's 8th largest economy -- successfully implemented a government-run, universal, single-payer system, other states would wake up, smell the coffee, and follow suit. Many do not agree, though, that a state-by-state evolution is the "only" solution. There is absolutely nothing blocking the Federal government from expanding Medicare to include every citizen of every age in every economic strata except self-serving insurance industry lobbyists, crass corporate Republican ideological intransigence, and the gross ignorance of their indoctrinated constituents who watch Fux "News."

"Ay, there's the rub."

takinittothepeople3's picture
takinittothepeople3 6 years 6 weeks ago

100% TRUE. I am sick to death of the "Democrats" collapsing under the bullies on the right. Why else do you think our new scotus is not named Merrick Garland?

RFord's picture
RFord 6 years 6 weeks ago

If Thump thinks he can wreck healthcare and blame democrats he is mistaken. If he wrecks healthcare the blame will go to the president by most people. Even if healthcare gets wrecked and Trump has nothing to do with it, Trump still gets blamed because he's the president. That's the way it is. The average person doesn't understand or want a voucher program. They just want to be able to go to the doctor and not have financial problems because they did. That's what republican politicians either don't understand or don't care about. If republican Trump and the majority republican house and senate can deliver better healthcare for all, I'm all for it. I mean BETTER healthcare for ALL, not access to better healthcare if you have the money to pay for it, and not options to choose health plans according to what you can afford. If they can deliver that, then I'm all for it. I doubt they can deliver on healthcare though, because they are too deep into the pockets of insurance companies, big pharma, and businesses engaged in healthcare money making. When they don't deliver, their voters will know because they will have medical bills they can't pay.

Kend's picture
Kend 6 years 6 weeks ago

Deepspace and Ford. Respectfully I believe you are both wrong. Just like the abortion issue Trump will find a way to push healthcare to the State level, where it should be in my opinion. That way it doesn't look like he screwed up when it all goes wrong. Because it will go wrong. Healthcare is very expensive and there is no way to look good to everyone when you have to provide it to everyone. So there President will pass this mess down to the states.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 6 weeks ago

Certainly, no one can argue against the fact that, yes, this pathological liar with a shrunken cerebrum and a bloated ego (and, obviously, with too many "big and beautiful" chocolate cakes under his long belt and too-long tie) is a shallow, self-absorbed asshole, who only cares about appearances and how "good" he looks while trying to hide his numerous, major screw-ups.

Well, sorry, the Pussy Grabber definitely will never look good no matter how long he gazes at the mirror combing his laughable, 1950's hairdo, and he sure as hell will never fool anyone with a thinking brain.

That's the trouble with arrogant dummies like this stumblebum scatter-brain with a tiny vocabulary, who can't focus longer than a few seconds; they think that they are smarter than everyone else and that no one sees through their two-bit fakery. Hilariously, Mensa Man judges the acuity of others by the standards of his groveling groupies. So sad.

All such pathetic distractions aside, why do Republicans always consider money more important than life when discussing healthcare?

Edward Dodson's picture
Edward Dodson 6 years 5 weeks ago

The challenge of providing high quality, affordable health care to all persons cannot be achieved in a health care environment where obtaining significant returns to shareholders is a consideration. What insurance providers must do to meet their obligations is to (a) accurately assess risks; and (b) price for those risks. The societal decision is whether the pricing for risk is appropriately distributed across the entire population or imposed on individuals based on commonly-shared risk charactertistics.

Insurance carriers have a fairly straightforward business model. They charge premiums to clients based on some forumula. They invest the premium revenue to generate income and capital gains. They then pay out benefits as claims occur, hoping their analysis of risk and their expected investment returns are adequate to cover costs and yield a return to the owners and bonuses to the management.

When we consider the idea of universal health care, we still have the problem of paying for the system and whether everyone should pay the same regarding of circumstances or whether individuals should pay based statistics forecasting probable use of medical insurance. Where does societal obligation to individuals begin and end? Should people who live a healthy lifestyle be required to pay extra to cover the cost of care to individuals who make bad health choices or engage in high risk behavirors? These are very difficult issues to resolve, are they not?

Edward Dodson's picture
Edward Dodson 6 years 5 weeks ago

Regardless of how the revenue might be spent, we need a truly progressive structure of individual income taxation. The reason, I assert, is that most high incomes are unearned by individuals. They come from passive, speculative investment, and what economists refer to as rent-seeking privileges under the tax laws. We could address this by combining tax simplification with progressivity. Exempt all individual incomes up to the national median, eliminating all other exemptions and deducations. Above this level, impose increasing rates of taxation on higher ranges of income. Even a 90% tax rate on incomes above, say, $100 million would not in any way affect the lifestyle of these individuals. And, as I say above, very few persons earn this level of income by actually producing goods or providing services to others.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 6 years 5 weeks ago

@#13. Aside from making my days brighter just knowing your stomach is still in knots over the ass kicking President Trump & Co. gave the Democrat party in November, you overlook the fact that that obamacare was doomed from the start. Everything the opposition predicted would happen, came true. Fewer choices, higher premiums, huge deductibles, and states exchanges falling by the wayside in bankruptcy. You don't earn the honor of winning "liar of the year" easily.

After you grasp that fact, get back to us.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 5 weeks ago

Diane. Sorry, I refuse to "grasp" your false facts. N-E-V-E-R ! But, getting back anyway:

Republicans have all the power and now own the healthcare issue -- so fix it!!! All the problems you listed are the predictable outcome inherent in allowing private insurance companies to corrupt the system by profiting on sickness and death. In the creation of this reality, you continuously deny that your chosen party and its donors had no ideological input, influence, or culpability from the very beginning of the year-long hearings in 2009, which is a gross deception counter to the historical record.

Sure, no Republicans voted for the final product, but that was more because they wanted to deny Obama any "win" whatsoever and "make him a one-term president" (Mitch McTurtle) than it was because of the negative or positive merits of the legislation -- which, had they been truly concerned for the public good, Republicans could have easily helped Democrats to iron out. I know you refuse to open your eyes to that sad truth, but Robert Draper's book should be required reading for those interested in actual history: "When the Tea Party Came to Town."

As far as the democratic wing of the Democratic Party is concerned, the ACA was only a frustrating compromise with the forces of privatization controlling both parties. Nevertheless, it was a small step in the right direction that did, in fact, succeed in insuring twenty million more people and in saving fifty thousand more lives each year -- a predictable and positive result that "the opposition" always neglects to mention. Why is that?

Sooo... replace the ACA with universal single-payer and all the problems you stated above disappear. At the very least, your party (if it wasn't so schizophrenic and its leader wasn't so pathological) could introduce and pass the public option with lots of Democrats onboard along with the vast majority of the public.

Let the people decide! You know -- freedom and liberty? C'mon, all you morally-compromised hypocrites, time to redeem yourselves, step up to the plate, and really make America great ...instead of always whining about whatever sins the Democrats may have committed.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 6 years 5 weeks ago

Edward Dodson. Thanks for contributing so many well-put and thought-provoking points.

The devil truly is in the details. My answer would be yes to one of the "very difficult issues" you raised: "Should people who live a healthy lifestyle be required to pay extra to cover the cost of care to individuals who make bad health choices or engage in high risk behaviors?" Here's why:

First of all, who would ultimately decide which people are worthy enough to deserve healthcare? If the question of who-should-pay-what was left strictly up to the mindless machinery of the so-called "free" market, which lacks the human qualities of empathy and compassion, millions of Americans would be dropping like flies. A whole new market would be created for payloaders and dumptrucks just to clear the sidewalks of cadavers.

It follows: Why should our politicians always fit the issue into the framework of a for-profit market place in the first place? Like in most other modern industrial nations, healthcare is simply a right, regardless of any other concern. If you are sick, you can get treatment -- period! And you may do so at an affordable cost without going into hopeless debt and/or bankruptcy.

If people are living unhealthy lifestyles, then we should expand their education and offer better treatment and counseling. The first step in that process is to go see a doctor. Why is America, the once-upon-a-time leader in innovation and progress, the only great Western democracy that can't figure out how to implement such a simple, moral concept?

Ultimately, we should look at healthcare insurance as a fraction of the aggregate pool of money in the Treasury -- the biggest in the world -- that we all pay into according to our ability. No one pays "extra" specifically for any one expenditure as opposed to any other.

Any viable "formula" should address the following question: What are the nation's priorities in spending that huge pile of tax money -- to keep massively subsidizing mega-corp monopolies, enriching the few at the top who have siphoned most of the wealth out of our economy for themselves; to keep fighting their insane resource wars in the Middle East, squandering our blood and treasure, churning out tens of thousands of wounded soldiers costing trillions in healthcare over their lifetimes; to keep gutting the middle class, relegating the masses to the status of working poor?

In other words, what the hell is the purpose of government anyway? After all, it is our money -- the People's money -- over which everyone is scratching and clawing.

These certainly are very difficult issues to resolve!

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 6 years 5 weeks ago

I love the "numbers" of lives saved by obamacare that are thrown about with total disregard for the "numbers" of lives lost because working Americans did not want to, or could not afford pay the huge deductibles they have to incur before any of their insurance kicks in.

Do appreciate your remembering the line "elections have consequences".

Probably fits here,

Do You Know Someone Suffering From Trump Unacceptance & Resistance Disorder (TURD)?

"TURD is a pattern of pathologically dissociative and psychotic behavior, first observed in the late hours of November 8th 2016, and increasing in severity with passing time.

Sufferers of TURD often exhibit pronounced cognitive dissonance, sudden bouts of childlike rage, rioting and uncontrollable crying.

People with TURD are characterized by a persistent unwillingness to accept that Donald Trump is going to Make America Great Again.

TURD Is caused by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. For many, both in America and worldwide, this was a shocking and unexpected outcome; their preferred news sources having failed to inform them that the alternative candidate was a criminal parasite in such ill health she got chucked into the back of a van like a kidnap victim.

Research is ongoing, but TURD appears to correlate closely with the following environmental and behavioral factors:

Membership in the Democrat Party
Identifying as a feminist
Currently enrolled in college, and/or possession of a Liberal Arts college degree
Living in a densely populated metropolitan area
Massive student debt
Spotty or non-existent work history

Patients with TURD are very resistant to treatment, and dangerous in large groups. Any possibility of treatment requires that they be separated from their hive-mind support apparatus; they cannot begin the process of accepting reality in the presence of encouragement towards delusion and irrationality. Separation may require the assistance of law enforcement.

If you have a friend or loved one suffering from TURD, urge them to seek treatment. Together we can beat this scourge."

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 6 years 5 weeks ago

This is furhter evidence that Obamacare shouild be replaced with a single-payer (universal) Medicare-For-All Program. This should be easy to pass, because most American adults are already familiar with what Medicare offers (based on their parents' experiences with it).

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