Saturday, October 14, 2017
What a Long, Stupid Week It's Been!
There's President Donald Trump, signing an executive order to, despite his happy-talk about the circumstances, re-open the market to insurance companies to offer plans that are low-cost, but offer basically nothing of any utility whatsoever. He also decided the time was right for the federal government to stop paying subsidies to insurance companies to pay for plans to low-income people, even though those plans still, by law, need to be subsidized. His reasoning is that the insurance companies are benefitting from this incredible largesse from the government (as if no services were provided, such as managing payments for health care), but his rationale for health care deregulation is that health insurance companies were being squeezed by the vise placed on the market.
It's pretty incoherent, right? NV Gov. Sandoval makes a great point--Trump's ACA changes are sabotage and hurt everybody. What Trump is doing costs low income and working class families more because their premiums will go up, and even for people who get their plans through their employer, their contributions will surely go up. The insurance companies get less, but still and all, the government is still paying more.
But this is just Trump following through on his election promises to undo Obamacare. He didn't promise to make anything better, and he definitely isn't going to. But it's a promise fulfilled, right? And since Congress can't, won't, and don't know how? Hah! He is teaching the GOP leadership how it gets done--executive privilege. In your face, pretend Republican-leadership!
Now, you could counter that Trump is, in the photo-op he tried to make, almost walking out the door without signing. Problem? Nope. He wants that applause that he nearly exited to. He doesn't care how he gets it. But if he has to sign--also awesome. He doesn't realize that his name is now all over how Obamacare dies. This is Trumpcare now. Or "Trump Doesn't Care". Anyway--he doesn't. Surprise!
This is the week that Trump, in some kind of snit because he challenged Rex Tillerson to an IQ test and got dusted because Tillerson won't fight an unarmed man, got quoted as saying he "hates everyone" in the White House. That certainly sounds healthy.
We also were made aware this week that some of the national security "old hands" were trying out a plan in case Trump wanted to go for "the football"--that is to say, in case he wanted to start a nuclear war. Sure. Why wouldn't that be norm...no. We cannot call this normal.
Trump also this week threatened the licenses of news organizations who might have spilled a story that he wanted to increase the nuclear arsenal tenfold. Which I can totally see him doing. Both the 10X nukes thing and the outlawing news thing. Because he does not get the Constitution and of course the First Amendment thereof, and also he sort of thinks that the president with the most toys, wins.
Trump also antagonized a little more about North Korea, in part because he might think we have a functioning "Star Wars" type missile interception thingy. Not so much.
Trump also made a claim this week on Hannity's show that the rise in the stock market had shit-all to do with the national debt. Wow. That is dumb.
No wonder Steve Bannon says there's only a 30% chance of Trump completing this term in office. He is really bad at all of this. And I didn't even get into Iran--which is my next post for sure.