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The Republican Strategy On Health Care Is Lying Their Asses Off

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The Republican strategy on health care for the seven years after the ACA passed was to lie about it. Thanks to James Comey Republicans are in a position of having to offer an actual alternative, and their plan is to prevent the public from seeing is while they lie relentlessly about it:

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Health and Human Services Department on Tuesday and delivered a speech to the agency’s employees.

“Now I know this room is filled with men and women who care deeply about bringing high-quality health care to every American,” Pence said. “Rest assured, Donald Trump wants the exact same thing.”

Trump is not acting that way, though. He held a Rose Garden ceremony last month to laud a bill that would cause 23 million Americans to lose coverage — a bill he praised as “incredibly well-crafted.”

This is now a consistent pattern from top Trump officials, who have decided that their strategy to hide the Republican health care plan will be to not tell the truth about what it actually does.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has appeared on national television and claimed that Americans will “absolutely not” lose Medicaid coverage under the House-passed bill. Two separate, independent analyses of the AHCA find this isn’t true. Millions of Medicaid enrollees would lose coverage under that bill.

Trump himself gave an interview to CBS in April where he said that people with preexisting conditions would be protected under the AHCA. They won’t be: At the time he gave that interview, the bill had been amended to allow states to opt out of the requirement to charge people with preexisting conditions the same prices as healthy enrollees, a move that will almost certainly price some patients out of coverage.

Trump said that deductibles will go down under the Republican plan. Nonpartisan analysis expects deductibles will go up.

The White House has decided to deal with an unpopular bill by refusing to acknowledge the parts of the bill that the public doesn’t like. When asked in interviews about the expected loss in coverage or cuts to Medicaid, administration officials simply act as if they don’t exist.

I also agree with McElwee that Wyden’s approach of talking about health care when he’s asked about Russia is sound. Not because Russia isn’t important, but because 1)revelations keep coming out and 2)it doesn’t involve policy the media will cover it. But one reason McConnell’s radio silence has been effective is that it exploits media conventions that mere policy changes aren’t in themselves news. Democrats will need to be creative to try to get this undemocratic fraud into the news.

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  • NobodySpecial

    Isn’t that their strategy on everything?

    • Hells Littlest Angel

      Your comment is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.

    • LosGatosCA

      It’s not a strategy, it’s a requirement.

    • DrDick

      My thought as well and it has been since Reagan.

      • ExpatJK

        Nixon, surely?

        • DrDick

          Not really. While Nixon was a monstrous sleaze and pathological liar (the bastard also drafted me), he was generally pretty straight forward on policy matters.

  • They still care enough to lie? Plus, I love the whole “you won’t be denied for preexisting conditions as long as you can afford it” meme.

    • bizarroMike

      Just like no one is homeless is America. Houses are available for sale.

      • Exactly. If you can’t afford $1000/month in premiums for a high deductible plan because you have diabetes, it’s your own damn fault for not working hard enough.

        • Denverite

          Exactly. If you can’t afford $1000/month in premiums for a high deductible plan because you have diabetes, it’s your own damn fault for not working hard enough.

          That’s cute that you’d think the premium for a diabetic adult would only be $1000 a month.

          • I had originally put $5000/month, but didn’t want to seem outrageous. But in reality it would be much higher than $1000/month, and most stuff wouldn’t be covered anyway. For example, my company moved us all to high deductible plans a couple of years ago, and even on the ‘gold’ plan my wife’s asthma medication tripled in price, and it wasn’t cheap to begin with. Not to mention they want it to be purchased in 90-day intervals. $1000 every three months for one asthma medication? No problem!

        • Sure, but unlike Obamacare, it doesn’t have death panels.

          • rea

            They don’t need panels, since they are going to kill everyone.

            • Domino

              The Rich are different from you and I. They exist in the same plane as corporations – as people in conversations, as demi-gods who dictate life and death in reality

              EDIT: How do we do sarcasm? I thought it was [code][/code]. What is it?

              • JKTH

                Use less than or greater than signs not “[]”

      • cleek

        and even where they aren’t available for sale, surely you can build one? right?

        slackers.

  • ArchTeryx

    Well, of course they are going to lie. I’ve been breaking Godwin’s rule right and left since this maladministration took place, but NOWHERE is that more apparently then Trump’s pet Bundestag.

    The Nazis lied about the death camps to the German people, too. The only way many of them knew there WERE death camps was if they were in one, until the Allies freed them.

    This is just a purge by another name. That it’s going to hit their own base too is of no concern to them – Democrats will die in greater numbers, so it’s all good.

    • bizarroMike

      Certainly there are big parallels to the brexit fiasco. That really brought the big lie back, didn’t it?

      • humanoid.panda

        Brexit ( which to extent it will hit the NHS will have some morbidity effects..). is a tad more appropriate analogy then Nazi death camps. Seriously dude : you should be able to make the case forninivrtsal healthcare without spit flecked rants about the Nazi republicans wanting to kill the Democrstix base.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          I believe ArchTeryx stands to be in a *lot* of trouble if/when the ACA is repealed. Seriously, dude, once in a while you might want to restrain *yourself* from telling people they’re overreacting whenever you get a chance

          • humanoid.panda

            Amazingly enough, so do I. And yet, I somehow avoid taking about Nazis. Maybe it’s my family buried around Vinnitsa or something…

            • jim, some guy in iowa

              apologies. I was under the impression you were one of those people in the sweet spot of relative youth/health and a decent income bracket

              • humanoid.panda

                I am in a weird position in that I am slightly above the subsidy line of ACA, and am youngish so techicnally we are in the small group of people who are better off under the AHCA. But I am abaolutely and utterly uninsurable and so is my wife, so one bad flare up and we are in a world of hurt

        • Bruce B.

          There are no viable alternative explanations for some parts of what they’re doing. Even sociopathic disinterest in others as human beings doesn’t cover some of it. You can’t get to actual provisions in the AHCA so far without genuinely wanting to see people die in the millions.

          • tsam

            Lots of people are wholly capable of convincing themselves they’re not doing exactly what they’re doing, or that it’s necessary means to a more important end. I think they’ve convinced themselves that poor people will suddenly get paid way more money (by I dunno, getting 5 full time jobs?) and be able to afford insurance with drastically cut subsidies. People have a very pervasive ability to rationalize and believe what they want to believe.

          • sigaba

            A few beliefs at work:

            1) Cutting entitlements is always good. Analysis is irrelevant, entitlements are immoral. Cutting entitlements may result in some temporary pain and dislocation but in the end we’ll all be better off.

            2) Voters punish politicians for cutting entitlements. This simply a result of their sloth and corruption. Indeed most of our voters support us if their ox personally isn’t being gored, they can see the benefit. That voters would punish us only reflects their deficient character, something ending entitlements will remediate.

            3) The media and our decadent political culture are bent on killing our proposals so secrecy is essential. Lies are necessary evils because if we didn’t lie, our reforms would never pass, which is an unconscionable outcome because (1).

    • The Nazis lied about the death camps to the German people, too. The only way many of them knew there WERE death camps was if they were in one, until the Allies freed them.

      This is only somewhat true. The German people many not have known about the camps whose specific purpose was extermination of the Jews, but there were thousands of forced labor camps where Jews were worked to death, and the German people were quite ambivalent, if not outright supportive of that.

      • CP

        You know how Trump ran an entire campaign on demonizing Muslims and Mexicans and outright promising Muslim bans, yet is highly offended when anyone else calls it a Muslim Ban and everybody rushes to assure us that that’s not what it is?

        I think that’s basically how the concentration camps worked in Germany.

        • ExpatJK

          I think that’s basically how the concentration camps worked in Germany.

          Um, no. Not at all.

    • efgoldman

      Democrats will die in greater numbers

      Is that known, or just an assumption some of us make because the RWNJs are racist assholes and so open about it. A lot – A LOT – of poor rural white folks are going to be damaged. Shit, they already are by the limited amount of addiction treatment and prevention which is available.
      I know the standard meme is “they don’t care if THEY die, as long as they take brown people with ’em.” And I’m sure some Jerry Lees and Jenny Janes are OK with that. But people who’ve had some health care over the last few years, and now can’t afford well child checkups, or antibiotics for themselves and their kids, or insulin, etc, etc I don’t think have any real idea what is going to happen to them.
      We’re talking abut 20-25 million real people, not theoretical constructs. Ultimately, as is usually the case when you switch a regular, preventive benefit for a sometimes acute benefit, the actual costs will be higher. Yes, they’re stupid. ignorant, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, racist flying monkeys. I hate them for their ignorance; I hate their voting. Yes, you get what you vote for. But I think if you could count ’em up with reliable stats (I don’t think you can) the number who actually don’t care if they lose health subsidies, as long as the ni[clang]s they’ve never met in the city over yonder lose theirs, is pretty small.

      • humanoid.panda

        On the most basic level, the key impact the AHCA will have on mortality is not about the exchanges or the Medicaid expansion even. It’s the cuts to the core Medicaid, and that spends half its money on terminal care . And people going into terminal care in the. next few years are mostly republican

        • CrunchyFrog

          Yeah, but they don’t vote so who gives a fuck, am i rite?

      • sigaba

        But I think if you could count ’em up with reliable stats (I don’t think you can) the number who actually don’t care if they lose health subsidies, as long as the ni[clang]s they’ve never met in the city over yonder lose theirs, is pretty small.

        I’ve read people in this situation use some variation of an alcoholic’s plea: they know they’re in trouble but they need someone to take away their Medicaid “for their own good.” Having a safety net just makes them lazy.

        Maybe losing their health care will be that crucial kick in the pants that removes their temporarily embarrassed millionaires’ status.

      • As long as they can keep getting their smokes they’ll be happy.

    • ExpatJK

      I agree that the GOP is horrible, and the AHCA is unconscionable. But I want to co-sign humanoid.panda’s point about the Nazi stuff. Can we please stop violating Godwin’s law? It is NOT a good analogy in this situation, it’s hyperbolic, and at some level it is offensive, particularly for lurkers/readers who lost family because of the Nazis. Enough of the death camps/GOP genocide stuff, please.

    • Domino

      They lied about killing Germans with disabilities. Although after so many people died of “pneumonia” most people were wise to what was happening.

  • Rob in CT

    I started saying, back during the 2012 election campaign I believe, that Republicans lie constantly, about everything. This was (mostly) pre-Trump! It’s gotten worse, somehow, but they’ve been lying for so long I figure a lot of them even believe the lies.

    I’d like to believe that having the truth on our side will matter. At times, I do. But sometimes it’s hard to maintain that belief. It starts to feel like faith (and I don’t do faith).

    • twbb

      One problem is politics is too complex for a lot of people to analyze who’s telling the truth or not. And since the Democrats are convinced that appearing serious and statesmanlike will win them elections no matter how many times that theory is disproved, they are way too often hesitant to call their opponents liars.

      • Woodrowfan

        and the repubs will call them liars and the press will say “both sides do it”

        • Rob in CT

          Yes. This really isn’t as simple as “oh the Dems are fools.”

          Also, beyond the press reaction, there is another issue.

          If your premise for running for office is that government is important, and good policy matters, etc., you are unlikely to be a rhetorical bomb-thrower by nature. I mean, sometimes you get the two traits together, but it’s less likely than if your premise for running is government sucks, let’s burn it down.

          If we *do* get more Dems who are happy to use the language you want used, twbb, it may well be that fewer of them actually take the governing part seriously. Will we end up with another party that won’t know what to do when it catches the car?

          • liberal

            If we *do* get more Dems who are happy to use the language you want used, twbb, it may well be that fewer of them actually take the governing part seriously.

            LOL.

            • Rob in CT

              Or are otherwise shitty (e.g., Alan Grayson. Or “Carlos Danger”).

              LOL all you want.

              There are people who manage to take governing seriously and are gifted at fiery political rhetoric. I can think of some. But they’re pretty rare, IMHO. I don’t think that’s pure coincidence.

              • liberal

                Let’s just say your mental model of the factors that motivate people to go into politics, and the traits, abilities, and activities that allow them to thrive, are limited.

                • Rob in CT

                  Enlighten me then, oh sage.

                  By the way, have you run for office? Anything at all? Were you elected?

          • addicted44

            Well said. Far too many, even moderate left bloggers, complain about how the Dems don’t imitate Republican rhetoric and political strategies.

            But it’s much easier to pull off the bull in China shop strategy when you don’t actually value anything you’re destroying (indeed, the destruction is your goal) than when you actually do care to preserve and enhance stuff.

            • liberal

              Nope. Krugman does it all the time. Points out that the Republicans are totally full of shit.

              But thanks for playing!

              • Rob in CT

                Um, Krugman is a pundit, not an elected official or someone running for election.

                Krugthulu is good at what he does, and I’m glad he does it. It’s a different role, though.

          • twbb

            “If we *do* get more Dems who are happy to use the language you want used, twbb, it may well be that fewer of them actually take the governing part seriously. Will we end up with another party that won’t know what to do when it catches the car?’

            I would rather have Alan Grayson as President than just about any current GOP leader. Maintaining the honor and dignity of the Democratic party may let wealthy white progressives in urban enclaves sleep the sleep of the just, but losing because you are constantly outmessaged by sociopathic idiots has real-world and often life-or-death impacts on a lot of people. Sometimes you do need to throw some metaphorical bombs, see, e.g., Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

            • Rob in CT

              I would rather have Alan Grayson as President than just about any current GOP leader.

              Well, yes.

              Maintaining the honor and dignity of the Democratic party

              …is not the point. The argument I’m making is that people who actually care about governing tend not to be bomb-throwers. Again, this is not 100% true – I envision a Venn diagram with some overlap. But I think there really is a selection effect here.

              I’m generally in agreement that Dem messaging can be more effective (it can always be better). In particular, I want shorter/simpler messages, and unapologetic touting of Dem achievements/aims.

              • twbb

                “The argument I’m making is that people who actually care about governing tend not to be bomb-throwers.”

                And the argument I’m making is that people who care the most about governing might not be the people we ever get elected.

                Trump represents a style of politics that is 40 years old at this point and keeps getting terrible people elected to the Presidency.

                • Rob in CT

                  And it’s a fair point. You can’t accomplish anything if you can’t win elections.

                  I’m just saying it doesn’t boil down to dumb-dumb Dems. I guess I get sick of this idea that Dems only lose elections because they’re idiots.

        • twbb

          “and the repubs will call them liars and the press will say “both sides do it””

          The repubs ALREADY call them liars and the press DO say “both sides do it.”

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        actually, appearing serious and statesmenlike *does* win elections for the Ds. 2006, 2008, 2012. I think you could almost make the case for 2000 and 2016 as well. The dysfunctional part of our politics is that the voters are voting to elect Rs to make messes for the Ds to clean up. And once the mess is cleaned up the voters start getting bored and restless again

        • liberal

          actually, appearing serious and statesmenlike *does* win elections for the Ds. 2006, 2008, 2012.

          Yes, this is a very scientific claim. Not.

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            disprove it using your scientific ways, then. I’m good with that

            • liberal

              You’re the one making the claim, clown.

          • Rob in CT

            “LOL”

            “Not.”

            Very convincing.

            • humanoid.panda

              It’s science, Rob.

            • Q.E.Dumbass

              This site really did need a Twitter egg with 1/8 Dilan’s intellectual depth. A true argument needs no further follow up than previously demonstrated.

              • liberal

                Yawn. Pretty funny coming from someone, who unlike Dillan, exhibits no intellectual depth whatsoever.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  I’m 21, know I’m usually out of my depth in these matters, and generally try to stick to stuff I know. You’re in your 50s, use “LOL” and “Not” in lieu of arguments, and rarely bother to defend arguments beyond the initial premise – you’ve shown no interest in actually defending your argument past being a Twitter troll.

                • liberal

                  I don’t see why my argument needed defending—“jim” made a claim with no evidence, which was at best a post hoc, ergo propter hoc argument. My reply was entirely appropriate.

                • Q.E.Dumbass

                  How about because snide dismissals in lieu of argumentative objections, all the goddamn time, shows you have zero interest in earning the right to be taken seriously? Or because refusing to defend posts in light of extensive feedback is a blatantly obvious signifiers of bad faith – you know, like a fucking troll? Or that of the widely disliked regulars and banned trolls, only TVTray has/had a comparable disinterest with making/defending actual arguments?

            • liberal

              Yeah…because post hoc, ergo propter hoc arguments are always very convincing. Not.

        • ExpatJK

          Yeah, I think this makes a lot of sense as an explanation. Part of the reason the GOP can lie so easily is they are strangely depicted/perceived as being totally passive or just reacting to Democrats. I am not sure how to fix this, but I think it’s a major part of the problem.

        • twbb

          You think we won in 2008 after 8 years of George F.W. Bush was because of anything other than 8 years of George F.W. Bush?

          • Rob in CT

            Both/and.

            The GOP thoroughly shitting the bed was most of it. Dems presenting themselves as adults ready to clean up the mess was also part of it, IMO.

      • BobOso

        I would love to see Dems use strategic town-halls in the districts of vulnerable Republicans. Hold the town meeting invite everyone including the Repub. Representative or Senator. Tell them what is going to happen and let the Repub. deny it. Then demand that they show us the bill.

        • liberal

          Nah. Too fiery. Doesn’t smack of good governance or statesmanlike persona.

        • Rob in CT

          Sounds good.

        • mds

          I would love to see Dems use strategic town-halls in the districts of vulnerable Republicans.

          Yeah, the ground has been broken by Maloney and Gallego: Dems host town-hall mettings on health care in GOP districts. There’s been a bit of a push to make this more widespread, but it couldn’t hurt for people living in a GOP-adjacent Democratic district to urge their rep to try it.

          • Rob in CT

            Ah, I thought that idea sounded familiar. There ya go. More, would be good.

          • Mellano

            Mark Pocan also did one in Paul Ryan’s district this spring.

            Not that Ryan is vulnerable, but since there’s no Prime Minister’s Questions in this country it also worked as a way to get more attention on the issue.

  • Scott Mc

    Their strategery’s been working for 7 years. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

  • In addition to Corker and McCain being “Troubled and Concerned,” we now have Murkowski “Very Frustrated.”

    I am moved by their public displays of piety.

  • Steve LaBonne

    This would be pure comedy gold if only it didn’t make me suicidally depressed.

    • ExpatJK

      I feel like John McCain’s comment is among the best, though in conjunction with his recent ramblings it makes me wonder a lot about his brain.

      Tara Golshan

      Right, but outside of getting the votes. From what you hear of the actual legislation being written, is it solving the problems you see —

      John McCain

      It’s not being written. Because there’s no consensus.

      Tara Golshan

      But generally speaking, what are the big problems it is trying to solve?

      John McCain

      You name it. Everything from the repeal caucus, which as you know, they have made their views very clear — Rand Paul, etc. And then there are the others on the other side of the spectrum that just want to make minor changes to the present system. There’s not consensus.

      • mds

        Regardless, at least fifty of us are going to vote “Yes” on the shittiest possible version, to make it easier to reconcile with the House. So who needs consensus when you have the votes no matter what?

      • Steve LaBonne

        Yup, the dementia is strong with that one.

        • ExpatJK

          Yeah, it reminds me a lot of the 2008 campaign moment where he wandered around the debate stage. It seems to be happening more frequently nowadays.

  • Rob in CT

    Another Voxer pulling no punches:

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/16/15807806/trump-breaking-health-promises

    The only problem is that it’s all lies. Trump’s health care plan doesn’t protect Medicaid, it loots it to finance hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts. The new “flexibility” it gives to states will ensure that the most vulnerable are the most hurt. In addition to slashing the Medicaid rolls by millions, the Trump health care plan will see millions more lose coverage, and the remainder will face higher premiums for plans that cover less.

    There’s nothing remotely terrific about it, unless you happen to be one of the small number of high-income Americans who can expect to reap a large tax cut paid for by the suffering of millions of newly uninsured people. It’s an enormous con perpetrated on people Trump duped into believing they were in on the scam.

    • efgoldman

      Sure, all this stuff is well known by people with half a brain. The problem is, the constituents of the RWNJ assholes DON’T READ VOX or anything like it. Their media consumption is nothing like ours. If they read anything on the web, it’s probably got at least a rightward tilt, and is most likely worse than Fox.

  • e.a.foster

    of course the Republican thugs are lying. If they told the truth some of their base might get upset that they will loose their health care and die.

    Trumpcare will pass and be implemented and people will die. My suggestion place the bodies at the offices of the politicians who voted for the new no health care plan.

    Its just so weird that a civilized nation would think it is o.k. to let people die due to a lack of health care and money and then call themselves good Christians.

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