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.