Nicholas Kristof on the utter madness of Trump's plans to dismantle Obamacare with no real alternative "on day one" of his presidency:
Trump would have you believe that he will keep the popular parts of Obamacare, such as the ban on discriminating against pre-existing conditions, while eliminating unpopular parts like the mandate. That’s impossible: The good and bad depend on each other.
The Trump approach would be like trying to amputate a dog’s rear end so you wouldn’t have to clean up its messes. It just doesn’t work that way.
A full repeal of Obamacare would also worsen the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office said in 2015 that “repealing the A.C.A. would increase federal budget deficits by $137 billion over the 2016-2025 period.” That’s more than $1,000 per American household.
Yes, health policy makes eyes glaze over. But focus on these two points: By broad agreement, the number of people insured will drop if Republicans “repeal and delay,” and more uninsured Americans means more Americans dying. That’s why the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association and even conservative health care analysts have warned Congress not to repeal Obamacare without stipulating what comes next.
Yesterday, I argued that Trump knows he can't repeal Obamacare without creating a disaster, so won't. Repealing Obamacare was a political gimmick he used to whip up white resentment during the campaign, and he likely never had any serious plan to get rid of it. Why? Firstly, he didn't actually believe he would be president so didn't bother looking at viable alternatives, and secondly, if Americans were stupid enough to vote for him, Trump banked on being able to lie his way out of repealing it and then take the credit for its successes.
Hardline Republicans are most certainly willing to repeal Obamacare immediately, but those who have to deal with the political reality of taking away people's healthcare without a viable alternative are fast learning that Obama's plan wasn't so crazy in the first place.