One of the reasons why people like myself spent the better part of 18 months desperately pleading with the American public to vote for whoever won the Democratic primary was to protect millions of Americans from Republicans destroying Obamacare and booting them off of their insurance.
I was never a huge fan of Hillary Clinton and wanted Bernie Sanders to be the nominee, but it didn't matter, because Donald Trump was going to win and I saw very early on that his brand of nationalist populism was a giant scam. Trump was a conman and a performance artist who knew how to play the media and would say anything to get elected. While he talked a good game on issues like health care (it would be the best thing since sliced bread and cover everyone regardless of wealth), anyone familiar with Trump's history in business knew that it was basically bullshit, and should he get in, he'd spend his political capital enriching his friends and gutting business regulation. The notion that someone like Trump would use the power of the presidential office to help the vulnerable was, at least in my opinion, laughable. And sadly I, along with most other rational members of the media, turned out to be entirely correct.
"Everybody's got to be covered," Trump told Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes" during the election campaign.
"This is an un-Republican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say, 'No, no, the lower 25 percent that can't afford private'… I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now."
Now that Trump is president, he has put forward a plan that does the exact opposite.
To be completely clear, Trump's abandonment of universal health care and his pledge to offer Americans a better alternative to Obamacare is the greatest scam in modern political history. Trump and the Republicans lied over and over again about the supposed Obamacare "disaster", and have now replaced it with something so poorly designed that it is guaranteed to be a failure. Not only is it a train wreck in the making, it exists solely as a vehicle to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. As The Nation reported:
What the GOP finally proposed isn’t a health-care plan—it’s a tax cut for the wealthy, paid for by throwing Grandma under the bus. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 24 million people would lose their insurance by 2026 if the American Health Care Act becomes law, with 14 million losing their coverage next year.
Ironically, the GOP bill adopts Obamacare’s essential framework, relying on tax credits to cushion the cost of insurance. But because of the way the AHCA structures those credits—by age, and without regard to income or geography—the poor and the elderly in high-cost markets will be the hardest hit. That change, combined with a provision freeing insurers to charge older people up to five times what they charge younger customers, means that a 62-year-old scraping by on $18,000 a year in Nebraska’s Chase County could see her annual premium jump from $760 under the ACA to $20,000 under the Republican plan, according to a projection from the consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
The callousness of this complete abdication of his promise to cover all Americans cannot be understated -- Trump has pulled one of the biggest con jobs ever, and people quite literally will die because of it. Vice reported recently that tens of thousands of Americans stand to lose their lives when they their health insurance is taken away from them -- a number that doesn't seem to bother Trump or the Republicans in the slightest.
Those who voted for Trump in the hopes that he would do something to ease the financial burden of health insurance have been used and abused in the most appalling fashion. Instead of having access to cheaper health insurance, millions of Americans will now have no access to any health insurance whatsoever.