The Republicans are lying about healthcare. I know. Breaking news. We're not digging into new territory when we observe that the congressional GOP has been lying about healthcare for decades, reaching new levels of horrendousness when President Obama launched his effort to reform the system back in 2009, telling us that the law which eventually became the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare") would give us socialized medicine, interminable lines for care, and the massive whopper lie about "death panels," to name a few.
Trumpcare, in the form that passed the House last week, isn't a replacement for Obamacare. Replacement suggests something comparable, and anyone who can read will tell you there's nothing comparable to the ACA in Trump's disastrous bill. In many cases, it rewinds our embattled healthcare system to its pre-Obamacare condition, especially in red states that will surely seek waivers against covering pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits. It slashes Medicaid by a punitive $880 billion; it kills the individual mandate that helps pay for the law's subsidies; and it phases out the Medicaid expansion, leaving millions and millions of Americans without affordable, comprehensive coverage.
And yet Trump and Paul Ryan are telling us the exact opposite. They're telling us that it covers pre-existing conditions. They're telling us that it reduces premiums and deductibles. They're telling us that we'll all have the most tremendous -- very, very terrific healthcare ever, believe me.
All of that is a lie.
However, there's one semi-noble aspect to all of this: they're keeping their promise. Unfortunately, the promise was entirely driven by far-right hatred of Barack Obama and everything he stood for. The Republican Party has been promising to kill Obamacare one way or another since it took over the House in 2010. But they never thought they'd actually get to do it.
They failed to recognize that Obamacare was becoming more and more popular as time wore on -- not less. They completely missed the popular trajectory of the law, thinking it'd be unpopular enough to merely kill it without a replacement, thus their criminally negligent "Trumpcare" slagheap, passed by the House last week.
Clearly, the bill that was finally passed in the lower chamber turned out to be nothing more than a complete repeal, disguised as a replacement. Trump said in the Rose Garden following the vote: "And this is, make no mistake, this is a repeal and replace of Obamacare. Make no mistake about it. Make no mistake."
Another whopper lie.
Trump and the GOP are calling it a "replacement" when, in fact, Trumpcare is nothing more than a complicated repeal of everything that's good and popular about Obamacare. No wonder they're lying so profusely about Trumpcare -- given how it basically sends us all back to the pre-2009 system with a few ineffectual bells and whistles (the high risk pools and health savings accounts, for example) injected into the mix and passed off as actual "reform."
This is ultimately a case in which the Republicans over-promised and, suddenly tasked with actually legislating this ridiculousness, they had no choice but to do exactly what they pledged. Repeal -- but masquerading as a replacement. It's almost as if they promised they'd produce evidence of Bigfoot, but when finally given the power to do so, they choked and, instead, gave us Chewbacca Mom with a machine gun, mowing down cancer patients -- all the while insisting they produced Bigfoot as promised.
From this point forward, let's call Trumpcare what it is: a complete repeal and a return to the pre-ACA status quo, and, with it, thousands of dead Americans every month. When we say "Trumpcare" from now on, it means pre-2009 healthcare. Nothing more.