Trump’s Efforts to Sabotage ObamaCare Now Include Bribing Health Insurance Companies

Donald Trump made repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) a key plank in his campaign platform. It became the first legislative project of his administration. But after four months of his presidency he has failed to deliver on his promises. Consequently, he is seeking other routes to force his anti-healthcare policies onto a nation that wants to keep and improve ObamaCare.

Donald Trump

Trump has repeatedly claimed that ObamaCare is dead. It isn’t. However, Trump is doing everything in his power to murder it. Just his false characterizations of it being in a “death spiral” makes insurance carriers nervous and unwilling to expose themselves to that artificially created risk.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Trump has approached health insurance providers with an offer to put more money in their pockets. The proposal involves the funds paid by the government for the premium subsidies that make health insurance affordable for low-income Americans. These are called “cost-sharing reductions,” or CSRs. Trump has been threatening to cut off this funding in his quest to cripple ObamaCare. But his offer comes with a caveat. In exchange for continuing the CSRs, the providers must support his wildly unpopular bill to kill ObamaCare. That’s the bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives. The Senate is not expected to take it up. So offering to retain the CSRs in exchange for political support amounts to a bribe.

What’s more, Trump is effectively admitting that he is lying about ObamaCare being dead. His threat to ax CSRs undercuts the claim that insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own. The Times notes that the more likely cause of chaos in the industry is Trump himself:

“Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.

“At the same time, state insurance regulators — both Democrat and Republican — have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year. […]

“Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance.”

Trump’s Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, Seema Verma, made the politically motivated bribe in a recent meeting with providers. According to the Times she told them that Trump “would fund the CSRs if insurers supported the House Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.” But the providers were less than receptive. In fact, they later signed on to a letter sent to the Senate spelling out their concerns. The signatories include a broad array on health industry players. They include: America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Benefits Council, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The preamble to their letter says that:

“[W]e are writing again to you as leaders in Congress to express our serious concerns about the continued uncertainty around funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. There now is clear evidence that this uncertainty is undermining the individual insurance market for 2018 and stands to negatively impact millions of people.”

In addition to using the CSRs to bribe insurance companies, Trump has used them to blackmail Congress. Politico reports that he is employing a tactic aimed at forcing Democrats to negotiate. Even though “Many advisers oppose the move because they worry it would backfire politically if people lose their insurance or see huge premium spikes and blame the White House.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In any case, it’s a cynical move where the potential victims are not members of Congress, but average Americans. Trump is holding a virtual gun to the heads of citizens and telling Congress he’ll shoot if they don’t pass his bill. Between that threat and his bribery of insurance carriers, Trump’s proving that he couldn’t care less about the American people. They are merely hostages in his quest to give the wealthy tens of thousands of dollars in tax cuts. And if 24 million people lose their health insurance, that isn’t his problem.

UPDATE 5/22/17: Democrats in Congress are requesting information and documents pertaining to this attempted bribe/hostage taking by the Trump administration.

Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Liberty Gives Bigots a Free Pass to Discriminate

Much of the media today is over-indulging the White House’s short-term success in crippling ObamaCare. Never mind that the American people support it and today’s House vote is not expected to be repeated in the Senate. It’s a “W” in Donald Trump’s column that they are exploiting to the max.

Donald Trump

What is not being talked about is the executive order Trump signed earlier on Thursday. The purpose of yet another Trump executive order is being sold as an attempt to promote “Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” In reality it does neither. The language in the order itself betrays its true intent. It says that it:

“…protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government.”

“…[mandates that] the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues.”

“…address[es] conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

Taking a closer look at these objectives reveals something far more ominous than what the Trump administration suggests. The actual impact of the order is to allow religious institutions to use their tax-exempt status to advocate for political campaigns and policies. It attempts to reverse the “Johnson Amendment” which many faith leaders support. It also permits businesses to discriminate against individuals they regard as incompatible with their religious beliefs.

For the most part, the executive order is merely window dressing on the right’s Christian supremacy. It doesn’t alter existing law at all, which would require an act of Congress. Instead, it directs federal legal authorities to refrain from enforcing statutes that actually protect equal treatment under the law. In other words, businesses that refuse to service gays (or Muslims, or whoever) will get a free pass for prejudice. Churches that openly engage in political activity will not have their tax-exempt status reviewed by the IRS. Employers will be able to force their religious beliefs on employees (such as refusing contraceptive healthcare coverage) with impunity.

It should be noted that current law does not prohibit anyone from exercising their right to religious expression. Any business owner is free to express their beliefs so long as doing so does not infringe on the constitutional rights of others. Any representative of a religious institution can speak out on politics so long as it is not done in a facility that receives federal tax exemptions. If pastors want to turn sermons into political speeches they can simply decline tax-exempt status. Many people believe that the policy that grants religious organizations freedom from taxation should be revisited as an historical anachronism. But no one argues that political organizations should conduct their business tax-free.

Trump’s statements at the signing of the executive order (video below) were vaguely patriotic while disguising overtly prejudicial intent. “No American,” he said, “should be forced to choose between the dictates of the American government and the tenets of their faith.” He continued:

“We will not allow people of faith to be bullied, targeted, or silenced any more. And we will never ever stand for religious discrimination. Never ever.”

That coming from the same man who issued an executive order banning all Muslims from entering the country. Trump’s idea of religious freedom is limited to those who practice the American brand of Christianity. He supports business owners who seek to discriminate against gays. But he would oppose any business that insisted that all female patrons cover their heads. He also said that:

“For too long the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying, and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs.”

In reality, the federal government generally tries to insure that the practice of religious beliefs don’t infringe on anyone else’s liberties. The only bullying evident was by radical Christians who tried to prevent the construction of Mosques in their communities. What Trump is bothered by is the free exercise of beliefs by people who don’t subscribe to his faith.

This point was made clear in an open letter by more than 1,000 faith leaders who oppose Trump’s executive order. Their letter said in part that:

“Although it purports to strengthen religious freedom, what this order would actually do is misuse this freedom, turning it into a weapon to discriminate against broad swath[e]s of our nation, including LGBTQ people, women, and children in foster care.” […]

“The religious freedom upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. The draft executive order flies in the face of that rich diversity by enshrining one religious perspective – on marriage, gender identity, health care, and the role of houses of worship in partisan politics – into law, above all others. This is neither what religious freedom means in the eyes of the law, nor what religion itself means to millions of Americans of faith.”

Trump’s attempt to govern by executive order, something he lambasted President Obama for, is typical of the authoritarian tendencies he has long exhibited. And in this case he is going beyond conventional authoritarianism to full fledged theological tyranny. Expect this executive order to suffer the same fate as his others that were overturned in court. The ACLU has already announced a court challenge.

[Update: The ACLU released a statement saying that they are declining to bring a suit at this time because Trump’s EO is “an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome” and is “fake news.” I don’t entirely agree, because a threat of non-enforcement still constitutes unequal treatment under the law. However it’s fun to see the ACLU essentially call Trump an impotent doofus]

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Sean Spicer: It’s ‘Literally Impossible’ to Analyze Trump Care’s Costs, But We’ll Vote on it Anyway

Word on the street is that Congress will vote on Donald Trump’s proposal to repeal ObamaCare on Thursday. The Republicans are claiming that they have enough votes for passage, which they’ve claimed, wrongly, before. But what makes this vote so extraordinary is that no one – not Congress, not Trump, no one – knows precisely what this bill will cost, or even what’s in it.

Fibby Spice Sean Spicer

On Wednesday Press Secretary Sean Spicer took questions from reporters about the bill (video below). His confession that the bill’s costs and contents are unknowable make a mockery of the GOP’s legislative process. When asked whether the funding in the bill would be sufficient to cover people with preexisting conditions, Spicer said that:

“There are so many variables that are unknown that to make an analysis of that level of precision seems almost impossible … For someone to know how many people that is, what number of states are going to receive a waiver, ask for it and receive a waiver, is literally impossible at this point. So to do an analysis of any level of factual basis would be literally not possible.”

In one respect, it’s commendable that Spicer was honest enough to admit that he had no idea what the bill’s financial impact would be. However, the fact that neither he, nor the White House, nor Congress could do an analysis, but they still insisted on voting, is the height of political absurdity. Spicer actually “guaranteed” that everyone with preexisting conditions would “be fine.” But by his own admission he has no way of determining whether or not that’s true.

While the White House may be unable to analyze the financial impact of TrumpCare, other more reputable organizations seem capable of doing so. As reported by Talking Points Memo:

“The AARP’s Public Policy Institute wrote Thursday that ‘We project that if states return to pre-ACA high-risk pools in 2019, as proposed, high-risk pool premiums for people with pre-existing conditions could be as high as $25,700 annually.’

“An amendment to the American Health Care Act would allow states to eliminate Obamacare’s price protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, if the states establish high-risk pools for those individuals in their place. Critics say those pools make insurance unsustainably expensive for sick people.”

So it isn’t really impossible to analyze TrumpCare after all. It’s just inconvenient. That’s because most independent analyses confirm that it would raise premiums to record highs. The result would be that tens of millions of people who are currently insured would lose their coverage. That’s why the GOP-run Congress is rushing to vote before the Congressional Budget Office can issue a report. And they expect their members to comply and vote as instructed. Despite not knowing what the hell they’re voting on. That, America, is your Republican Congress at work.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Right-Wingers Display Their Perverse Family Values By Attacking Jimmy Kimmel

On Monday night Jimmy Kimmel devoted a portion of his monologue to explaining why he was not on the air last week. Shortly after the birth of his son it was discovered that the child had a serious heart defect that required emergency surgery. A clearly emotional Kimmel told the story (video below) of how the problem was discovered and fixed. Thankfully, the child is expected to make a full recovery.

Jimmy Kimmel

Sadly, it seems that nothing will fix the heart defects in conservatives who wasted no time in attacking Kimmel. Their outrage was incited by Kimmel’s audacity to advocate for all Americans to have access to the life-saving healthcare that his family had. What follows are some examples of what Republicans consider family values:

In addition to these sick wingnuts, Media Matters found several other repulsive characters who believe that only kids whose parents have money should be allowed to live. It’s an ideology that is right in line with a party that opposes food and shelter for underprivileged children as well. It’s aligned with the policies of GOP representatives like Robert Pittenger (R-NC). He thinks that families with sick kids can just move to states with more compassionate healthcare. That, of course would mean selling their home, leaving family and friends, and hoping they could find a new job. His colleague Mo Brooks of Alabama is no better. He offered a ludicrous defense of TrumpCare by saying that…

“It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives.”

Huh? So in Brooks’ view, Kimmel’s infant son was not living a good life. That evil urchin. Serves him right. And what does Kimmel’s sad story have to with healthcare anyway? That, at least, is the position of Fox News who managed to do a segment on the monologue without ever mentioning ObamaCare or Kimmel’s plea to support it. Maybe Fox should ask President Obama about that:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

OH LORD: CNN’s Trump Fluffer Calls Trump ‘The Martin Luther King Of Health Care’

Last month Donald Trump watched impotently as the healthcare bill he championed went down in flames. The House of Representatives, certain of failure, didn’t even bring it up for a vote. Perhaps the fact that only seventeen percent of the American people were in favor of the GOP’s efforts to ditch ObamaCare had something to do with it.

CNN Jeffrey Lord

Now Trump is pretending that he didn’t fail at all. Contrary to reality, he contends that his plan is still being negotiated. As part of the alleged negotiations Trump threatened to withhold subsidy payments from millions of low income Americans. That would effectively cancel their insurance. So he is using these citizens as hostages to force Democrats into capitulating and voting against ObamaCare.

That was the subject of a debate on CNN Thursday morning (video below). Host Alisyn Camerota opened the discussion with a quote from Trump explicitly spelling out his attempt at blackmail:

“President Trump is considering making a drastic move to try to get Obamacare repealed. He is threatening to withhold billions of dollars in subsidies that the poorest Americans rely on. President Trump telling The Wall Street Journal, ‘Obamacare is dead next month if it doesn’t get that money. I don’t want people to get hurt. What I think should happen and will happen is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.'”

The tone of Trump’s message is reminiscent of a Mafioso ultimatum. “That’s a nice healthy family you got there. I don’t want people to get hurt. So you better do as I say.” Sen. Chuck Schumer shouldn’t be surprised if he wakes up next to severed horse’s head. Democratic commentator Symone Sanders observed the callousness in Trump’s threat and responded:

“The president sees millions of people that are benefiting from health insurance that are on the ACA [Affordable Care Act]. But he sees bargaining chips. He doesn’t see lives. He doesn’t see that he’s putting people in danger.”

Trump’s inclination to use sick people as human shields is an amoral negotiating tactic. It would hurt innocent people who have no direct voice in the negotiations. Nevertheless, the tactic was defended by CNN’s Jeffrey Lord. And he chose perhaps the most offensive line of defense imaginable:

“Think of President Trump as the Martin Luther King of health care. When I was a kid, President Kennedy did not want to introduce the civil rights bill because he said it wasn’t popular. He didn’t have the votes for it, etc. Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm’s way to put the pressure on so that the bill would be introduced. That’s what finally worked.”

First of all, no sane person could compare Trump’s efforts to deny health for millions with King’s movement to bring about equality for all. Secondly, Trump isn’t asking people to voluntarily take to the streets in protest. He’s holding a knife to their throats while demanding obedience from Democrats. A fair analogy would be if King threatened to harm African-Americans if Congress didn’t accede to his demands. Try to imagine King putting a gun to the head of a citizen and saying “Pass the Civil Rights bill or the black guy gets it.” That’s the equivalent of what Trump is doing to health insurance recipients. Lord’s argument was preposterous on its face, and Sanders wasn’t having it:

“Jeffrey, you do understand that Dr. King was marching for civil rights because people that looked like me were being beaten? Dogs were being sicced on them. Basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because the color of their skin. So let’s not equate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner, to the vagina-grabbing President Donald Trump.”

That pretty much says it all. By attempting to compare Trump with Dr. King, Lord only succeeded in making the differences between them more apparent. But he isn’t doing any worse than the rest of the Republican haters. None of them have any coherent arguments to support their heartless agenda, so they resort to these absurd mischaracterizations. And that makes it all the more puzzling that CNN would give someone like Lord a platform to disseminate his lies.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Whines Because ‘Democrats Are Smiling’ – No, They’re Laughing at You, Loser

The failure of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to pass their anti-ObamaCare bill is still stinging. Maybe a bill that would cancel health insurance for twenty-four million people was never a good idea. It had a pitiful seventeen percent approval rating in recent polls. Consequently, the prospects for its passage were dim from the start. But that didn’t sway the President and his party who are more focused on cutting taxes for their wealthy pals than helping average Americans.

Donald Trump

Having had a couple of days to think about, Trump is still peeved that his incompetence has been displayed to the world. So naturally he is blaming everybody else. In another of his morning tweets the President lashed out at those he feels betrayed him:

First of all, Democrats are smiling across the country, not just in D.C. And it isn’t just Democrats. All Americans who appreciate having access to affordable healthcare are glad that the GOP bill never got off the ground. Secondly, it wasn’t the House Freedom Caucus or the Heritage Foundation that doomed the bill. It was the short-sighted thinking of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who thought they could muscle through sham legislation that achieved none of what they promised. Despite their public pronouncements, they never intended to insure all Americans. They never tried to hold costs down. And they never sought bipartisan consensus to attract Democratic support.

Trump’s tweet exhibits the petty vengefulness that is the hallmark of his flawed character. He’s attacking his closest allies because they weren’t a hundred percent obedient. Heaven forbid he should accept any responsibility for his own political fiasco. What’s more, he’s lamenting that Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare were saved. According to most polls, both are supported by large majorities of the population. They would certainly regard saving them as admirable, not lamentable.

Trump’s disconnection with the majority of the American people, and even his own party, is unusually vast. He appears to have a severe case of ideological tunnel-blindness that has warped his worldview. And by announcing that on Twitter he drew a response from the online community that puts him in his place. If he’s really interested in why “Democrats are smiling” here are a few of the reasons provided by twitterers:

Trump’s arrogance and inability to accept defeat continue to alienate him from most voters. It’s a big part of the reason he has the most unfavorable ratings of any president before him. His response to having been rebuked by the his congressional colleagues, and the voting public, is to hope that ObamaCare “explodes” and causes great harm to innocent people. That’s not leadership. That’s the response of a vindictive narcissist whose only concern is the feeding and welfare of his ego.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Hates America, and His Pathetic ‘Leadership’ on Healthcare Is Proof Of It

The failure of TrumpCare is more than a political pratfall by Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It is an object lesson in the pettiness of a vengeful, self-absorbed man who couldn’t care less about the welfare of the American people.

Donald Trump

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump marketed himself as a master negotiator and dealmaker. But when push came to shove Trump couldn’t close the deal on what was the highest priority on his agenda. Instead, the man responsible for six bankruptcies failed yet again. He couldn’t move the ball across the goal line with a majority in both chambers of Congress. But what’s worse is that his reaction betrays a spiteful disregard for the citizens he purports to serve.

In a video posted on the White House website, the President made some brief comments about the TrumpCare debacle. True to form, he blamed Democrats for his own failings and those of his party. Never mind that Democrats could not have blocked passage if Republicans were united – or competent. The truth is that the GOP didn’t want to pass the bill because it was so transparently awful. They knew that their constituents were opposed to it. What legislator in their right mind would vote for a bill that had only seventeen percent approval?

However, the most disturbing part of Trump’s video statement is his virtual giddiness at the prospect of people suffering and Democrats getting blamed. He repeatedly made false assertions that “ObamaCare is exploding” (it’s not). His takeaway on that was a perverse pride in predicting that Americans will suffer:

“I think what will happen is ObamaCare, unfortunately, will explode. It’s gonna have a very bad year.”

Trump took solace in his estimation that TrumpCare’s demise was “the best thing that could happen.” So he believe’s that ObamaCare will inflict great pain on people, but that that’s a good thing. It’s a position that only a sadist could support. And his reasoning centered on a political analysis wherein Democrats would be held accountable for ObamaCare.

“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own ObamaCare. They own it. One hundred percent own it. And this is not a Republican healthcare. This is not anything but a Democrat healthcare. And they have ObamaCare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist. Which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember, this is not our bill, this is their bill.”

Seriously, what reality is Trump living in? Democrats have always “owned” ObamaCare. It didn’t get a single Republican vote. It was drafted and passed by Democrats. It’s nicknamed after a Democratic president fer chrissakes. What’s more, Democrats are proud of the bill. They are anxious to be associated with its historic drop in the uninsured rate. They happily note that it has resulted in the slowest growth of healthcare costs in decades. And the fact that its approval rating in recent polls is at its highest level ever doesn’t hurt.

Republicans had eight years to come up with a viable alternative to ObamaCare. They never even bothered. Rather, they held meaningless votes (more than sixty of them) to either repeal or cripple ObamaCare. But they only did that because they knew that Obama would veto anything that reached his desk. Now, with a Republican in the White House, they are cowering in fear of voting for something the country opposes. Even press secretary Sean Spicer called them out before the vote. “You’ve taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn’t matter because you didn’t have a Republican president,” he chided. “Well, this is a live ball now. This is for real.” That obviously didn’t work.

Also in Trump’s video, he tried to make excuses for his failure by rewriting his history on the subject. “I never said repeal [ObamaCare] and replace it within sixty-four days,” he whined. That’s true, he never said “sixty-four days.” But he did say “immediately” and “on my first day in office” and that “it’s gonna be so easy.” That obviously didn’t work either.

Trump’s habit of lying, making excuses, and blaming others is on vivid display here. And his utter lack of leadership is appalling. A real leader would not threaten people with predictions of pain and suffering. He would not find comfort in the hardship of others. A real leader would face reality and then seek to mitigate any harm that he perceived. He would accept the circumstances and try to make best of them, even if it was not what he favored.

For example, if Trump thinks that ObamaCare is going to result in higher premiums, he should advocate greater participation. That would increase the risk pool and keep premiums down. If he’s concerned about insurance companies offering plans, he should help to create incentives for them to do so. He’s already given up on “repeal and replace” so he should be focusing on helping people rather than hovering over them like a vulture anxiously anticipating fresh corpses.

That, however, is not Trump’s style. He is a petulant, vindictive, narcissist who throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. And it doesn’t matter who he hurts. He is as poor a leader as he is a dealmaker. The battle over healthcare has been an instructive experience that lays open the festering flaws in Trump’s character – or more accurately – the lack of it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

WINNING? TrumpCare Vote Canceled as Support in Congress and the Country Collapses

The scheduled House vote on the bill to replace and repeal ObamaCare has been canceled – again. This is the second time in as many days that the bill was pulled from the schedule. It’s clear from the whip counts that had the vote gone forward it would lose. In fact, the “no” votes were increasing by the hour.

Donald Trump

This is a significant failure for both Donald Trump and the Republican congress. They promised that the first order of business of the Trump administration would be to repeal ObamaCare. Republicans in the House had voted more than fifty times to do so while President Obama was in office. Perhaps they were comfortable voting to kill a popular program as long as they knew Obama was there to veto it.

Now that the vote is off, there is no indication of whether it will be rescheduled or what form the bill might take. Trump has previously said that this is the bill and if it isn’t passed there won’t be another opportunity. Paul Ryan, Sean Spicer, and others in the GOP leadership said much the same thing. However, Robert Costa of the Washington Post is reporting that Trump called him to say that he was responsible for canceling the vote. That would be peculiar, since he was the one making ultimatums about this vote being the only vote.

So for the time being ObamaCare will not be repealed or replaced. The American people will be happy to hear that as the most recent polling shows that only 17 percent favored the GOP effort to kill it. Trump’s bragging about the nation getting sick and tired of winning is less likely to be a concern in the near future.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is a breaking story that is continuing to unfold. Updates will be provided as they become available.

FOX NEWS POLL: Trump Liked Less Than Bernie Sanders, Planned Parenthood, and ObamaCare

The sad saga of America’s most unpopular new president ever continues to sink to unprecedented depths. Donald Trump’s support exists within a narrow realm of alt-right bigots and the diehard GOP (Greedy One Percent). This administration repeatedly fumbles and embarrasses itself with poor policies and even worse execution. The result is that the American people are getting fed up with his incompetence and lies.

Donald Trump

On Thursday, Fox News, Trump’s favorite news source and official White House Ministry of Propaganda, released a new poll. The results may be a surprise to the President who expects blind loyalty and unwavering adoration. On most questions related to Trump and his agenda, the people were decidedly dissatisfied. Beginning with the foundational question of approval, respondents snubbed The Donald bitterly. Here is the ranking of what they regard as most favorable:

  • Bernie Sanders: 61%
  • Planned Parenthood: 57%
  • Obamacare: 50%
  • Mike Pence: 47%
  • Donald Trump: 44%

So the registered voters in this survey prefer a Democratic Socialist to Trump by 17 points. They also prefer Planned Parenthood, who he has promised to defund. And worst of all, from Trump’s perspective, the Affordable Care Act that he has obsessively ranted about repealing is more popular than he is. Did I mention that this is a Fox News poll?

In addition to these devastating results, the poll’s respondents have also wearied of his Twitter fetish. Fifty percent disapprove of his tweeting, with another 32 percent wishing he would be more cautious. And his most cherished policy pursuits rank at or near the bottom of the public’s list. For instance, when asked what one accomplishment would make them most happy their ranking was the following: Create jobs: 33 percent. Destroy ISIS: 23 percent. Cut taxes: 10 percent. Put Constitutionalists on the Supreme Court: 9 percent. Repeal and replace Obamacare: 7 percent. Reduce federal regulations: 3 percent. Build a border wall: 3 percent.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is what passes for a mandate from the delusional president who still thinks he had more people at his inauguration than President Obama did. It’s the sort of deranged thinking you would expect after hearing him accuse his predecessor of wiretapping him. Trump is incapable of recognizing how much he’s despised by the nation that voted in greater numbers for his opponent. And this poll reinforces the cognitive break that Trump has with both the political landscape of America – and reality. It’s only a matter of time before Trump lashes out at this poll for promulgating “fake” news. Did I mention that this is a Fox News poll?

Watch Trump WHINE That America Will Remember Obama and ObamaCare Fondly – And He’s Right

Donald Trump has commenced his sales pitch for the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s generous to call it an alternative when it mainly guts the existing plan and grants millionaires a huge tax break. Nevertheless, Trump went into his negative branding routine, calling ObamaCare a disaster and falsely asserting that it is imploding.

Obama Trump

There is little in the GOP plan that can be identified as being beneficial to American citizens. But in a White House photo-op, the President heralded it as godsend. He claimed that competition was going to bring the cost of health care way down. “It will be a thing of beauty,” he said. But he didn’t explain why that would happen in a future without ObamaCare when it never happened prior to ObamaCare. In fact, costs increased at a far greater rate before the ACA than after.

He also claimed that the ACA covers very few people. That flies in the face of reality. Since the introduction of ObamaCare more than 20 million additional Americans have healthcare coverage. As demonstrated by his ludicrous crowd estimates at his inauguration, Trump has trouble with numbers. However, his ability to whine is firmly in tact. Predicting that the public will react negatively to RepubliCare, Trump sought to preemptively dismiss their judgment:

“So the press is making it look so wonderful. So that if we end it, everyone’s going to say, ‘Oh, remember how great ObamaCare used to be? Remember how wonderful it used to be? It used to be so great?’ It’s a little bit like President Obama. When he left, people liked him. When he was here, people didn’t like him so much. That’s the way life goes. That’s human nature.”

First of all, Obama’s approval rating never dipped below 50 percent in the last six months of his presidency. The nation’s appreciation for him did not start after he left office. And when he did leave his approval peaked at 59 percent. ObamaCare is also viewed more favorably than ever now. People don’t have to wait until it’s gone to miss it. They appreciate it now, especially in contrast to the Republican alternative. So Trump’s lament that everyone’s gonna “remember how great ObamaCare used to be,” is well placed.

Trump then returned to his robotic and hollow repetition that “ObamaCare is a disaster,” for which he offered no proof. All the available evidence points to a program that has exceeded the most optimistic projections. And it continues to gain popularity. This year ObamaCare had more enrollments than any year since it began.

Now that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has completed its analysis of the the Republican plan, a fair comparison can be made. The CBO projects that 24 million people will lose their healthcare coverage by 2026 under the GOP’s plan. And while premiums will decline marginally for young, healthy enrollees, they will skyrocket for seniors and low income earners. Meanwhile, the wealthy will get massive tax cuts that will make it even harder to provide coverage via Medicaid and Medicare. The GOP proposal will cost those programs nearly $900 billion.

Trump’s point men on the issue immediately rejected the CBO report without having read it. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a blanket condemnation of the CBO’s competence and accuracy. And Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, spewed a litany of lies aimed at discrediting the CBO.

This is is pretty much all the Trump administration can do at this point. The facts are aligned against them. But it’s encouraging that even Trump realizes that American’s have positive views of both Obama and his healthcare policies. He can’t deny the popularity of a program that made insurance available to millions for the first time. But he sure does whine tremendously goodly.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.