Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Now that we're inside the two-week marker on the midterms, Trump has decided to stop piddling around and go for the Big Lie:

This isn't even a close call. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) that Obama pushed through Congress is why we have pre-existing conditions protections in the first place, and Trump has been attacking it for years. The Trump administration is currently arguing in federal court that the part of the ACA requiring pre-existing conditions to be covered is unconstitutional. A recent Trump adminsitration rule makes it easier for states to get waivers that would allow their ACA coverage to exclude such protections; another makes it easier for citizens to meet their ACA requirements with short-term limited-duration (STLD) plans that also exclude those protections. Hell, start putting "trump" and "pre existing conditions" into Google and you get "trump pre existing conditions unconstitutional." That's like the old "you look up 'ugly' in the dictionary, they got a picture of him" joke.

Pre-existing condition protections are something everyone understands and that even Trumpkins are not stupid enough to oppose just because the Black President supported them. Thus Republicans have heretofore found it necessary to throw up clouds of ink to try and distract from the glaring fact that removing those protections is one of their goals. National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru, for example, is among many conservative pundits dedicated to spinning anti-Obamacare legislation like Trump's and Paul Ryan's AHCA as not-that-bad-really for pre-existing conditions; here you see Ponnuru blaming perfectly accurate perceptions of the GOP approach as "confusion," and here you see him putting lipstick on the inadequate MacArthur-Meadows amendment to the AHCA:
People with preexisting conditions, then, would have a triple safety net even in a state that took maximum use of the waivers: Tax credits, regulatory protection contingent on continuous coverage, and high-risk pools would all benefit them.
Ask your friends with cancer or chronic illnesses how they feel about that "triple safety net." (BTW get a load of the url:

Today, Ponnuru is enraged on behalf of Republican Rep Barbara Comstock because her Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton is making it look like she opposes pre-existing conditions protections. Not so, says Ponnuru, because Comstock was among the few Republicans who voted against the very bill Ponnuru was trying to tell everyone was good on pre-existing conditions! Translation: Of course she's good on pre-existing conditions -- she didn't even buy my bullshit!

So in a way it makes sense that Trump would go straight-up Goebbels on this. Painting the corners a la Ponnuru isn't going to fool anyone, so it's time to brass it out.

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